Merrowvista Jobs

Four Trails Leader

General Overview: Four Trails Leaders (summer camp counselors) in co-leadership pairs lead a cabin group of 10-12 campers and are active leaders in daily activities and both off-site and on-site backpacking and canoeing trips and/or service-learning projects.  Trips may be 2 to 17 days in length.

General Responsibilities

  • Encourage leadership development, healthy community living, and AYF mission and values driven practices.
  • Protect the safety and health of campers by adhering to community expectations and following all policies and procedures outlined in the Staff Handbook, including our alcohol-, drug-, and tobacco-free camp policy and AYF COVID-19 Staff Eligibility and Expectations.
  • Be a positive role model
  • Instruction in some skilled program activities
  • Fully participate in and be present at all community activities
  • Instruct campers in safety and health regulations, policies and procedures of camp and behavior.
  • Be a risk manager.
  • Be familiar with and apply the Four-Fold philosophy and Best Self practices to leadership, instruction and modeling while in camp.
  • Actively participate in staff training activities

Specific Responsibilities

  • Leadership and guidance of a village of approximately 12 campers, single-gender identifying or all genders.
  • Provide 24-hour supervision and mentoring to campers in assigned group in a cabin setting. Live with and eat meals with a cabin group, helping each camper to adjust to camp life and to achieve his/her personal best.
  • Exercise strict adherence to established safety procedures and guidelines for backpacking, canoeing and other outdoor experiences outlined in Trip Leader Handbooks.
  • Manage behavioral issues, homesickness, injury or unforeseen circumstances from remote locations in conjunction with your Coordinator and support team at Camp
  • Demonstrate knowledge of group dynamics by facilitating group activities, guiding discussions, properly debriefing activities
  • Learn and teach specific camp craft skills
  • Adapt to unforeseen circumstances if program activities need to be altered
  • Teach and abide by “Leave No Trace” outdoor ethics
  • Properly fill out all paperwork required before and after a trip
  • Set a high standard of respect for self, others, and the space though promptness, language, attitude, and participation
  • Use positive behavior reinforcement and human relations skills with campers and other staff
  • Complete all requested records and written reports, including end-of-summer letters to camper families
  • Establish personal and professional goals for the summer and work towards those goals
  • Complete all job functions and other duties as assigned

Necessary Skills for Success

  • Applicants must be in excellent physical condition. They will be required to have the stamina and energy to safely lead campers during travel through difficult terrain, in challenging weather and after long days. Able to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Applicants must have strong emotional health. They will be required to exhibit good judgment, effective problem solving, and maintain calm to safely lead the children in their care under changing and stressful conditions.
  • Be able to maintain focus for extended periods while assessing risks and supervising campers
  • Ability to respond to, teach and manage the behaviors of the campers in their care
  • Able to effectively manage their emotions to remain focused on what is in the best interest of the campers in their care in a variety of situations.
  • Effective communication with youth participants and adult staff across a wide range of identities and backgrounds. Ability to foster positive relationships
  • Ability to respond to and direct campers and/or staff in an emergency
  • Ability to understand, promote, actively include, and work effectively with diverse perspectives and identities
  • Ability to maintain a physically and emotionally safe environment for campers
  • Thorough understanding of critical issues shaping the lives of young people in the U.S., especially racial and gender equity, inclusivity, justice, ethics, and cultural competency

Work Environment

  • Position location is in Center Tuftonboro, New Hampshire at the Merrowvista campus and it is required to work onsite during summer.
  • The Merrowvista site necessitates the capacity to move through rugged terrain.
  • All meals and housing provided during training and program

Preferred Qualifications

  • Must be 21 or older and at least one year post-high school graduation experience
  • Demonstrate leadership ability and commitment to balanced personal development and excellence.
  • Previous trip leading experience preferred.
  • Strong teaching/facilitation and leadership skills preferred
  • Previous experience with group management, facilitation and outdoor education.
  • Current certification in CPR and Wilderness First Responder (training available for accepted candidates).


  • Weekly pay: $600
  • Leaders will receive one day off for every six days worked

Questions? Please contact the Merrowvista team at

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.