Free Food, Free Lodging for Doing Trailwork in the Maine Woods

Have you been thinking you’d like to do some volunteer trailwork to “repay” or give back for the hours you’ve spent hiking trails? Want to have fun doing it? Like to stay overnight as part of it and eat chef-prepared meals in a log cabin lodge? Like to sleep where you can smell the pine-scented fresh air? The Maine Chapter has just the deal for you!

You are invited to apply for a scholarship that will cover all costs for food and overnight lodging during one of three trailwork opportunities in AMC’s MWI. The Peter Roderick Trail Work Award (PRTWA) will cover the cost of a multi-day volunteer trail work outing in AMC’s MWI area in Maine. With preference to first- or second-time trailwork volunteers and to Young Member volunteers, up to four scholarships may be awarded for use during any of three volunteer trips during 2017.

These trips have been going on for many years, are very popular, and have a limited number of participants. The May and July trips take only 12 participants each while the October trip takes 24. Normally every participant pays a (discounted) rate to stay in the bunkhouse for three nights and eat three days of lodge-prepared meals. Despite having to “pay to volunteer,” the trips tend to get filled up and get waitlisted, primarily because prior participants all want to return year after year.

Thus one purpose of the new PRTWA scholarship is to open these trips to new and younger folks who may now use the scholarship to attend for free. Each trip is led by one or more seasoned volunteer leaders and new volunteers get as much instruction, oversight, and independence as their experience allows.

Scholarship Details

Trip details

The three volunteer trips during 2017 are May 26-29, July 10-13, and October 6-9. Each trip begins with 6pm dinner and an overnight at one of the three AMC lodges outside of Greenville, Maine, and ends after lunch on the final day. Participants are responsible to bring appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear, sleeping bag, and other personal items, according to a list provided. All charges for bunkhouse accommodations and all meals during that time are covered by the scholarship. Participants will need to cover their transportation costs to the lodge; final details and carpooling information will be sent in advance.

Who may apply

Just like all Maine Chapter trailwork volunteer opportunities, the PRTWA is open to anyone who has the desire to work outdoors in the Maine woods—on projects such as building or improving foot trails and bog bridging, stacking firewood, gardening, and marking boundaries—under the supervision of a volunteer leader. Preference will be given to first- or second-time trailwork volunteers and to “young member” volunteers, generally considered to be in their 30’s or younger.

How to apply

Complete the PRTWA Scholarship Application. Requested information is designed to gain a picture of the applicant such as prior experience with volunteering, with trailwork, and with AMC. Applicants should identify their first, second, and third preference for trip dates. Complete the form online.

Deadline for applications

The first deadline for receipt of completed applications is April 20, with a second deadline set for May 20. Applicants should submit a completed application as soon as possible since, depending on the volume and quality of the applications, all available scholarships could be awarded after the April deadline. Thus, even applicants who desire to be part of the July or October trips are advised to use the April 20th deadline. Any remaining scholarships for the July and October trips will be awarded following the May 20 deadline.


Contact Paul Hahn at for answers to specific questions.

Not for You?

The Maine Chapter offers other trailwork opportunities with a shorter time commitment, in Maine, and at no cost. For further information on volunteering for these other trailwork opportunities, email