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Outdoor Adventures for Girls: Sign Up for a Summer Volunteer Vacation

Posted by Andrea Martin at Mar 31, 2016 06:05 PM |
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Sign up solo and meet a whole crew of new friends, or bring a friend and have an adventure together.

WTA's youth volunteer vacations are a great opportunity to try something new, learn a new skill, and have  a ton of fun in on some of Washington’s most beautiful trails. And we want to empower more girls to get those experiences by joining WTA on a trip this summer!

Sign up solo and meet a whole crew of new friends, or bring a friend and have an adventure together. Plus, you'll earn service hours for school.

Learn from the best

Completing a task using your your creativity and determination can be a really powerful feeling. WTA relies on crew leaders who have lots of practice using and developing these skills, and when you join us this summer, you'll have the opportunity to spend time with women who have lots of experience working on trail and have a blast doing it.

Evonne Ellis with Jon Nishimura
Evonne Ellis takes a break for a photo with Assistant Crew Leader Jon Nishimura. Photo from WTA archives.

Where We're Working

There are spots and scholarships available for girls on all of the following trips!

If the trip you want is full, join the waitlist by filling out an application and sending it to Andrea Martin.

Evonne Ellis is one of these women.

She first discovered trail work as a teenager, participating in a multi-week youth conservation program through Northwest Youth Corps. Now a WTA crew leader and former member of the Denali National Park trail crew, she remembers what her first experience on a work party taught her.

“During my first stint of trail work, I learned how to surpass the boundaries that I put on myself and realized my potential to take on mental and physical challenges, which I would have never known was possible.”

Fall for the work

“That first summer program with Northwest Youth Corps was so tough!" says Evonne. "But our trip into the French Creek Wilderness changed me forever."

Evonne and her team were tasked with building a structure on trail that required tons of fist-sized rocks that they carried in buckets from a river nearby.

"Bucket by bucket, I stopped thinking about the pain in my body, the heatall that I could think about was moving between my crew members in a bucket brigade. My mind was empty of negativity and focused fully on that moment. When we finished the turnpike, it was one of the most rewarding and joyful times that I had ever experienced in my life. Trail work became an addiction from then on.”

Take pride in your progress

Through WTA’s summer programs for teens, you'll have a week of fulfilling experiences like Evonne's and develop both physically and mentally. Many former volunteers are returning for another dose of the great outdoors. Those that can't, remember their past volunteer vacations fondly:

“After spending a week completing tough physical tasks, I always feel proud of myself and my ability to create so much with just my hands and a tool,” says Anna Silver, a WTA youth volunteer who went on six different backcountry trips in just four years of volunteering.

Scholarships available!

Don't let a trip fee prevent you from applying. We have plenty of scholarships available to help cover the cost of the trips.

This year, we also have a handful of scholarships for teens who live in rural areas near the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest.

Learn more about how to apply. Questions? Email Andrea Martin at

Photo gallery: a week on a youth volunteer vacation

Campground Reserved for WTA Youth
Some volunteer vacations are based out of campgrounds with picnic tables and bathrooms, like this one at Mount Rainier National Park. Other locations mean backpacking into a more rustric backcountry basecamp. Photo by Loren Drummond.

Breakfast at Indian Pass
Start and end your days around a picnic table or food tent. You won't go hungry all week. Photo by Erik Haugen-Goodman.

Youth Crew Mazama Park
You'll hike to your work site, where you'll spend the day helping trails. Photo by Kay Sadowitz.

Working Hard Mazama Park
Work hard in beautiful places. Photo by Kay Sadowitz at Mazama Park in 2015.

Youth Volunteer Vacation
Taking a quick break from work along the West Fork Humptulips River. Photo by Daniella Drader

North Fork Sauk Youth Crew
Go home proud of the work you've done and the friends you've made in just a week. Photo by Daniella Drader along the North Fork Saul Trail.

Youth Crew Esmerelda
Spend your summer having adventures. One of last year's crews take a hike on their day off.