Merrowvista Jobs

Four Trails Leader

Four Trails Leaders will be responsible for the day-to-day management of a group of high school aged campers as they participate in multi-day backpacking, canoe and adventure trips. These trips take place in primitive, backcountry environments throughout New Hampshire and Maine and are led exclusively by Leaders with support from Coordinators who remain on-site at Merrowvista. Trip length ranges from 5 to 16 days and the relative difficulty of each trip varies, but all require personal, physical fitness and strong mental fortitude. Extensive training in wilderness safety, adventure skills and backcountry protocols will be provided.

When not on trail, leaders will participate in all camp programming and activities alongside their cabin group and co-staff. Four Trails Leaders will live in a cabin or tent with their campers and will co-lead the group in pairs or trios, ensuring the safety and well being of every camper. Four Trails Leaders will lead campers through daily routines, facilitate a positive communal living experience.

Job Location: Position is located at Merrowvista in Center Tuftonboro, New Hampshire. The Merrowvista site necessitates the ability to move through rugged terrain. Employees are required to live onsite for the duration of their employment including staff training and the two camp sessions.

Job Type: Seasonal. Employment begins June 6 and ends on August 11. Wilderness First Responder and CPR will be offered at Merrowvista from May 30 to June 5 for employees needing certification.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Live in a cabin or tent with 4-12 campers at a time and maintain a positive communal experience.
  • Guide campers through their daily routines: wake up and bedtime, hygiene, personal organization.
  • Facilitate and teach wilderness skills such as outdoor cooking, primitive camping, Leave No Trace guidelines, flat water and moving water canoeing, gear maintenance etc.
  • Participate in all camp programming: early morning and evening activities, meals, daily reflections.
  • Lead campers on 5-16 day backpacking and canoe trips through rugged terrain to primitive campsites.
  • Manage individual and group behavior: resolve conflict, enforce community standards of respect for all.
  • Ensure the safety of campers at all times, follow and implement all safety standards and assist campers in need throughout the day and night.
  • Build relationships with campers to foster friendly, nurturing and age-appropriate group dynamics.
  • Maintain proper social boundaries with campers, ensuring all conduct and conversations are above reproach.
  • Communicate daily with supervisor, attend staff meetings and follow guidance and instruction from coordinators and directors, especially pertaining to trip routes, logistics and trail safety.
  • This is not meant to be a complete list of all responsibilities. Other duties may be assigned.

Skills and Qualifications:

    • Wilderness First Responder and CPR (will be provided on site from May 30 to June 5 by Merrowvista).
    • Minimum Age: 21 years old by June 30, 2024.
    • Experience in outdoor adventure education or wilderness trip leading.
    • Possess outdoor skills: camping, hiking, canoeing, backpacking.
    • 1-3 years working or volunteering with youth in recreational or educational settings.
    • Leadership experience: including student, sports, club, team and community leadership.
    • Support the organization’s mission and vision with integrity, dependability, and accountability.
    • Interact effectively with individuals and groups respecting social and cultural diversity. Establish and maintain appropriate professional relationships and interpersonal skills that contribute to a positive community.
    • Demonstrate passion for serving youth, encouraging campers to explore through play and creating a space where youth feel included and a sense of belonging.
    • Fully participate in and be present at all camp community activities, including staff training activities.
    • Maintain effective mental, emotional, and social interactions in our youth-centered residential summer camp program.
    • Ability to handle stressful situations appropriately, maintaining mental, emotional, and social resiliency needed for the job in a fast-paced, interactive environment.
    • Use effective and appropriate self-care practices for maintaining overall wellness.
    • Follow all guidelines and policies as described in the AYF (American Youth Foundation) staff manual.


    • Professional or academic experience in the field of outdoor or experiential education.
    • A personality and character that exudes leadership, flexibility, trustworthiness, creativity, energy, inspiration and positivity

Work Environment:

  • Live onsite and on trail in communal housing for the duration of employment including weekends and evenings and be available 24 hours/day in case of emergencies.
  • All meals are provided. Dietary accommodations will be made when needed.


  • Weekly pay: $600
  • Employees will receive one day off for every six days worked.
  • Wilderness First Responder, CPR and Lifeguard training and certifications are required and provided.”

Questions? Please contact the Merrowvista team at [email protected].

What should I know before applying?

Four Trails Adventure Trip Leaders are responsible, experienced, and camper-focused youth development professionals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We are seeking individuals…

• Who have experience with group management, facilitation and/or outdoor education

• Who are committed to creating open and inclusive communities

• Who have experience hiking, canoeing, and/or kayaking

• Who will be at least 21 years old

What can I expect if I am hired?

• Our base salary for first-year leaders is $4,800, with additional bonuses available based on relevant experience and certification.

• All food, housing, and trial gear is provided while you work at Merrowvista, and you'll have access to a number of pro-discounts on outdoor equipment and apparel.

• You will receive free tuition for Wilderness First Responder, CPR, and Lifeguard courses offered at Merrowvista.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of kids can I expect to work with?

Four Trails campers are from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and geographies, and they range in age from 13 to 18 years old. Many of our campers return each year, though Four Trails Leaders can also expect to work with campers who are experiencing the program for the first time.

What is the format of the summer?

The summer is split into a three-week Session A and then a three-week Session B.  Campers stay for the duration of one session, and are assigned into villages of 8 to 12 campers and two leaders. Four Trails Leaders work with two villages (one during Session A, one during Session B) during the summer.

Do I apply to lead a specific trip?

No, we do not hire leaders for specific trips. We hire our leaders as youth development professionals. Trip assignments involve many factors, and so we need people who can lead any trip experience. There is no hierarchy of trips, and each experience is equally important in the progression of the Four Trails Program with its own unique rewards and challenges.

We do our absolute best to place leaders on trips where they will be most successful and best able to serve our campers. These trip assignments are created prior to the pre-trip planning process.

What equipment can Merrowvista provide for trip leaders?

Merrowvista provides as much gear and equipment as possible for campers and staff of the Four Trails program. In general, we ask leaders to provide personal gear including personal clothing, a backpack, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.

Merrowvista will provide all essential group gear (including backpacks, tents, camp stoves, etc). We encourage all trip leaders to consider cost-effective options for acquiring gear including borrowing from friends and family or purchasing secondhand items that are in good condition. A detailed packing list will be provided prior to the summer. If acquiring any equipment is a hurdle, we will help find a solution.

What does a typical day look like as a Four Trails Trip Leader?

Though most days will look different based on where you are and who you’re interacting with, trip leaders generally find that there is a rhythm to being on trail: waking up early, packing up camp, and then traveling to your next campsite by boat or the power of your own legs! Along the way, you’ll stop to see some of the most beautiful vistas, lakes, rivers, and forests in the Northeast. You will always plan to be in camp in the early evening where you will work with your campers to set up camp, prepare dinner, and lead evening activities which typically involve a reflective component.

I have never been to camp before. Is that okay?

Yes! We welcome anyone new to the Merrowvista community, and we are excited to benefit from new perspectives. It is not uncommon for staff to experience Merrowvista for the very first time. All staff should be open to new experiences and ways of operating when they come to camp, especially if this is their first time at Merrowvista or at a summer camp in general.

What if I have dietary needs?

We provide vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free meal options.  If you have any other specific food restrictions or allergies, we will work with you to create a menu.

I don’t have a car. How do I get to camp?

Merrowvista will pick up staff on specific days from local airports and bus stations. If you do not have a car and are interested in using public transportation to get to camp, you can talk to your supervisor about what options are available to you.