Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our hands-on trail skills training series:
- Is it required to take the modules in order?
- Do I need to complete the Trail Skills Institute to become a volunteer or steward on the Arizona Trail?
- What is the typical schedule for training days?
- Is camping or lodging provided in between the days of multi-day sessions?
- There is a special price for “Steward”. Is that related to ATA membership?
- I would like to enroll other members of my group or club in the courses. How can I do that?
- Is registration refundable?
- Are there scholarships available?
- What courses are required to “graduate” from the Trail Skills Institute?
It is NOT required to take the courses in any particular order. All of our modules can stand alone or build upon one another to improve technical and theoretical skills. Because the setting for each module changes from year to year, the skills covered at each may be unique. Many students find benefit from taking specific modules more than once to increase the depth of their knowledge and experience.
You do not need to complete the Trail Skills Institute to participate in ATA volunteer activities. The courses are strongly encouraged for ATA Segment Stewards and are an excellent resource for volunteers who want to improve their efficacy at trail events. Occasionally, certain skills will be preferred for more technically challenging work events and that information will be provided on the event writeup.
Generally, each day is approximately 7 hours of instruction and trail work. We start in the morning (8am or 9am by season) with “classroom” time. This is done outside at a campsite or trailhead. Then at some point in the day we transition to the trail for hands-on instruction. Our instructor will sets the schedule based on content to be covered, the project, participants backgrounds, weather and other conditions.
For all multi-day sessions, we establish a group camp space (usually in a dispersed camping area). Most often, this is also the classroom area. Meals are provided with your registration including lunch and dinner day on 1 as well as breakfast and lunch day on 2. We find that almost as much learning happens around camp at dinner time as when we’re out on the trail! We will also provide information about nearby lodgings (when applicable) for those who prefer to sleep indoors.
Trail Stewards are the incredible volunteers who have adpoted a segment of the AZT to help us help maintain the entire length of the Arizona Trail. The Trail Skills Institute was developed in part to train these volunteers and give them the tools they need to operate independently. Stewards are given a discounted rate for the Trail Skills Trainings. If you would like to learn more about ATA Stewards, visit our stewards page here.
We welcome multiple participants from interested organizations to enroll in the sessions, however our opportunities are first-come-first-served, and the demand for space can be high. We limit groups to 4 participants for any given training session (2 for the Module 3 training) in order to diversify the class and keep the opportunity fair. If you’d like to set up your own custom training session, you can contact our training provider, Flagline Trails.
The cost of your registration is fully refundable until 2 weeks prior to the start date. After that time, we may offer instead to roll the price of your registration forward to apply to another class. We ask that you give us as much advance notice as possible. Our classes are limited in size and often fill up quickly – advancing new students from the waitlist is more difficult with less advance notice. To cancel your registration, email the volunteer program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarships and discounted rates may be available to volunteers for whom the cost of registration is a barrier to participation. Application is simple, painless and without long-term commitment. For more information, email the volunteer program at email@example.com.
To receive a certificate of graduation, participants must complete modules 1-5 of the core curriculum. Modules 6 and beyond might be considered “postgraduate” work.