Summer 2023 Western Trail Corps Project Leader

Conservation Begins Here. 

The Student Conservation Association (SCA), America’s #1 conservation service organization seeks qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire students for the programs.   


Training Dates:  Track I: 4/17/2023 -5/14/2023 (paid mandatory training) 

   Track II: 5/15/2023 – 8/19/2023 (Paid mandatory training) 


Program Dates: Track I 5/15/2023 – 8/19/2023  

   Track II: 6/12/2023 – 8/19/2023  


Location (City and State): Multiple Locations: Please note: placements will be determined by matching leader candidate skills with project needs. Projects placements may include partners like... 

  • The Modoc National Forest (northern California) 

  • Joes Valley and Fish Lake (Utah) 

  • Snow Mountain Wilderness (northern California) 

  • The Pacific Crest Trail (California and Southern Oregon) 

  • Sequoia National Forest (eastern California) 

  • Methow Valley (Washington State) 

  • And many more… 



Primary Responsibilities: 

[Position Summary: 

Project leaders are responsible for daily management and supervision of a Conservation Trail Corps project in either backcountry or a front-country site with members 18 & older. Project Leaders coordinate with agency partners to plan and implement projects, and with SCA staff to manage crew safety, performance, and logistics in the field. Leaders are required to perform administrative tasks to track project outcomes, approve members’ timesheets, and manage a field budget. 


Program Description: 

SCAs Western Trail Corps is a team-based program designed to introduce crewmembers to the rigors of conservation fieldwork and practice the interpersonal and leadership skills required in a team environment. Teams engage in project work focused on trial building and maintenance. Teams work with a variety of land managers including the National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish, and Wildlife Service, State Parks, etc. 

The crews will begin their program with a two-week field-based training program before traveling to their respective project sites. Guided by an experienced Project Leader, Corps Members learn and practice all the requisite hard and soft skills that are essential for a successful conservation project. 

Trail Corps Teams will travel to their project sites after training and could potentially work on a variety of projects. Trail projects could include clearing the trail corridor, installing grade dips and drainage structures, rehabbing, and reestablishing the tread of a trail, building structures (. e. retaining walls, check steps, fences, or barriers), rerouting the trail to more sustainable locations, or logging out trees that have fallen on the trail. Oftentimes, our teams are the first people to work on these trails in years, and crews should be prepared for a variety of work projects to build and maintain sustainable trails. 

Crews are based out of remote tent camps near project sites. Work hitches will be typically 8 to 10 days in length but could vary depending on location and project needs. 

Field-life is rugged, and while on the hitch, members should expect to live without electricity, running water, and cell phone reception; additionally, while on the hitch, this program is alcohol and substance-free. 

For more information about SCA Trail Corps, check out these reports from some of our past field crews. 


Specifically, the Crew Leader will: 

  • Act as a Crew Supervisor,by facilitating teamwork, managing field-based tasks, and guiding crew dynamics 

  • Serve as an Advisor, by training members in technical conservation work skills, mentoring personal and professional development, and teaching environmental stewardship  

  • Act as a Project Manager, by communicating with agency park partners, ensuring successful and timely completion of work projects, and upholding a positive representation of SCA 

  • Perform tasks as a Program Administrator,by organizing logistics, completing documentation, managing a budget, and communicating with SCA staff 


Leader Qualifications: 

  • Experience working with youth or young adults ages 18-25, teaching or environmental education a plus 

  • Experience with conservation work skills or related skills preferred – i.e., trail maintenance, trail construction, habitat restoration, chainsaw, carpentry, landscaping, and gardening 

  • Ability to perform manual, physical labor for up to 8 hours per day, exposed to the elements, and must occasionally lift and/or move 40 pounds or more 

  • Ability to obtain a Wilderness First Responder Certification by the start of the Program. 

  • Must be able to attend Crew Leader training: [4/15/2023 – 5/14/2023] 

  • Must be a minimum of 21 years of age 

  • Must have the ability to legally work in the US 

  • Must have a valid driver’s license for 3+ years and MVR that meets SCA standards 

  • Must be able to meet SCA’s criminal background check standards 


Leader Benefits and Compensation: 

  • $700 – $800 weekly stiped

  • $1,000 travel stipend (half paid out on first paycheck, half paid on last paycheck) 

  • Wilderness First Responder Certification ($750 value)  

  • Field-based meals, camping equipment, uniform, and laptop & Wi-Fi (for administrative work) are provided. 



Submit Application HERE


The Student Conservation Association, Inc. is an Equal-Opportunity Employer. 


Student Conservation Association