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What to Expect on a Work Party

What to expect on a day trip for youth ages 10 and up.

On a trail work party, you will work with crew leaders who are first aid and CPR certified and well trained to ensure a fun, safe work environment for the duration of the day.

A fun day on trail! Photo by Andrew Pringle.

How old do I have to be to volunteer on a trail work party?

Children ages 10 and up are encouraged to participate. If you are under 14 then you must have a parent accompany you on the work party. For children under 10, parents should call the office at (206) 625-1367 for further information. All youth under 18 must have a Parental Consent Form signed by parent or guardian.

How much experience do I need?

None. We work hard to teach our youth volunteers the joy of trail maintenance. We hope by investing our time in teaching you trail maintenance you'll come back and join us again. Our trail maintenance principles are as simple as 1-2-3: Be safe. Have fun. Get some work done.

How many community service hours can I earn for volunteering?

WTA offers volunteers the chance to earn up to 8 community service hours for one day of volunteering.

Do you still work in bad weather?

Yes - Rain or Shine! Unless you are notified otherwise, our crew leaders will be waiting for you at the trail head. If the bad weather continues throughout the day we may go home early.

May I leave early? Arrive late?

Please come to a work party only if you can commit to a full day of volunteering (8:30am-3:30pm). If you can't spend the day with us, then please sign up for a day you can commit fully to.

What is the latest date that I can sign up for a work party?

48 hours. Each work party is automatically removed from the schedule 48 hours before the work party is scheduled to begin. This ensures our crew leaders will have adequate time to pick up tools, purchase pop & cookies, and assess the work based on the number of sign-ups at that time. If you would like to sign up for a trail work party within those 48 hours, please call the office at (206) 625-1367 and we will determine if we can add another person to that particular work party.

Can I bring my pets?

please do not bring any pets. We have found that pets can be a significant distraction and in some rare cases a safety hazard.

Can I bring a big group?

Yes. But if your group is larger than six people, please contact us to make special arrangements. Call the WTA office at (206) 625-1367 or email us at

Should I bring my own tools?

No. WTA provides all the tools you need. The only items you might consider bringing are hand clippers or small folding saws. Please do NOT bring your own axes, machetes, etc. Our safety lecture includes a comprehensive discussion of the safe usage of each tool. We cannot permit anyone to bring and use a tool not covered in our safety lecture.

What else do I get for volunteering other than community service hours?

When you join a WTA work party on Forest Service land (indicated in the schedule under the column titled “Free Pass”), the Forest Service recognizes your efforts by giving you a free one-day recreation pass.  A WTA crew leader will give you this pass at the beginning of the work party.  When you collect two of these passes, you can mail them in to the WTA office and we will mail you an Annual Northwest Forest Pass.  Please send your two green day passes and a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Washington Trails Association, 705 Second Ave, Suite 300, Seattle WA 98104 (206) 625-1367.

How much experience do I need to sign up for a Youth Volunteer Vacation trip this summer?

WTA encourages youth to attend at least one day trail work party before signing up for a week-long Volunteer Vacation. However, if you would like to participate in a Youth Volunteer Vacation you must have attended a Front Country Volunteer Vacation or have previous trail maintenance and camping experience. For more information on our Youth Volunteer Vacations program, click here.