In 2012 the AMC Berkshire Trails program is expanding its
reach beyond our traditional Ridgerunner and Berkshire Teen Trail Crew
programs. Two new programs- Americorps
MassLIFT and Pittsfield Trail Crew- will expand our work by engaging youth from
our local community in conservation work on a wide breadth of conservation
lands. The field
staff looks to be excellent, and you can read all about them below. Worth noting, though, that our three of our Berkshire
Teen Trail Crew leaders, Amy, Pat, and Jesse, have amongst them a combined 27
weeks of experience as participants! We’re
ready to rock!
Regional Trails Program Manager
Hard to believe this is my fifth summer managing this
program. It’s been a gratifying job, and
I’m excited to be at the helm as the program evolves and grows. The most satisfying work is connecting with
people- seasonal staff, volunteers, members of the community, youth- and each
year has presented more opportunities to work in new places with new people. I’ve been lucky to learn the Appalachian
Trail in the area backwards and forwards, and now I’m enjoying exploring hidden
gems on land trust properties and other roads less traveled. I’m big into pick your own strawberries, blueberries,
and apples, bicycle commuting, snowboarding, learning telemark skiing, kale
salad, vinyl night, plaid and Settlers of Catan.
Americorps Mass LiftService Learning Coordinator
"After working with the AMC Berkshire Teen Trail Crew system,
I stepped into a new Service Learning Coordinator position in September. It is an AmeriCorps MassLIFT position
running from September to August that is split between the Appalachian Mountain
Club and the Greenagers. Since coming on
in September I have been working to provide local youth with the
environmentally based service learning opportunities that not only benefits
them but the land that they work on. At the
end of April, a total of 139 volunteers had done a total of 858.5 volunteer
hours on local conservation properties in Southern Berkshire County. The AmeriCorps goal for Service Learning
Coordinators is to have 200 volunteers and 1000 hours by the end of the
Ridgerunner Field Coordinator
"Jackson is a -year-old student who fires his own pottery and always
leaves a pack in his truck, in case he decides to stop driving and start
hiking. He has a hard time settling in during his days off and often
ends up sitting outdoors on his porch. But he's no loner. Personable and
inquisitive, he enters into conversations smoothly.
On the trail Jackson sees everything. He bends and swipes up litter I
wouldn't have noticed: candy wrappers, water bottles cast into the
bushes, and flecks of blue foam shed from a sleeping pad. He collects it
all in a plastic bag. The ridgerunners remove about 275 gallons of
trash in three months, including an abandoned set of luggage and a
5-speed American Flyer bicycle that Jackson occasionally rides."
Trail Crew Field Coordinator
Round two! My Name is Mike, I was a Trail Crew Leader last season and
I am excited to be back for another summer in the Berks. I am currently
studying Adventure Education Leadership and Adventure Therapy at Unity College
in Maine, I also graduated from the NOLS Outdoor Educator Semester this past
This summer I will be the Field Coordinator. I will be
training the Berkshire Teen Trail Crew leaders, planning projects and providing
support to crews in the field.
During my free time I enjoy setting up
camp in the rain, drinking chlorine water, and cooking over whisperlite stoves
with my headlamp. I make pretty mean fried bagels and am super pumped to see
everyone this summer!
"Tristan Sprenkle (a.k.a. T. Sprinkle) hails from
the small town of Kramer, Pennsylvania. “We have a gas station and a
pizza place,” he says. “If you want anything that’s not there you have
to drive to the next town. But the pizza is pretty awesome.”
This statement illustrates Sprenkle’s optimistic,
if sometimes contradictory, take on life: Sprenkle is a vegan hunter who
won’t eat cheese but will eat squirrels if he killed them himself, and
he has a giant Optimus Prime tattoo across his stomach but hates the Transformers movies. “I grew up watching the cartoons and I have the comic books,” he says. “They ruined my childhood with those movies.”
Sprenkle embraces an ultra-lightweight approach to
hiking by designing and sewing his own his own pack and sleeping bag
that weighs only 13.8 ounces… but carries around an 1,444 page copy of War and Peace. “I’m determined to finish it by the end of the summer,” he says."
Trail Crew Leader
Hi everyone! My name's Julie,
I'm originally from New Jersey, and I've recently graduated from Rutgers
University with a degree in Urban Planning. I've spent the last few summers
doing internships and odd jobs in New Orleans, which I am happy to now call my
I've been crazy about the outdoors ever since I was a kid, and
now spend most of my free time having adventures outside with my scruffy little
mustachio dog. I love running long distance, swimming, cooking, reading,
hiking, camping, riding bikes, and indulging my terrible case of wanderlust.
Life has been really good to me over the past few years, and each new chapter
has been even more exciting than the last. I feel so lucky to have landed such
a dream job this summer, and I can't wait to meet everyone!
Pittsfield Trail Crew Leader
I am so very excited about working my first season with the
AMC. I am looking forward to leading and
guiding at risk youth in building and restoring trails out in the Berkshires. I was born and raised in Huntington Woods,
MI. While growing up in a suburb of
Detroit I always found time to go on adventures with the family and or friends
out in nature. Creating rewarding
experiences for others in the outdoors to make them feel empowered and to gain
confidence to lead a healthy life is something I take great pride in
doing. For four years Michigan State
University was the place I called home, where I majored in Parks, Recreation,
and Tourism resources. During my time in
college I spent my summers enjoying the wilderness as a guide, mentor, and
leader to young people. Traveling, meeting
new people, and the outdoors are my passions.
When not on the go hanging out with friends, listening to music,
cooking, and enjoying all the little things make life fun and dynamic. I cannot
wait to be a part of the AMC team this summer!
In civilization/society I go by Connor, but since you’ll
probably run into me in the woods, I’ll respond to Flora. I thru hiked the AT
in 2010 (which is where I picked up the trail name, Flora) right after I
graduated high school, and now I’m studying at the University of Georgia (Go
Dawgs!). What am I studying? That is an excellent question- I’m still trying to
figure that out. What I do know is I love the outdoors! I enjoy backpacking,
biking, kayaking, running, and playing in the sun (which sometimes doesn’t end
well since I’m a red head). I absolutely cannot wait for this summer to start
and be back out on trail, so see you out there!
Trail Crew Leader
My name is Amy Krause and I am from Westchester, NY. I
just finished my first year at Washington University in St. Louis and currently
am pre-med with an undecided major. I have been volunteer on crews for the past
three summers and I have loved it more each time. I am super excited to be a
leader this year and look forward to working for the AMC!
I go by Alexander, Alex, or Ember (if I’m on the
trail). I am a North Carolinian, who
grew up in the mountains of Asheville and just graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill –
GO HEELS! I can’t imagine a better way to spend my
summer than hiking on the AT, while Ridge Running for the AMC. I have more hobbies than I often have time
for. So when I don’t have on a backpack,
I enjoy road biking, rock climbing, woodworking, shooting, homebrewing, playing
tennis, driving/working on my convertible, and doing yoga. I’m eager to meet you, so get out and hike!
Trail Crew Leader
My name is Tess Andrew and this is my first time working
with the AMC. I am originally from Arlington, Virginia, but now live in
New York, New York. I am currently between my sophomore and junior years
at Barnard College of Columbia University and am majoring in Urban Studies and
Education. During the summer I love to get out of the city and spend my time in
the wilderness camping, hiking, backpacking, and working on trails. I am really
looking forward to working with the AMC this summer and can't wait for the
season to start!
Trail Crew Leader
Hey, I'm Pat or Patrick from Patterson New York
and I am stoked for my first
season of leading crews and learning new
ideas about backpacking and camping.
I like to meet new and interesting people so I
hope this summer I get to meet new
One of my
favorite things to do to other than backpack is to ski, slackline,
and just toss around a frisbee. I'm usually a
laid back kinda person and these activities
I think fit that kind of life style.
Trail Crew Leader
name's Jesse Samdahl. I call Princeton, Massachusetts my home town. This will
be my fourth year with the Berkshire Chapter of the AMC, but my first as a Crew
Leader. I've been looking forward to this job since my first day doing trail
When I'm not in the Berkshires I try to spend as much time as I can outdoors;
be it fishing, hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking or taking
the old tin family canoe out for a trip on the local lakes.
I'll be a freshman at Unity College in the fall where I plan to major in Adventure
Therapy and I hope to get even more engaged in the outdoors.
I'm stoked to spend another season in the Berkshires.