by Sara Haxby

Trail Safe! Challenge 2020

Trail Safe! is a unique safety program designed specifically for trail volunteers on the A.T. as well as other NPS-administered National Trails. It’s based on NPS Operational Leadership Training, where the human factor of safety is explored.

Split into 8 videos of no more than 40 minutes, the whole series takes about 3 hours from start to finish. Volunteers who completed the program have given it high marks.

As a token of your accomplishment, completing the course earns a Trail Safe! pin and a risk assessment tool called the SPE/GAR card, which stands for Severity-Probability-Exposure and Green Amber Red. This year, ATC is launching the Trail Safe! Challenge. The first 25 volunteers who complete the course and report their completion will receive a special gift along with their course completion pin and card. That’s ATC’s way of saying thank you for being safe!

Want to earn the recognition as a club? Consider planning to watch the videos together instead of canceling workdays over snow or inclement weather.

The concepts of Trail Safe! aren’t complex, and the lessons are designed to reduce risk. The by-products of lessening risk are improved group dynamics, leadership, and effective communication for new volunteers.

With the Volunteer Leadership Meeting in September 2020, we hope club leaders will consider concepts from the training, and let us know which your club could benefit from covered in greater depth. Which would you like to discuss at length with other leaders? Helps us plan by taking the challenge, reporting your completion, and sharing your thoughts! Thanks!