The Work and Experience
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.
Education and Training
Each Corpsmember must participate in training sessions and evening classes to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award. Curriculum topics include:
- Native fauna and flora identification
- Natural history classes
- Wilderness survival training
- 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 approximately $2,265 per month from which $400 per month must be paid for the cost of food and supplies. Paychecks are mailed to the backcountry — direct deposit is not available. Both the stipend and maintenance deduction are subject to change. Health insurance is provided for all Corpsmembers during the season.
BCTP Corpsmembers who have not already received an equivalent of two full-time AmeriCorps Education Awards are eligible for an AmeriCorps scholarship of approximately $3,097 upon successfully completing the Backcountry Trails Program.