STEP 1: Consider the following before making your request
- American Hiking strongly encourages one-week or shorter projects since many participants cannot commit to longer periods of time.
- Most trips have volunteers arriving on Sunday, working M-F, and departing on Saturday.
- We encourage you to factor in a half to full-day of free time for volunteers to explore the area.
- You can schedule your project for any time during the year. Historically, the bulk of trips are in the spring, summer, and fall.
- Consider weeks when the weather would be ideal to host a volunteer crew and when accommodations would be available.
- If your location is known for seasonal attractions (i.e. Fall foliage or Spring blossoms), consider hosting in that time-frame to attract more volunteers.
- Most crews have 6-15 crew members. (to provide more volunteers the opportunity to ‘give back’ we generally will not accept crew requests with a maximum that is less than 6)
- Some volunteers will gravitate towards camping style trips and many will only consider trips with indoor accommodations.
- Providing access to a shower before the crew’s departure is strongly encouraged if showers are not available during the week.
- Providing an airport pickup is strongly encouraged. Many volunteers will only look at trips that provide an airport pickup.
- Any government agency or non-profit organization can request a crew. (Non-profit organizations must be American Hiking Alliance Members to host a trip)
The mission of the Volunteer Vacations program is to provide land managers with much needed assistance, maintaining and building hiking trails, while also providing our volunteers with a safe, organized and enjoyable vacation experience. Because we strive to fulfill both parts of this mission, we might not be able to accept all the project requests that we receive. Factors that we consider when looking at whether or not a crew request is a good fit for our program and volunteers are as follows:
- Does the project fit into American Hiking’s mission to promote, protect and give back to America’s foot trails and the hiking experience?
- Will there be sufficient national interest to meet the project minimum?
- Can the host provide the necessary supplies (lodging, tools, project plan, supervision) and fulfill the host responsibilities? (see Volunteer Vacations Host Guide 2018)
- Does the project fit into the program’s goal to offer a variety of project locations and diversified trail maintenance options for our volunteers?
STEP 2: Review the application questions and prepare answers in advance
The Crew Request Application is online. You will need to complete the form in one session and cannot save your work mid-way through. We suggest viewing the Volunteer Vacations Crew Request Questions in advance and preparing answers prior to filling out the online form.
STEP 3: Request a 2018 Volunteer Crew
Deadline to submit your request: October 20, 2017
STEP 4: Approval and Acceptance Process
Thank you for your interest in hosting a Volunteer Vacations crew in 2018! We will review your project request and let you know if we have any questions. All submissions will be contacted in November, 2017. If your project request has been accepted you will be asked to confirm final trip details and sign the 2018 Host Agreement.
If you have questions about the crew request process, please contact Libby Wile at LWile@AmericanHiking.org or call 800-972-8608 ext. 704.