Friends of Nevada Wilderness is proud to share information about one of our most exciting volunteer opportunities, our Alternative Break program!
Each year we host multi-day camping, restoration, and education extravaganzas in the Spring and Summer on Nevada's beautiful Public Lands. Our goal is to foster the spirit of stewardship in young people by engaging in beginner-friendly projects and providing training to help them feel confident in their volunteer abilities. We have guest speakers who give presentations of a variety of topics, from Archaeologist Spencer Lodge sharing his research on Indigenous agave roasting pits found in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge to a presentation on migratory birds that visit Pahranagat Lake by Visitor Support Specialist Barbara Michel. It's a great opportunity for folks hoping to start a career in conservation, ecology, and other related fields to engage with like-minded professionals and experience volunteering in the field.
Our Alternative Breaks are funded by the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership (SNAP). Friends of Nevada Wilderness is proud to partner with the Federal public lands agencies that make up SNAP and manage more than 10 million acres of public lands and water in Southern Nevada to provide conservation and recreational opportunities. SNAP's “Engaging Communities through Stewardship” project is delivering a continuum of activities, including environmental education programs, stewardship events, and responsible outdoor recreation trainings designed to engage our local community, from childhood into adulthood, in their public lands. To learn more and get involved visit https://nvpubliclandspartners.org/.
Frequently Asked Questions
To give you a better idea of what it’s like to be at one of our Alternative Breaks, check out the answers to our most frequently asked questions. You can also get a feel for the experience by watching this video and checking out pictures from earlier ASB trips. ASB 2015 ASB 2016 ASB 2017 ASB 2018 ASB 2020
What do Alternative Break participants do?
Volunteers are a vital part of keeping our public lands and wilderness areas safe and clean. Alternative Break participants will volunteer by working on the ground with others to heal and protect wild places. This trip is fun, rewarding, and can be a great way to meet new Friends. You’ll also get to explore the places we’re working to protect and learn about our environment from local experts.
What is the cost?
It's free! Thanks to the generosity of donors, we're able to provide all the meals, gear, and transportation, including tools, safety gear, cooking equipment, chairs, and tents. All we ask you to bring is personal items, like clothes. We do ask for a $49 deposit to confirm your commitment, which will be fully refunded when you join us for Alternative Break. The deposit helps us accommodate as many people to participate as we can.
Do I need to have prior experience?
Nope! We especially encourage you to sign up if you've never done trail work or restoration. It's a great opportunity to learn with other beginners and ask all the questions you didn't know you had. Alternative Break doesn’t require prior camping experience and we encourage all levels of experience to get involved. You’ll receive a safety and training session by the leaders before you begin working on a project, including proper techniques and appropriate tool use.
What do I need to bring? Check out our page about WHAT TO BRING here. ! Be sure to bring some creature comforts, like snacks, a card game, or your favorite hoodie to make sure you're cozy and enjoy the week.
How do I sign up for Alternative Break?
Signing up is simple and there’s no application! Simply fill out your contact info at the bottom of this linked page and click the red “Send RSVP” button. We’ll send you an email with information about the deposit and a link to a short survey. The $49 deposit is to confirm your RSVP and will be fully refunded. It helps us accommodate as many people to participate as we can. If the deposit is a burden for you, let us know and we’ll work it out. We want this to be an inclusive experience for all kinds of people. The survey includes things like dietary restrictions and medical information that helps us plan for the week.
How do I get to the project?
We’ll provide all transportation, including picking you up and dropping you off at UNLV. We ask that folks carpool** with us and not use their own vehicles to get to Alternative Break. As you can likely imagine, if everyone drives separately, we simply don’t have enough room to park all of the vehicles.
Do I have to stay for the entire project?
We ask that you come for the entirety of Alternative Break. It’s simply too logistically difficult for us to plan meals and coordinate safe projects when the group size fluctuates.
Will there be a camp host or chef on the project?
We’ll be cooking up gourmet camp dinners and desserts every night! We’ll have coffee, tea, and a breakfast bar in the mornings. We’ll also have lots of tasty snacks and lunch fixings.
What are the age requirements?
Due to the week-long nature of this project and US Fish & Wildlife Service volunteer protocols, we can only accept participants that are 18 years of age or older.
Can I bring my dog?
Due to safety reasons and concern for the animal’s well-being we do not allow pets at Alternative Break. There are swinging tools and moving objects at our work sites, which could be potentially hazardous. In addition, while your pet may be adorable and well-behaved, not everyone is comfortable around dogs. We are, however, happy to see your cute photos and videos around the campfire.
**A negative COVID test is required before the trip. Thank you for your support as we cooperate to ensure a safe and enjoyable Alternative Break for all.