The Work and Experience

Female Corpsmember wearing PPE uses rock bar to lift giant rock during trail work in backcountry

Repairing trails requires patience, dedication, and hard work. Do you have what it takes to literally move mountains?

Backcountry Trails Program in partnership with Americorps

Corpsmembers in the Backcountry Trails Program (BCTP) spend more than five months in remote wilderness locations throughout California performing physically demanding work in a variety of intense conditions while living in an inclusive and diverse community.

In addition to trail work, Corpsmembers participate in daily camp chores and physical training, evening curriculum, wilderness stewardship and exploration, environmental awareness, and cooperative living.

It is not a prerequisite that Corpsmembers know how to do trail work or that they are exceptionally strong. However, it is essential that Corpsmembers are willing to work very hard to produce quality work with minimal direct supervision while following important safety guidelines.

Essential Functions include:

  • Performing trail work
  • Engaging in crew community development and personal development
  • Managing and maintaining a backcountry camp

Secondary Functions include:

  • Engaging in wilderness exploration
  • Developing and participating in extracurricular activities outside of program curriculum
  • Engaging with visitors and land management officials to develop good public relations and promote the Backcountry Trails Program.

BCTP Work and Experience (PDF)
BCTP Typical Daily Schedule (PDF)

Education and Training

Each Corpsmember must participate in training sessions and evening classes to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award. Curriculum topics may include:

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification
  • Swift Water Safety
  • Mental Health
  • Local and natural history classes
  • Wilderness safety and navigation
  • Career development training
  • Community development meetings
  • Health and safety meetings

Corpsmembers are encouraged to leave camp in groups of four or more on weekends to explore the rivers, lakes, peaks, forests, and canyons that surround them.

Pay and Benefits

Corpsmembers receive a stipend of $2,814 per month from which $500 per month must be paid for the cost of food and supplies. Paychecks are mailed to the backcountry — direct deposit is not available. Health insurance, food, and housing (camping) are provided for all Corpsmembers during the season.

BCTP Corpsmembers who have not already received an equivalent of two fulltime AmeriCorps Education Awards are eligible for a half-time Education Award of approximately $3,447 upon successful completion of the Backcountry Trails Program.

All stipend, maintenance, and education award amounts are subject to change.