• Conservation Education • Visitor Information • Back Country/Wilderness
Photo Courtesy of FS
The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) is a recreation destination for hikers around the world. With over 1200 miles of trails, the WMNF sees 5 to 6 million visitors a year, and numbers are on the rise! This rise in visitation has also brought an uptick in the number of search and rescue incidents as more and more unprepared hikers hit the trail. This program seeks to combat this issue through its mission.
The Trailhead Steward Program encourages outdoor safety and conservation in the WMNF by engaging with hikers/backpackers/climbers at trailheads to promote responsible enjoyment and protection of public land.
Role: Lead stewards work together with program manager to coordinate the oversight, administration, logistics and operations of a 100 person strong volunteer program. Once trained, leads are expected to run the program independently.
Attending weekly meetings with program manager
Staffing busy trailheads every weekend throughout the season giving information to the public. A typical shift will require being on your feet for 4-8 hours per day
Scheduling 5 trailheads ensuring coverage at busiest trailheads
Tracking volunteer hours and equipment - uniforms, nametages, badges, binders and items necessary to staff trailheads
Ensuring data from trailhead shifts is entered into forms as well as keeping a critical eye on the data to maintain accuracy
Corresponding with volunteers
Ensuring new volunteers have adequate mentorship and are placed appropriately according to their skill level
Serving as liaison with the volunteer backcountry patrol program
Basic knowledge of Internet, computer programs and ability to navigate Google drive for data entry and volunteer tracking
Excellent communication skills for corresponding with volunteers both by email, text and phone
Ability to professionally represent the Forest Service by greeting the public, wearing an official volunteer uniform and using persuasive communication to help modify or change plans of unprepared hikers
Background in outdoor pursuits, preferably hiking and knowledge of hiking trails
Length of opportunity: May through October
Time commitment: 24 hours a week - Friday through Sunday. In exchange, volunteers receive a campsite at the Russell Pond Campground, volunteer loop. Campsite includes water, sewer and 50 amp electric (3 sites available, couples welcome)
Location: District Office is located in Campton, New Hampshire. Travel is required to trailheads throughout the WMNF. A government vehicle is available on weekends after volunteer completes defensive driver training
First-hand knowledge that your advice to hikers is making a difference and keeping people safe. In 2017, volunteers in this program contacted over 37,000 hikers, with 3,300 (9%) of those changing their plans based on our advice.
Being involved in a tight-knit volunteer community -- volunteers often hike together, gather after trailhead shifts, and coordinate potluck events
WMNF Recreation Pass, after 16 hours of volunteer service
An annual National Volunteer Pass, after 250 hours of volunteer service, for entrance into Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation sites
April 7th, 2018 will be the annual required training for the Trailhead Steward Program. Training will take place from 0800-1200 at the White Mountain National Forest Headquarters. An additional training will be provided in the afternoon for those interested in the Backcountry Steward Opportunity. Sign up here for either training http://bit.ly/signupwmnf
HOUSING & AMENITIES Type: Trailer/RV Pads Description: In exchange for specified time commitment, volunteer receives campsite at the Russell Pond Campground, volunteer loop. Campsite includes water, sewer and 50 amp electric (3 sites available, couples welcome)