filed under: maintenance best practices
A Comprehensive Guide for NCTA Crew Leaders
The Crew Leader Handbook is designed to provide information for Crew Leaders organizing and overseeing projects on the North Country National Scenic Trail. This Handbook is intended as a compliment to the in-person North Country Trail Association Crew Leader training program, which is available to all volunteers looking to expand their skills sets and gain new leadership skills.
Crew Leaders are a vital part of the North Country Trail team. This manual is intended as a framework for all of the tasks and procedures that one might encounter in this role. The roles of an individual Crew Leader will vary across the trail and from project to project but a Crew Leader’s
primary role is to lead, support and manage a team of volunteers, not to know all of the answers all of the time. As always, Chapter Leaders, Regional Trail Coordinators, NCTA staff and Agency Partners will provide support and guidance as necessary.
The Crew Leader is responsible for organizing and leading crews in the field. In addition to knowledge about NCNST trail construction standards, the Crew Leader should be able to safely lead and motivate volunteers and have a good understanding of successful project planning and implementation. Crew Leaders must have a strong commitment to building sustainable trails and get satisfaction out of helping others have a good time while doing good work. Leading trail work volunteers entails teaching and supervising the technical tasks of a particular project while managing a team of people who typically bring a wide range of skills, experience and physical stamina to the crew.
Published January 2019
This manual has been written to aid crew leaders working with trail work volunteers. It assumes the following priorities, in order of importance, for every volunteer trail work event: 1) Safety, 2) Enjoyment, 3) Quality product, 4) Productivity.
As a crew leader you represent the CTF. One of your main jobs is to convey the CTF’s thanks to the volunteers for their commitment to making and preserving The Colorado Trail as a national treasure.
Outdoor leadership skills can be developed and improved over time through a combination of self-study, formal training and experience. Leadership trainings are offered frequently by volunteers and staff of the AMC. The trainings range from a single day to a weekend. If you are looking for additional training, the AMC offers several courses each season through the Guided Outdoors program.
Trails research can help support trail management decision-making and funding by providing objective, quantitative information describing trail users, their numbers and demographics, preferences, and economic expenditures.