Berkshire Staff 2009

In 2009 I am proud to announce a high-power staff roster that in my rough estimation equals more combined field experience and AMC Berkshire experience than the program has seen in many years. Connor Young is returning as Field Coordinator for an unprecedented third term, Johnny G the Milkman is back as Lead Ridgerunner, and Phil Kolling has brought his several years trails leadership experience to his Field Coordinator role and has since March been cranking away to help make this years Berk Trails program nothing short of The Best Ever. We are running a record number of teen volunteer programs from our office at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's stunning Kellogg Conservation Center, with a record number of staff, and, well, you get the picture....without further ado, The Dream Team:

Southern New England Trails Coordinator

Matt Moore

I am a field guy. I come from several seasons of trail crews from the Whites to Yosemite, from dream jobs Caretaking and Ridgerunning, from multi-month backpacking adventures like my 99 thru-hike of the AT and my 2004 cross country bicycle tour.
Having been in this management position for over a year now, I have strived to apply all the lessons from these jobs and journeys to running a great, efficient, and safe operation here. I've been thrilled to write grants, hire staff, and have a voice in regional policy decisions. Not as thrilled to chase after employees for missing paperwork, but all in all I love my job. My goal is for the good folks I've hired to thrive in their jobs, and for the teens who volunteer with us to have a superlatively great time. It has been truly rewarding thus far and I am excited for the great potential of the program this year with this stellar staff.

Field Coordinator

Connor Young

Howdy Ya’ll, I’m back… This will be my third season working for the AMC Berk Chapter and my second as Field Coordinator. I am returning to the AT from Missoula, Montana where I have been studying Resource Conservation for the past year. I came back for another great season of movin’ rock, buildin’ bridges, growin’ food, and just bein’ outside. Needless to say, I am excited. I’m looking forward to utilizing the knowledge I have gained through my experience with the AMC to help improve the quality of individual programs as well as the season as a whole.

Field Coordinator/Trail Crew Leader

Phil Kolling

This is my first summer in the beautiful Berkshire Hills and I am pumped to be spending it out on trail with all our wonderful teen volunteers. This summer is going to be in-TENTS!
I am originally from Rhode Island (no hills) but have spent my more recent years exploring various New England states. I went to college in New Hampshire, served as an Americorps VISTA in Vermont with Montpelier Parks, and then spent time with the Maine Conservation Corps as a Field Team Leader.

During my “down” time I can be found hiking, biking, cooking, reading and pretending that I am an awesome harmonica player. I love my beard, country music, any type of weather that is fun to complain about, camp stories, travel, eating pulled pork, and motorized toothbrushes.
I’m tired of the not-trail season and I am ready to get out and get dirty! Lets move some rocks!

Trail Crew Leader

Valerie Sahakian

Hey everyone! I’m a native Rhode Islander, born and raised in the state. I just finished my degree at the University of Rhode Island in math and geology, and in September, I’ll be starting my next big adventure – moving to southern California (a bit of a far cry from RI). For the summer though, I’m excited to do some trail work! I started as a volunteer a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t get enough, so I’m back for more. Other than trail work, I love swimming, backpacking, surfing, and I spend a lot of time either climbing or on a slackline – I basically love anything that keeps me outside and active. I can’t wait to meet you all this summer; I’ll see you on the AT!

Katharine Sampson

Trail Crew Leader

greetings to all! I am really excited to be working for the AMC this summer! I can't really think of much better ways to spend a summer than moving rocks in the woods with a bunch of high schoolers. Not sure what that says abut me. I am a native Oregonian and grew up in Portland. I went to the University of Montana for a bit before taking some time off. Strangely enough I got distracted by the outside world and never made it back to school. I have spent the last three years working seasonal jobs and traveling. I usually stick to work in outdoor education but have been knows to dabble in the food service industry assuming it's in a place where the snow is good or the trails are empty. I spent a summer working in New Hampshire a few years ago and am really looking forward to seeing a bit more of the other coast!

Trails Program Specialist

Alexa Weiss

My name is Alexa, and I am the intern for the Berkshire AMC. I just earned my AA from the Bard College at Simon's Rock, and I will continue to work toward a Bachelor's of Environmental Science degree this fall. I am passionate about the environment, and am particularly interested in sustainable food production and outdoor recreation. I love rock climbing, skiing, hiking, gardening, and foraging. See you out there!

Lead Ridgerunner

Johnny G

Back at it for the two double oh nine is lead ridgerunner Johnny G. John worked three plus years at Gino's subs in Frostburg MD and was lauded by Gino himself as a hard worker and natural leader. I figured shoot if he keeps busy and keeps his counters clean and a good face for customers than he'd have no problem keeping campsites clean and talking to hikers. He brings to those conversations over 1,000 miles of backpacking experiences, studies in geosciences, and experience making a lot of his own ultralight gear. This year he is helping train the squad.


Tessa Bondi

This is my first year working with the AMC, but the Appalachain Mountains are no stranger to me. I first worked in the mountains of Virgina trip leading for a Girl Scout Camp in 2002. After completing my degree at Ohio State I moved to the considerably more insteresting landscapes of New England. I spent two summers as Assistant Coordinator for the W. Alton Jones Teen Expedition Summer Program, leading trips throughout the northeast. Between summer seasons, and after the second, I taught EE at the same location. On weekends I enjoyed the freedom to travel north into the mountains of NH and VT.
In 2008 I traveled to the other side of the country to I attempt a thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. After 3 months, the length of CA and MANY amazing experiences I left the trail in Ashland, OR with a stress fracture in my foot. I am looking forward to getting back out in the woods, pushing some big miles and meeting all characters who, like me, are attracted to this somewhat untraditional lifestyle!


Tim Dorsey

Hey all, my name is Tim, I just finished my second year at Unity College in Maine, I am studying Adventure Education. thats basically just a fancy way of saying that i am a camping major.
I am very excited to spend the summer on the AT working for the AMC. what could be better then backpacking all summer? in case you were not able to figure it out my my job title i love backpacking, have been doing it for as long as i can remember. you name it there is a good chance that i have strapped on my boots and strolled in that general area. when i Am not off ambling in the woods or in school i spend all of my free time working as an EMT with the local Ambulance Squad. lets see what else can i say? Huge fan of anything made on a wisperlight, i have been known to wear the same pair of hiking pants for a month, i am slightly in love with my therma-rest and love anything out side, I am a total gear head, oatmeal, beans and rice are my soul food, I hate wearing gor-tex Love the mountains, total wilderness hippie! think Gregory packs are amazing and i have been known to wear gaitors for an extended peorid of time because they look freaking sweet. my goal for the summer is to be an light weight freak with my pack and have a total blast!


Jesse Veverka

BAAAMMM! It's true, I am the artist formerly known as nasty nate (not to be confused with nifty nate)
It's great to be back on the A.T. at last. Let us stink!It's been since my 2002 thru-hike attempt at which time I completed 1600 miles of the trail. Since then I have gained experience on backcountry trails by working two seasons on RMC trail crew in the northern Presidentials. It's great to be exploring a new area of New England and also a section of the A.T. that I didn't make it to in '02. Outside of the bush I have been spending my time in lovely Prescott Arizona where I have been trying to find ways to get back into the bush as swiftly as possible. Luckily Arizona is loaded with rocks to climb and trails to ride, all within reach. Other than playing outside I have been pursuing an education through several institutes in the Prescott AZ. area, hopefully ending up with a degree in Ecological Design from Prescott college, that is if I can keep landing these competative high paying seasonal trail jobs. Well, that's it here, see ya'll on the trail. If I look dead, just give me a little nudge.