Emerging Leaders’ Summit

AUGUST 5-8, 2022
at State University of New York (SUNY) in New Paltz, NY

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is hosting the 2022 Emerging Leaders’ Summit (ELS) in conjunction with A.T. Vista, which will offer over 100 different opportunities to experience hikes, workshops, and excursions. Join us in discussing and celebrating the future of the Appalachian Trail’s (A.T.) protection, the importance of dedicated Trail stewardship, and the connection of the human spirit to nature.

Apply to be a part of a diverse cohort of leaders, ages 18-35, looking to expand skills and stewardship for the outdoors through connection, action, and expression. Selected participants will receive a scholarship covering lodging, meals, and registration costs.


We strongly encourage applicants to submit a video or an artistic expression of your application describing your interest in making the A.T., public lands, and the outdoors a welcoming place for all to experience and steward.

Apply Learn more about A.T. Vista 2022


ELS will connect participants with trainings, workshops, panels, and inspirational speakers to help build community, gain skills, and share stories through creative expression.

The Summit will also strengthen connections between young leaders and their networks, spark momentum for youth movements at the intersection of nature and climate justice, and provide a space for artistic creation and performance utilizing the outdoors and the A.T. as a muse.


Join in on A.T. Vista hikes, workshops, and excursions from Friday, August 5 through Monday, August 8. All activities are optional, though specific session spots will be held for ELS participants.

These are the times that participants are committed to attend together as a cohort:
Friday 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Welcome and Community Building
Opening Ceremony

Saturday 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
ELS Meet and Mingle with A.T. Vista participants

Sunday 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Reflections and Closing Connections


The ATC is building a diverse group of young leaders interested in taking positive action for themselves, their communities, and the A.T. The ATC’s commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) aspires to cultivate greater strength and resilience within and beyond the organization as we work to manage and protect the A.T. and all of its special resources and communities.

A diverse cohort of emerging leaders includes people who:

  • have outdoor camping experience as well as people who have never been camping or hiking before.
  • are from across the 14 Appalachian Trail states*.
  • are aged 18 to 35.
  • are of different levels of education.
  • have a strong motivation to be a steward of the A.T.
  • are willing and able to take action on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • are passionate about empowering others to make the world and the Appalachian Trail a welcoming place for all.

*Priority will be given to those residing in the eastern United States

2021 Summit Stories

Read stories from the coordinator team about the summit experience:

Learn more about the 2021 Emerging Leaders’ Summit

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) hosted a 2021 Emerging Leaders’ Summit! The Summit was a virtual experience with participation centered on young people aged 14-35 but open to all.

The 2021 Summit strengthened connections between young leaders and their networks, sparked momentum for youth movements at the intersection of nature and climate justice, and provide a space for artistic creation and performance utilizing the outdoors and the Appalachian Trail as a muse.

Learn More

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