American Hiking Society Thanks its 2023 Volunteer Vacation Crew Leaders

American Hiking Society extends its heartfelt gratitude to the exceptional crew leaders who have demonstrated unwavering commitment and skill in guiding our 2023 Volunteer Vacation teams.

The Role of a Crew Leader

In the world of trail maintenance and conservation, every project’s success is invariably tied to the leadership and expertise of the crew members.

Crew Leaders serve as crucial links between AHS, the project host, and the volunteer crew.  They play a vital part in the program’s endeavors to enhance trails, inspire the next generation of trail stewards, and ensure a fulfilling and memorable experience for all volunteers involved. 

Beyond the logistical aspects of managing 6-15 volunteers, the role of a Crew Leader involves nurturing a sense of community and camaraderie throughout the trip. By inspiring and motivating team members, they create an atmosphere that encourages personal growth and fosters a deep appreciation for the natural wonders that surround the trails. 

Brent Gienger – Chugach National Forest

Hear From Volunteer Vacationers

During the 2023 Volunteer Vacation program, the profound impact of our Crew Leaders was felt by participants, who shared heartfelt sentiments about their experiences. According to volunteers from the Camp Nelson National Monument trip, “Our trip leader, Ken, did a phenomenal job. His leadership skills are outstanding.” Another volunteer noted that the “group dynamics were extremely positive and were supported by our leader, Ken.”

Similarly, Chugach National Forest volunteers praised their trip leader by saying that “[Shirley’s] unwavering patience was commendable, and their peaceful/calm nature put the rest of the crew and myself at ease.” Participants of the Eldorado National Forest trip echoed a similar sentiment about the leadership of their crew leader, Jacob.

One participant shared, “Fantastic experience – will do it again. I felt the trip was well planned, safe, and had a real purpose.” Another participant expressed appreciation for the thoughtful touch, saying, “I enjoy all the pictures our volunteer leader took to give us great memories.” 

Several volunteers from the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge trip also complimented their crew leader, saying that “Gayle was a great leader, fun person and wonderful cook. She had everything planned for our meals”.

Our last crew leader call out comes from our Grayson Highlands State Park trip. Participants spoke incredibly highly of their leader, declaring that “our leader, Lisa, was beyond excellent, and the work and crew were great.” Lisa “communicated exceptionally well” with volunteers and park staff, and her leadership left a lasting impact on all who participated.

Final Thanks

As the 2023 Volunteer Vacation season draws to a close, the American Hiking Society extends its heartfelt appreciation to its Crew Leaders for their outstanding contributions and invaluable service. Their unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and their passion for fostering a deeper connection between people and nature are truly commendable, serving as a beacon of hope for the sustainable future of our nation’s pristine trails.

Thanks to the commitment and assistance of these exceptional individuals, the American Hiking Society continues to stand firm in its mission to protect the nation’s diverse trails and ensure that everyone feels welcome in the hiking community.

Get Involved!

The American Hiking Society welcomes passionate individuals to consider applying for the role of a 2024 Crew Leader. If you are ready to make a significant impact on trail preservation and inspire a community of nature enthusiasts, this is the perfect opportunity to leverage your leadership skills and contribute to a meaningful cause. Apply here to embark on a fulfilling and transformative experience as a 2024 Volunteer Vacation Crew Leader.