Summer Positions

Four Trails Leader

As part of Merrowvista summer camp, the Four Trails Program takes our philosophy and mission on-trail to inspire high-school aged campers to develop their best selves through outdoor adventure activities. Our program offers a unique progression of backpacking, canoeing, and cycling trips throughout northern New England and Nova Scotia. Four Trails Leaders will be assigned villages of about 8 to 12 campers, and are responsible for planning and co-leading multiple trips throughout our seven-week summer camp season. Primary responsibilities include:

  • Provide leadership, guidance, and role modelling
  • Manage the physical and emotional safety of their village
  • Encourage personal and social development according to the mission and philosophy of the AYF
  • Deliver instruction in skilled program activities

Scroll down for more information, or to apply. Click here for a full job description.  Please contact Neal Smeltzer with any questions about this position.



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 cycling

• Who will be at least 21 years old

What can I expect if I am hired?

• Dates of employment are Friday June 7th – Saturday August 17th, 2019.

• Our base salary for 1st year leaders is $3000, with additional bonuses available based on relevant experience and certification.

• All food and housing 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. The WFR/CPR course is May 28th – June 5th. The Lifeguard course is June 5th – June 7th.

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 13-18 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 3-week “Session A” and then a 4-week “Session B”.  Campers stay for the duration of one session, and are assigned into villages of about 8-12 campers and 2 leaders.  So as a Four Trails Leader you would work with two villages (one during Session A, one during Session B) throughout the course of the summer.

What kind of trips can I expect to lead?

The Four Trails program involves a four-year progression of outdoor experiences. The Explorer program is for our youngest Four Trails campers, who are entering 9th grade and typically transitioning from summers in-camp to life on trail.  Explorer includes three shorter trips spending 3-7 days backpacking, canoeing, and cycling.  The Adventurer program is for those entering 10th grade, and involves two trips, 6-10 days long.  Voyageur (a 3-4 week bike trip around Nova Scotia) and Odyssey (a 3-week hike of the Appalachian Trail in Maine) are the two culminating Four Trails programs, involving trips that last the entire length of the session.

Do I apply to lead a specific trip?

No, we do not hire leaders for specific trips.  First and foremost, we hire our leaders as youth development professionals.  Trip assignments involve many factors, and therefore we need leaders who can lead any of the trip experiences.  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.  With that said, 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 just 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 bikes, tents, panniers, 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 to you prior to the summer. If acquiring any equipment is a hurdle, we will be sure to help find a solution for you.

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, bike, 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 who is new to the Merrowvista community, and are excited to benefit from new perspectives. It is not uncommon for staff to be experiencing camp and Merrowvista for the very first time. All staff should be open to new experiences and ways of operating when they come to Merrowvista, 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.