A.T. Ridgerunners and Caretakers provide information about the A.T. and its intended primitive experience, its location, regulations, and traditions. They work to encourage the best behavior on the part of hikers, to facilitate a positive Trail experience (particularly for those who are poorly prepared), and to elicit the support of those who live nearby, but who may not understand or use the Trail properly. They discourage and mitigate misuse of the Appalachian Trail and its environs by performing educational and public-relations functions. Ridgerunners are assigned to hike specific sections of the A.T., while Caretakers remain at specific overnight sites. Some positions combine elements of both. They must be able to work both independently with minimal supervision and cooperatively as a member of a team. Applicants should demonstrate the interest and ability to contribute to the public-service effort of working on a national scenic trail and to promote volunteerism and membership in ATC and its club affiliates. They should possess the required skills listed below and be able to attend required training. Applicants must demonstrate maturity, responsibility, initiative, and self-motivation.
• Commitment to Trail- and resource-protection efforts
• Proven ability to work alone with minimal supervision
• Excellent communication and education skills
• Ability to interact with the public under stressful conditions
• Extensive backpacking experience
• Knowledge of Leave No Trace principles
Some positions provide Leave No Trace training
• Previous A.T. volunteer experience
• Knowledge of the Appalachian Trail and ATC
• Current first-aid and CPR certification (Wilderness First-Aid certification is preferable)
Some positions provide WFA training
About Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the 2,193 mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a 250,000 acre scenic greenway extending from Maine to Georgia.