Internships with the Bristol Trail Network

If you love trails and want to spend time outside in Vermont, this is the internship for you! We welcome interns passionate about outdoor recreation, conservation, and community development to help us maintain and grow our Bristol Trail Network (BTN) system.

You will receive training and support in order to perform your primary tasks, which are:
• Trail work – your time will include hours of solo trail work, and possibly days when you’ll be leading volunteer crews of diverse ages/skills
• Community outreach/education – you will be an ambassador for the BTN when you are on the trail and you may be called upon to speak to various groups in town about the trail (kids camps, scout groups, town committees) as well as update social media sites

But this isn’t just about us! We want to make sure you get what YOU want out of this experience. As part of your internship, you will design and execute a project of your own with the goal of creating something of lasting value to the community of Bristol. We’ll work with you to help you identify and tailor your project to meet your personal academic and career goals so that you can develop a project that you’re excited about featuring a topic of interest to you. In addition to trail work, community outreach/education, and whatever goals you have for yourself, you also walk away with insights into what makes a small town dynamic, and how you can make an impact on the world.

“My time interning in the Town of Bristol has been extremely formative and an excellent application of transferable skills, specifically centered around communication and event organizing. The opportunity has allowed me to develop my professionalism and has been a perfect fit with my Community Development & Outdoor Education major – I have been able to self-design programming that matches my interests and skills with the needs of the community. Throughout the internship, I have felt the passion of every dedicated community member in Bristol, which is pretty much everyone!”

Gennaro Valant
University of Vermont ’20

The most important qualifications we seek are a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn. We’re also looking for:
• Self-motivation and the ability to work independently and proactively on projects.
• Good interpersonal and communication skills including articulating your own goals/needs as well as talking to groups about the mission and role of BTN.
• Willingness to work hard. Not gonna lie – Vermont can be hot and buggy. Possibly wet, hot and buggy. Or, maybe cold. Or icy. Or snowy. You’re going to be working outside almost every day. Regardless of weather, you will be expected to:
-do a fair amount of hiking in sometimes steep and uneven terrain
-lift and/or carry tools and construction materials weighing up to 30 pounds
-use hand and power tools to perform trail work
-remain cheerful throughout

Semester position is typically 8 hours/week (can be one full day or two half days), but hours can be modified depending on the number of credit hours you’re seeking from your academic institution.
Summer position is typically 10 weeks, 35 hrs/week (but again, we can be modified based on your goals and other commitments).

Both summer and semester positions have flexible start/end dates. Transportation required. Boots appropriate for trail work and gloves also required.
This position reports to BTN Coordinator Porter Knight (who is herself a volunteer). Email Porter Knight to apply.
Before you apply, be sure to look over the Bristol Recreation Club website and the BTN pages in particular.

Past Interns and Projects:

Anna Steele (Summer 2024)

Asa Rexford (Spring 2024) – Set up Bike Library for the Bristol Recreation Department
Jane Kelemen (Spring 2024) – Wrote grant for Books and Birds in Bristol project
Talia McMahon (Spring 2024) – Developed training for youth about barriers to equity in outdoor recreation

Click here for downloadable version of Talia McMahon’s Internship project

Alex Joyce (Fall 2023) – Reinforced bench on River Bend
Olivia Vandien (Fall 2023) – Conceived Car Identification Activity

Cassi Beeler & Aubrey Griffiths (Spring 2023) – Researched Land Acknowledgment Statement for BTN and Bristol

Sofia Vallecillo & Meghan Gaffney (Fall 2022) – Created a scavenger hunt for kids to use on BTN

Click here for downloadable version of S. Vellecillo’s and M. Gaffney’s Internship project

Peter Larkin (Fall 2021) – Designed signs for A Johnson Company land (“ledges”); Identified trees on River Bend trail and drafted signs

Jenny Sogin (Summer 2021) – Created pollinator garden at Sycamore Park; Set up story walks with children’s books on different trail segments

Nicole Morris (fall 2020) – Improved outdoor classroom spaces for Bristol Elementary School

Gennaro Valant (Spring 2020) – Developed an outdoor education curriculum for high school

Click here for downloadable version of Gennaro Valant’s Internship project