*** Our use of the word women explicitly includes not only cis women but also trans women, femmes, two spirit, genderqueer and non-binary folks, and anyone who self-identifies with the term woman.
We are looking for women ages 18-25, who wish to join us in our Women In The Wilderness Program. Women In The Wilderness is a program of the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps (ESCC) in partnership with the California Conservation Corps Foundation. ESCC is a development and leadership program committed to building stronger and more inclusive outdoor communities. We aim to provide opportunities to experience and better understand wilderness and natural resources by providing transformational backcountry experiences.
ESCC will be hosting multiple cohorts of our In The Wilderness program. Each cohort is an affinity space for those who have had limited to no access to mountaineering-specific outdoor recreation to explore their unique connection to the land and each other on an 8-day backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Our participants will meet and have an introduction and orientation session with our trip leaders before embarking on an 8 day immersive backpacking trip. All trips will be based in the Sierras, typically in Kings Canyon National Park or the Inyo National Forest. During the trip, leaders will guide participants through the hike and through nightly sessions exploring topics relevant to ensuring safety along the hike as well as topics relevant to a women's affinity group. Each cohort will be exposed to the numerous natural resources and conservation careers available in our public lands and will meet and work with a conservation crew on the ground during the trip, gaining valuable knowledge and work skills. Our hope is to provide access to these groups to enjoy their public lands and inspire future land stewards to action.
Trip dates will be July 16 - 23rd 2022
We take small groups of women on an educational trip into the backcountry, giving members the opportunity to learn the intricacies of backpacking and exposure to different fields of conservation work. Participants will gain hands on experience with Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps crews, helping to maintain safe and appropriate access the public lands they are visiting.
The trip will be either an eight-day loop or point-to-point. Each day will include hiking, and some will involve project work, such as trail maintenance; invasive plant removal or fire restoration. Safety briefings and PPE will be available as well as instruction in the skills necessary to successfully complete the day’s task. No prior experience is expected, however, references will be requested.
There will be a nightly curriculum focused on breaking down historical boundaries for women to access opportunities in the outdoors. Members will be encouraged to explore their own identities in relation to the land and in relation to each other; discovering and celebrating new ways to belong in these spaces. We will also learn about environmental issues confronting public lands, natural history, pre-park history, and plant identification, to name a few. This will be in addition to learning all the skills required to hike and backpack including gear fitting, proper gear, boot and foot care, ergonomics, stove use, tent set up, food preparation and storage, water filtration, hygiene, etc. Participants interested in career opportunities with ESCC or other conservation corps, the National Park Service and the US Forest Service will have unique access to the on-the-ground experiences of workers. We will also provide post-season support and guidance in accessing these career pathways.
This is not a paid position, however, transportation costs will be subsidized and all food, gear and equipment (backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tents, stoves, rain gear, etc.) needed will be provided AT NO COST to participants. If you think this program is for you, it is, regardless of what you have or don't have to bring. We want you to come as you are and know the ways we can support your journey.
Our trip leaders are experts in the field with extensive backcountry backpacking and trail work experience.
Trips will be designed to visit remote wilderness locations.
You will be hiking with heavy packs in a variety of weather conditions and you may be exposed to
the following adverse environmental conditions: rain, snow, extreme heat and cold, dry weather, lightning, high amounts of dust, camp and forest fire smoke, and high elevations.
Our program is designed to partner with an ESCC trail crew for a few days while on the trip and/or complete trail work during the hikes of the trip. The hiking and work can be physically demanding and requires members to hike 3-8 miles daily over rugged, steep, uneven terrain while carrying 40-60 pounds in their backpack.
Participants will be expected to follow regimented itineraries, agreements, and ESCC policies to maintain the health and safety of all members of the trip. We will follow a strict “buddy system” at all times as well as commit to a strict no drug/alcohol policy. We will be requesting proof of covid vaccination.
If you have any questions, please email us at info(at)easternsierracc.org
Applications will be limited to the first 40 received. Thank you for your interest in our program.