WHAT ARE WILDERNESS AMBASSADORS?
Wilderness Ambassadors are a special type of volunteer. Experts at public engagement and education, these adventurous folks head out on some of the most beloved wilderness trails on Mt Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge to share Leave No Trace principles, hiking etiquette, and trail stewardship with trail users.
These volunteers also gather data on physical and social trail conditions, perform some lights stewardship projects, and help to train new Wilderness Ambassadors as they enter the program.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A WILDERNESS AMBASSADOR?
First of all, we ask that you fill out the Wilderness Ambassador Volunteer application. This application give you a chance to share a bit about yourself, your skill set and will help us tailor the training process to you.
Once you enter the training process of becoming a Wilderness Ambassadors, there are a few steps to take.
Take the online Trail Ambassador training. This is a short virtual training that can be done on your own time and will give you an introduction to TKO and Ambassador volunteering in general. These trainings will equip you with the resources to feel confident when talking to visitors.
Attend an in-person Wilderness Ambassador Training. These 1-day trainings take place in the spring and early summer and will cover all the specifics of the Wilderness Ambassador program. Topics covered will include safety procedures, advanced public engagement techniques, hike scheduling, and data reporting.
Attend a minimum of 3 mentorship hikes. You will be paired with a current Wilderness Ambassador who will mentor and evaluate your skills on trail and give you opportunities to practice what you’ve learned. Once you and your mentor both feel like you have a solid grasp on the volunteer experience, you’ll be able to schedule and go out on your own hikes. These hikes will be arrange after you attend the Wilderness Ambassador Training.