Today's Lesson: Working As One

Volunteer team member

Each BCM trip is comprised of four or five adults and five teens. One adult is a staff member from the participating youth program; one adult is hired by BCM as the Team Leader and the remaining two or three are BCM volunteers who will complete the team by filling other vital roles. Regardless of your role, each Team Member brings something unique to the table, and this is all part of the BCM experience.

The common bond between every volunteer is a desire to help our teens. Some bring a wealth of backcountry experience to the trail, while others have experience working with at-risk teens. While it is up to the Team Leader to make use of the talents of each Team Member, our adult leaders will usually take the initiative to give pieces of themselves.

It is very important that the adults and teens work together as a cohesive team on the trail and off. This takes a large degree of respect for each other. Each teen has something to offer the adults and each adult can reach the teens on a different level.

It is not uncommon for volunteers to have their expectations for the trip changed within the first few hours. Those who take the most from their trip are able to adapt to the uniqueness of the experience. The best advice is to bring all of your knowledge and enthusiasm to the trip in place of your expectations.

Because BCM trips take place in remote settings, communication and consultation with BCM administrative and program staff is not always possible.  In order to provide for the physical and emotional well-being of trip participants, team members under the leadership of the Team Leader need to be prepared to make decisions affecting all aspects of their trips including: itinerary and/or route changes, behavior management, transportation, etc.