Trail Crew Work Opportunities for Teens in the Berkshires

Teen Trail Crew Work Opportunities this Summer

Many teenagers do their summertime growing-up while working for minimum wage.  Structured activities (such as part-time jobs) with specific and clear expectations provide teens with more than just something to occupy their time – they learn responsibility, methods of effective communication, punctuality, reliability, and other useful real-world skills.  Important though such attributes are, most of the jobs available to teens involve spending time indoors (often hours on end) and, with the current economic climate, jobs for even the most inexperienced workers are hard to find.

While a first paycheck can be an important rite of passage, the Appalachian Mountain Club offers teens an incredibly worthwhile alternative to working retail or foodservice.  Teens looking to acquire life skills while accomplishing something both tangible and meaningful can participate in the AMC’s Teen Trail Crew weeks in south Berkshire County this summer. Participation in the program means working hard from Monday-Friday to help maintain and improve AMC trails, as well as working as a group to pitch tents, make food, feed a campfire, and completing all of the other tasks that come with wilderness camping.  Typical projects include moving rocks, cutting trees, and using tools to build trail features (including bridges and walk boards).

Along with helping to build character and maturity, participation in a trail crew can help teens to develop a stronger sense of place and a greater understanding of their surroundings.  Spending a week in nature can provide a powerful experience, allowing teens to truly connect with the ecosystem in which they live.

Advance registration for the crews is required, and there is a fee.  Since crews run for one week at a time, teens could perhaps even manage to squeeze a week of trail work into a part-time work schedule.  Crews will take place weekly from June 23rd- August 23rd, and are open to teens ages 15-18. More info at  Appalachian Mountain Club.

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