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Backcountry Trails Camp Supervisor

Between April and the end of September each year, the Backcountry Trails Program sends 80 AmeriCorps members to repair some of California's most rugged and remote trails deep in the wilderness. The BCTP's 44-year long relationship with public land agencies has given members the opportunity to serve in locations like Yosemite National Park, the Trinity Alps Wilderness, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, and the Inyo National Forest (to name a few). Your role as a Backcountry Trails Camp Supervisor is vital to the continued success of the BCTP - especially to the members that join the program.


The Backcountry Trails Camp Supervisor (BCTCS) is, above all else, a leader of young people (ages 18-26), whose duties go far beyond the mere supervision of corps members. The BCTCS is responsible for the personal and professional development of each corps member as they experience everything that comes with living and working with a diverse group of people in remote, isolated backcountry locations for six continuous months while performing rigorous work. The BCTCS must mentor, counsel, train, and direct corps members through an incredibly difficult work/wilderness/cohort experience while ensuring their physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing is being looked after. Under the direct supervision of the Backcountry Trails Program Manager with additional oversight from the Program Coordinator, the incumbent works independently performing a multitude of duties in the following areas:

  • Managing, directing, and supervising a backcountry trail crew.
  • Facilitating individual development of corps members and the development of a crew community.
  • Training corps members in trail repair, maintenance, construction, wilderness living, wilderness navigation, spike camp set-up and operations.
  • Development and implementation of season-long curriculum plan.
  • Develop professional relationships with public land management agency staff to effectively accomplish the work with your crew.
  • Adhere to all safety measures in place and reinforce standards to crew.
  • Managing trail projects and supervising a crew performing high-quality trail work in accordance with state and federal agency standards.
  • Performing a variety of administrative duties and functions as operational, departmental, program, and public land management agency needs dictate.



Working Conditions

Incumbent will live and work in remote, isolated backcountry settings for five continuous months far from immediate medical services. Personal communication with people outside of the program (friends, family, spouses/partners, etc.) is extremely limited and infrequent. Mail is the primary means of personal communication with those on the outside and it is received and delivered on an irregular basis. Personal phone use will not be available once you’re in backcountry locations. Incumbent will be exposed to the following adverse environmental conditions: rain, snow, extreme heat (90+ degrees Fahrenheit), extreme cold (below freezing), dry weather, lightning, high amounts of dust, camp and forest fire smoke, elevations ranging from 2000-14,000ft. Work is extremely physically demanding and requires daily hiking that ranges from 3-20 miles in one day over rugged, steep, uneven terrain while carrying 40-60lbs in your backpack at a minimum pace of 3mph.


Incumbent will live and work around stock animals (horses and mules) and can be exposed to environmental hazards such as wildfires and smoke, avalanches, falling trees, etc. and wildlife hazards such as deer, poisonous insects and snakes, bears, mountain lions, etc. Incumbent will live in backcountry camps with 13-20 other people and do without modern conveniences or luxuries (e.g., warm showers, beds, laundry machines, indoor bathrooms, and plumbing, etc.). Personal electronics such as music/video players, cell phones, etc. are not permitted for crewmembers while in the program. Incumbent will sleep in a personal tent on the ground and be near their crewmembers and sponsors. Incumbent will sometimes be required to sleep in a community tent with the entire crew.


Daily bathing and adhering to other personal hygiene standards are necessary. All food will be provided, but incumbent may be required to cook for their crew for long periods of time and will be required to cook for themselves on the weekend.


Incumbent will live and work under very regimented and structured conditions and is required to follow federal and state regulations/policies pertaining wilderness living and travel. Incumbent will have very little personal free time and alone time throughout the season.


Incumbent will be required to work long and irregular hours and be on call to respond to emergencies involving crewmembers and/or others 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Daily and weekly work schedules can vary between any days of the week, and incumbent will be required to perform duties/chores outside of their normal work hours. Incumbent will be required to carry out the duties of the position with little to no supervision and with minimal contact with the department chain of command.



Desirable Qualifications

In addition to evaluating each candidate's relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:


The BCTP is looking for experienced leaders who are passionate about youth development and mentoring young adults, and love living and working in the outdoors, especially in wilderness locations. We want candidates who are emotionally intelligent with strong social skills, excellent interpersonal communication, and who are adept at building strong relationships. They should be collaborative and a good team builder, and able to independently build a strong working crew. Desirable candidates should be strong critical thinkers, good problem solvers, possess good judgement, and be effective at resolving conflict. It is a must that candidates have integrity and are mentally and emotionally resilient, able to handle extremely stressful situations. Lastly, we need candidates who are well versed in handling multiple priorities and tasks simultaneously. The Backcountry Trails Camp Supervisor position is one of the most unique, challenging, and rewarding leadership positions out there in the youth and conservation corps world.


In addition to the above-mentioned qualities, we are seeking candidates who have experience in some or all of the following areas:

  • Wilderness trail construction, repair, maintenance, and project planning
  • Wilderness 1st Aid, Wilderness 1st Responder, or Wilderness EMT certification
  • Swift Water Rescue or other water safety certifications
  • Backcountry crew camp set up
  • Minimal impact or Leave No Trace wilderness practices
  • Backpacking and wilderness navigation (including cross-country hiking)
  • Map and compass use, orienteering, mountaineering
  • Planning, implementing, and facilitating meetings, trainings, and educational classes
  • Working with public land management agencies (e.g. USFS, NPS)
  • Microsoft Office and other computer applications


The Application Process

  1. Before submitting an application, please call Chelsea Saeland, our Program Manager, at 707-601-5617. This is a very important step, especially if you are new to California's State application system (
  2. Ready to apply? Fill out the California State Application here:
  3. Let us know when you applied so we can look out for your name.
  4. Competitive candidates will be sent a supplemental application and a request to interview.


Selected candidates will first report to Eureka, CA for training and orientation. Afterward, each candidate is assigned to supervise a crew in one of the following locations: Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park; Yosemite National Park; Klamath National Forest; Inyo National Forest; Tahoe National Forest; Shasta-Trinity National Forest; and Big Basin State Park.