TCT volunteers have one thing in common: they are all awesome!
I’m amazed every summer at the diverse group of people that sign up to come do manual labor in the remote mountains of Georgia and Armenia, and how well they all get along with each other.
But it makes sense when you think about it. All our volunteers are people who want to contribute something meaningful while traveling somewhere interesting and beautiful. They like learning new things, they like challenging themselves, and they enjoy living and working with like-minded people from around the world.
Since the first ever programme in 2016, we’ve welcomed volunteers from over 20 different countries (including, of course, Georgia and Armenia themselves). They have ranged from 18 to 74 in age. Some folks are retired, some are traveling around the world, some are changing careers, and others are squeezing in some serious back-to-nature time while on vacation from their office jobs. Some have built trails before, but most haven’t. Everyone loves the mountains. And everyone likes working hard and getting dirty, if only because it is a serious change from their usual day-to-day.
Sure, maybe not everyone loves it when it rains for a couple days, and things are getting really wet and muddy, and you’ve worked hard all day and you are tired and a little cold, but you can’t go to bed until you dry your socks by the fire, because you’ve gone through all your dry pairs and need something to put on when you get up at 6am… but people don’t let it get them down!
Some of our volunteers come back every summer, and some have gone on to volunteer doing trail-building and conservation work with other organizations after discovering how much they enjoy it. It’s also a great experience for people developing a career in mountain leadership or outdoor education or trying to decide if that’s for them.
Everyone comes for their own reasons, and everyone takes away something unique from the experience. But working together, getting to know everyone on the crew in a way that couldn’t have happened in another context, and having shared all the challenges and fun and beautiful storms and sunsets… for most of our volunteers, that’s what really makes it special.
The bottom line, I think, is that if – despite our warnings about how hard it will be – it still sounds like a rewarding and fun way to spend two weeks… you can be pretty damn sure it will be.
Interested in joining us this year? Click here for the full details of the programme and sign up before the April 15th deadline.