Alternative Break Scholarship

The American Hiking Society Alternative Break Scholarship offers your school group the unique opportunity to participate in a 2021 Alternative Break. If selected, your group would participate in a profound week-long service trip that not only provides critical conservation work to a park in need, but provides your group with leadership training, team building opportunities, and outdoor skills instruction from leaders in the field.

DATES: The Alternative Break will take place in Spring 2021, during your school’s Spring Break. (Note: Some locations can host volunteers in early May as well)

LOCATION: We offer Alternative Breaks in multiple different parks and forests. We will work with your group to select the location that is best suited for your group’s geography and schedule.

SERVICE: This trip is specifically designed for those new to the outdoors and trail maintenance. Experienced project hosts will provide safety demonstrations, instructions on tool use, and guidance and supervision throughout the week.  After learning the basics of park conservation from staff, your group will help maintain trails and make infrastructure improvements throughout the park.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Indoor accommodations (bunkhouse, cabin, lodge, or dormitory) will be offered with access to indoor bathrooms and a full-service kitchen for meal prep. You just need to bring your personal items.  We will provide a recommended packing list.

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:  No prior trail service, hiking, or outdoor experience is required, though participants should be prepared to walk up to 3 miles per day to complete the work.  Participants need only bring their personal items, and we will provide a recommended packing list.


Scholarship Includes:

  • 1-week indoor lodging
  • $660 Group food stipend
  • $500 Group travel stipend
  • Training and project supervision from experienced park staff
  • Logistical support and meal planning guidance
  • 1-Year Membership with American Hiking Society
  • Long-sleeved shirt, hiking boots, and other awesome SWAG for each participant

Scholarship Recipient Requirements:

  • Group Size of 10-14 (each participant must be 18+ years of age)
  • Group must arrange travel to trip location ($500 travel stipend provided by AHS)
  • Group is responsible for purchasing food ($660 food stipend provided by AHS)
  • Group must be willing to provide photos and/or video from the week

Scholarship Timeline:

  • 7/10/20 – 11/20/20: Scholarship Application Period
  • 12/1/20: Scholarship recipient group is selected and notified
  • December 2020: Alternative Break details are finalized
  • January 2021: Participant registration forms are due
  • March 2021: Alternative Break