Trail Mavens

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES FOR URBAN WOMEN

Skill-based camping and backpacking trips for groups of extraordinary women. Ready to build fires, read maps, pitch tents, hike, laugh, and drink wine around the campfire? Join one of our weekend adventures.

TRIP SHADOWING GUIDELINES

As part of your training to become a Trail Mavens trip guide, you'll join us for three trips where you'll be shadowing current guides, with graduated levels of responsibility on each trip. This page details what to expect from each weekend.


Shadow Trip #1

Your Role

Participant

Other TM Staff Present

Current Guide, Co-leader, Other Guide Candidates

Your Responsibilities:

  • Complete Action Items requested from the Trip Details email (which you will receive from Shelley no later than the Monday before the trip leaves)
    • e.g., providing your gear needs, dietary restrictions, filling out the trip applicant questionnaire 
  • Opt into carpooling with other participants; preferably as a driver
    • Note: if driving, your passengers will reimburse you for mileage. If a passenger, Trail Mavens will reimburse the driver for your portion.
  • Attend the trip as a participant, enjoy yourself, and observe as much of the guide's processes as you can! Note their apparent leadership styles, techniques for teaching skills, and Powerful Questions asked.

CURRENT guide responsibilities

  • On the trip, be available to answer questions as needed.

Shadow Trip #2

Your Role:

Co-Leader

Other TM Staff Present:

Current Guide, Other Guide Candidates

Your Responsibilities:

You'll be fulfilling the role of a co-leader on your second shadowing trip. You need to be ready to step in and lend a hand whenever needed, to go to bed last and wake up first, to motivate and support anyone who needs a little extra cheerleading, to teach skills, to ask compelling questions, to be a great listener, and to inject your energy into the trip.

Before your second shadowing trip, you'll chat with your guide to hash out trip logistics and meet early at the storage unit in Emeryville to help pack; afterwards, you'll help unpack and complete a trip feedback form.

Specific responsibilities:

  • Assist in overall group, gear, and time management with Trail Mavens guide
  • If you're partnered with the same guide as on your first training trip, you may opt to lead Opening Ceremonies
  • Teach skills to a group of 4-8 women (ex.: campfire building, site selection, Leave No Trace, topo map reading, gear care, trip planning, stove use, etc.)
  • Lead or co-facilitate team building activities and campfire conversations
  • One hour pre-trip work: reviewing weekend logistics and participant information with Trail Mavens guide, vehicle packing (at the storage unit)
  • One hour post-trip work: unpacking (at the storage unit)
  • Complete post-trip feedback form in conjunction with Current Guide (phone collaboration is fine)

CURRENT guide responsibilities

  • Pre-trip check in call; be explicit about how you structure pre-trip calls with co-leaders to prepare the Guide Candidate to lead the call on their next trip
  • Provide transportation to/from storage unit to trip destination 
  • Hold responsibility for risk management and wilderness medicine
  • If Guide Candidate had their first training trip with you, she may choose to lead Opening Ceremonies
  • Teach Trail Mavens lessons, ask powerful questions, and complete daily Guide Feedback form in conjunction with Guide Candidate
  • Share leadership with the Guide Candidate; she may teach several lessons
  • Provide on-the-spot and post-trip verbal feedback to the Guide Candidate
  • Share all your favorite Trail Mavens tips, tricks, and anecdotes
  • Complete post-trip feedback form in conjunction with Guide Candidate (phone collaboration is fine)
  • Send out email to participants with link to survey, FB alumnae group invitation, link to Google Photos folder for trip, etc.

Shadow Trip #3

Your Role:

Lead Guide

Other TM Staff Present:

Current Guide

Your responsibilities:

On your third and final shadowing trip, you will be fulfilling the role of the lead guide, with the support of a current guide as your "co-leader." 

Pre-trip

TWO WEEKS BEFOREHAND

  • Reach out to your co-guide via email or Slack 11-13 days before your trip (i.e. at some point over the weekend two weeks before, or Monday/Tuesday of the week before the week of your trip) setting up a time to chat over the phone

ONE WEEK BEFOREHAND

  • Talk to your co-guide, creating a plan for logistics (what time/where are we meeting, etc. and shared responsibility); we encourage you to hold the vast majority of leadership responsibility on this trip, as it will be your last chance to receive on-the-spot feedback in training from another guide
  • Familiarize yourself with venue guide and maps, and reach out to guides who have previously led this itinerary if you have any questions

ONE DAY BEFOREHAND

  • Pack personal gear, including Trail Mavens tee, lighter/waterproof matches, compass, knife, extra layer, camera, wristwatch, pen and personal Field Notes, and cash/checkbook for firewood/incidentals
  • Review personal participant information in Participant Details folder

IMMEDIATELY BEFORE HEADING TO THE STORAGE UNIT

  • Print two copies of the 'Trip Details' document and all 'To Print' recipe sheets in your trip folder

During the trip

FIRST DAY

  • Pick up your co-guide at the time and location you determined on your check-in call
  • Head to the storage unit to pick up gear, if you did not pick it up the night before
  • Meet the participants at the time and location designated in the Venue Guide and pre-trip email
  • Welcome trip participants
    • Hand out intro document
    • Brief introductions
    • Brief orientation to the drive/what’s next
    • Create group text thread and send out fun messages
  • Facilitate Opening Ceremonies*
    • What is a Trail Mavens? Why do we exist?
    • Hand out Field Notes + intention setting
    • Group intention setting
  • Facilitate group gear handouts at campground

    * If you have never shadowed the Current Guide present on your trip, you may choose to share the Opening Ceremony, to hear another version.

EACH DAY

  • Teach Hard Skills
    • Tents: Site selection, set-up, care & breakdown
    • Stoves: Use and safety
    • Animals: Bears & Other
    • Leave No Trace
    • Fires: Building and safety
    • Water: Filters & chemicals
    • Maps: Topo & routes
    • Backpacks: Packing & fitting
    • Sanitation: Waste & germs
  • Facilitate Hiker Leadership conversation
  • Complete Guide Daily Check-In sheet in collaboration with your co-guide

FINAL DAY

  • Facilitate Hard Skills Check-In Discussion (last morning)
  • Facilitate Closing Ceremonies
    • Checking in on intentions
    • Sharing a proud or grateful moment
    • Field Notes yearbooking
    • Hand out discount coupons, stickers, post cards, other goodies
  • End-of-trip logistics: tell participants about the post-trip email you'll be sending
  • Facilitate group gear packing (check off as loaded)
  • Debrief with your co-leader in the car on the way home

Post-Trip

  • Drop off gear at the storage unit and complete gear check-in checklists
  • Complete trip feedback form in conjunction with Current Guide (phone collaboration is fine)
  • Send out email to participants with link to survey, FB alumnae group invitation, link to Google Photos folder for trip, etc.

CURRENT guide responsibilities

  • Participate in pre-trip check in call as a co-leader; offer feedback on conversation
  • If the Guide Candidate present on your trip never shadowed a trip with you, you may choose to share the Opening Ceremony, to allow her to hear parts of your version
  • Teach lessons, facilitate conversation, and support the participant experience as needed under the direction of your Guide Candidate
  • Hold responsibility for wilderness medicine
  • Provide on-the-spot and post-trip verbal feedback to the Guide Candidate
  • Share all your favorite Trail Mavens tips, tricks, and anecdotes

questions? email sasha@trailmavens.com.