ATC 2020 Trail Crew Staff

Dec 17, 2019, 13:11 PM
Location : Multiple Locations
Department : Conservation
Supervisor : Conservation
Type : Seasonal
Position Summary:


Primary Purpose

Highly qualified seasonal Crew Leaders, Assistant Crew Leaders, Camp Coordinators, and other trail crew staff are recruited each year to support and lead volunteer Trail crews that complete routine Trail maintenance, major rehabilitation/repair, and Trail relocation projects. They may be hired and managed by ATC or by its affiliated clubs or agencies. Applicants must demonstrate responsibility, initiative, and self-motivation. They must be able to work both independently with minimal supervision and cooperatively as a member of a team. Crew staff applicants should demonstrate the interest and ability to contribute to the public-service effort of working on a National Scenic Trail and to promote volunteerism and membership in ATC and its club affiliates.

All positions are seasonal and vary in length. Wages vary according to positions and individual qualifications. The pay is competitive, and some positions include room and board. Crew staff may be able to extend their employment by working for more than one crew. Those interested will need to interview with the manager of each crew. See position descriptions for details.

The following are the trail crews that will be hiring in 2020:

Konnarock Crew—based in southwest Virginia; operates from mid-March through mid-August. Projects are in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia and involve new trail construction, and heavy treadway rehabilitation. Crew Leaders must have significant Trail-construction experience and demonstrate excellent back-country leadership skills. Assistant Crew Leaders should demonstrate either strong outdoor leadership and/or Trail-building skills. Food and housing are provided for all staff. (Note: It may be possible for Konnarock crew leaders and assistant crew leaders to work an extended season if positions are available on Rocky Top or Mid-Atlantic Trail Crews.) 

Anticipated hiring in 2020: Two Crew Leaders, two Assistant Crew Leaders, and one Camp Coordinator.

Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew (S.W.E.A.T.)based in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the S.W.E.A.T. crew begins with training in mid-May and operates from June until mid-August. The crew’s primary responsibilities are the most remote sections of the A.T. in the Park. Be ready for long hikes in and a remote work environment performing cyclical maintenance tasks like brush cutting, re-digging sidehill Trail, and the construction of steps and erosion control structures. The crew works in coordination with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and the National Park Service. Food and housing are provided for all staff.  (Note: The Crew Leader and Assistant Crew Leader are required to have significant experience leading Trail crews in very remote locations. Current crosscut-saw and Wilderness First Aid [WFA] certifications are highly desirable—ATC will provide training toward those certifications. Also, there is potential for an extended season for S.W.E.A.T. staff that continue to the Rocky Top Trail Crew.) 

Anticipated hiring in 2020: One Crew Leader, one Assistant Crew Leader, and one Camp Coordinator.

Rocky Top Crewbased in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; operates from late August through October. Cold weather and a remote environment are possible. The crew concentrates on rehabilitation of the A.T. where it is open to equestrian use and works in coordination with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and the National Park Service. Food and housing are provided for all staff.  (Note: Potential for 25 weeks of employment for Konnarock or S.W.E.A.T. staff who continue on to the Rocky Top Crew.)

Anticipated hiring in 2020: One Crew Leader, one Assistant Crew Leader, and one Camp Coordinator.

Mid-Atlantic Crew—based in south-central Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic crew runs from mid-August through late October. Projects may be in northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Projects are coordinated with the National Park Service, state agencies, and local A.T. clubs. Food and housing are provided for all staff. (Note: Potential for late March through October season for Konnarock staff who continue on to the Mid-Atlantic Crew.)

Anticipated hiring in 2020: One Crew Leader and one Camp Coordinator (this Camp Coordinator position incorporates some of the responsibilities and skills of an Assistant Crew leader).

Maine Trail Crewbased in central Maine, the Maine crew runs from mid-May through mid-August. This crew works on remote projects along 267 miles of the Trail.  Most projects involve rebuilding the trail with stone steps and stone waterbars.  Griphoist rigging systems are used to collect and transport stone to the trail.  The crew includes volunteers who join for 1 to 6-weeks.  Crew staff are hired and supervised byMaine Appalachian Trail Club. Food and housing are provided for all staff, interns, and volunteers.  More information including detailed descriptions of each position available and application instructions are found at

Anticipated hiring in 2020:  One Field Coordinator, One Crew Camp Coordinator, Two Crew Leaders, Two Assistant Crew Leaders and Two Student Interns.

Field Coordinator will coordinate multiple trail crews working on the Appalachian Trail in Maine.  Duties will include making plans for the summer season, teaching trail skills to program staff and volunteers, joining and supporting the crews on the trail, making inventories of trail conditions, submitting reports, and maintaining housing facilities/equipment.

Interns will be an essential part of the crew. Interns willbuild trail work, outdoor living and leadership skills.  They will experience some of the most pristine, remote sections of Maine’s Appalachian Trail.   Projects will focus on rebuilding and restoring heavily impacted sections of the Appalachian Trail.  Crews will utilize Griphoist® rigging equipment, and hand tools to build stone steps, waterbars and retaining walls to repair the Appalachian Trail. A stipend will be provided.

Position descriptions for Trail Crew Leader, Assistant Trail Crew Leader, and Camp Coordinator:


ATC Crew Leaders implement construction and maintenance projects of related facilities on the Appalachian Trail which includes relocations/new construction, heavy trail rehabilitation, and routine maintenance. Crew Leaders are responsible for overall field management of volunteer work crews, including skills training, group morale/well-being, backcountry living, transportation, and risk management. ATC Crew Leaders work without continual direct supervision and must rely on their own abilities to manage projects.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Implement Trail construction, reconstruction, and maintenance projects in cooperation with A.T clubs and partner agencies.
  • Train volunteer-crew members and participating club members in Trail design, construction, reconstruction, and maintenance according to ATC standards, and instruct such volunteers in all phases of safety management.
  • Ensure safe and sanitary conditions at the camps and work sites, transport crews safely, and respond appropriately to any emergency situations that may arise.
  • Promote an atmosphere in which all crew members feel welcomed, motivated, safe, and included, and where participation and contributions from all are valued and appreciated.
  • Follow the direction of designated supervisors with respect to duties, logistics, timetables, and projects, submit timely biweekly timesheets, and perform other duties as assigned.
  • Travel on foot over rough terrain and for long distances while carrying equipment in possible inclement weather.


  • High-school diploma and an excellent driving record.
  • Experience and skill in trail construction and rehabilitation.
  • Ability to work without direct supervision while encouraging cooperation among volunteers in a primitive setting.
  • Commitment to the AT and resource protection efforts.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experience and proficiency in working with diverse groups of people, and a strong desire to motivate and empower volunteers.
  • Training in natural-resources management or related field.
  • Leave No Trace trainer
  • Sawyer Certification - chainsaw and/or crosscut sawyer
  • Current first-aid and CPR certification (Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder)
  • Previous A.T. volunteer experience
  • Knowledge of the Appalachian Trail and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy


Assistant Crew Leaders are responsible for assisting the Crew Leaders with the duties and responsibilities listed above. They may have less experience, but generally should have the same skills as those required for Crew Leaders. Assistant Crew Leaders are encouraged to grow and gain skills and experience to become future Crew Leaders.


Camp Coordinators are critical to the effective operation of quality crew programs. They serve as hosts to the volunteers and are responsible for all the activities necessary to ensure smooth operation of ATC's crew camps and work centers, including welcoming and orienting crew volunteers.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan menus for Trail crew meals in the field & at the base camp, and supervise & conduct meal preparation while the crews are at base camp.
  • Purchase food and supplies for Trail crews cost effectively, using advance-planning, bulk-purchasing, vendor discounts, and other means.
  • Provide basic facility upkeep such as logging minor repairs, coordinating with volunteers, cleaning, running dehumidifiers, etc.
  • Support Crew Leaders by assisting in arrangements for repairs and adjustments to vehicles and tools and providing other assistance as requested.
  • Assist with program duties, record-keeping, and financial management, including managing the crew checking account and staying within budget.
  • Ensure safe, clean, and environmentally sound conditions at the base camp, and promote high volunteer morale.
  • Greet and orient newly arriving crew members to crew life at the base camp and assign lodging space.
  • Assist volunteers in planning recreational activities on their days off.
  • Coordinate flight/bus transportation of volunteers to and from the base camp.



  • A high-school diploma, driver’s license with an excellent driving record.
  • Excellent communication, organizational, administrative, and education skills.
  • Proven ability to interact positively with the public and others.
  • Food preparation and menu-planning experience.
  • Experience working with volunteers.
  • Experience with facility, equipment, and tool maintenance.
  • Commitment to the A.T. and resource protection efforts.
  • Knowledge of the Appalachian Trail and ATC.
  • Hospitality experience.
  • Current CPR and first-aid or Wilderness First Aid certification.
Essential Duties/Responsibilities:
Physical Demands:

Work Environment:

To Apply:
Please submit an application packet that consists of a completed application form here, resume, list of three references, and a cover letter. Cover letters should detail:
  • Why you are interested in ATC Trail Crew staff position(s)
  • How you found out about this position
  • Previous experience that qualifies you for the position
  • Your desired Trail Crew and position

Application Packets and Questions can be e-mailed to:

Josh Kloehn, ATC VARO Resource Manager,

Deadline to apply is January 18, 2020

ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

ATC encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness with all employees and volunteers to enable participation and contributions to their fullest potential. We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization, and recognize that diversity contributes to an effective and successful organizational culture and mission. The ATC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and/or expression), national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, political affiliation, union membership, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the locations where we operate.

Position Type : Careers - Seasonal