M.A.D Training Program

Mountain Trails Adventure School is a Christian Mission which is committed to reaching people with the Message of Jesus Christ, and encouraging them to become His followers, growing in faith and maturity.
Mountain Trails has three aims:

  1. To ensure all participants hear the message of Jesus in a way that they can understand, despite the many subcultures of our society, and they are encouraged to respond. That this message is communicated by the whole Mountain Trails Team, in words and actions.
  2. That participants are challenged by the wonder of the natural environment, as well as our outdoor activities and adventures, so they will learn by them, growing and developing physically, emotionally and spiritually into more confident and resilient people.
  3. To disciple and equip Christians to do mission, serving the Lord, especially in the context of Christian Camping Ministry. This involves training and experience, as well as supervised practical application of formal training.

Our MAD Training Program is one way we fulfil our third aim.

Mountain Trails began in 1988 with school holiday camps, having the same three aims, and has grown from there. It was initially a horse riding camp, but has grown to include:

  • Horses and Trail Riding.
  • Dirt and Mountain Bikes
  • Abseiling and High Ropes.
  • Adventure Caving.
  • Canoeing and Swimming.
  • Bushwalking and Journey based events.
  • Archery and Whip-cracking.
  • Campouts and Bushmanship.

Plus Crafts, Sports and Games.

Mountain Trails remains a largely volunteer organisation, but as it has grown with the need to be compliant with regulations and have appropriate standards of professionalism, some members of the Team have had to be full time and some employed.

Mountain Trails is located on a beautiful 9,500 hectare site near Wee Jasper, N.S.W, at the northern end of the Brindabella Range. It is 50 minutes drive from Yass and an 85-minute drive from Canberra.  A small portion of the road is gravel, which is maintained and suited to normal traffic. The property itself is largely a wilderness of mountains, creeks, and gullies, interlaced with many trails providing access and extra safety.  Mountain Trails is a registered not-for-profit charity.

Team planning

Why MAD?

Mountain Trails programs are largely delivered by trained and experienced volunteers.  While we charge for most of these activities it is well below commercial rates to enable our programs to be as affordable as possible.  Thus we rely heavily on volunteers.

Serving at Mountain Trails as a volunteer is a great way to serve the Lord, have fun, be challenged and be part of a Team that changes lives for eternity.

Being on the MAD Program is a more structured way of being a Mountain Trails volunteer, coming for the fourteen months of the course, to help Mountain Trails deliver its programs, and receiving the training and experience this package provides for you to do mission with adventure. 

Mountain Trails needs MAD volunteers to be part of its Team, to do programs in School Holidays, on weekends and midweek.

Being a MAD volunteer requires training and certification.   Some of this includes a detailed induction during December, when you start. Other training will take place regularly during the fourteen months of the course.

The total training package will give you a Mountain Trails Certificate in Christian Camping Ministry (CCCM ) after completion of the course.  This is a training package developed by Mountain Trails, but is not a formally recognised course other than the Certificate III in Outdoor Leadership.

This will comprise:

  • A Certificate III in Outdoor Leadership conducted by a Registered Training Organisation.  This involves choosing some specific activities that Mountain Trails offers.
  • A structured online Biblical and Ministry Course.
  • A structured in-house program, focussing on other aspects of Christian camping ministry.

To enter the program you will participate in a roster covering 20 days in a four week period.  The roster will allocate roughly 60 per cent volunteering and 40 per cent training/study. 

To receive the CCCM you must participate for the full course and complete the required assessments including all external assessments.

School holidays are currently our busiest time, when we need volunteers the most.  Most of these programs will form part of the Vocational Placement for your Cert III.

Being a volunteer, you are free to withdraw or modify your training and participation at any time.

Other options

Because of the nature of our activities and the support needed, life on our site involves Maintenance Work, Care of Livestock and Pasture Management.  We also have a registered Commercial Kitchen.

There are always building projects on the go. While most MAD volunteers are interested in Outdoor Activities, programs can be tailored around Maintenance, Farm Activities, or Cooking, Catering and Hospitality.

Life as a MAD volunteer

You will need to be onsite for your agreed rostered days, and you will need to have a registered address in NSW to receive the subsidy for your Cert III training.  If coming from interstate you can use Mountain Trails as your registered address.

We will provide you with accommodation and basic food whilst onsite, as we do for all volunteers.   This will entail group housing and sharing facilities.  Community living is part of the training.  During program, meals are usually provided, but in between you may need to prepare them yourself.

We will also meet the cost of your training as a resident of NSW, as we do with other members of our Team. Our days usually start with a devotional and prayer time.

  • When you are on a day of program, you will assist with preparation and delivering the activity under supervision, in accordance with your previous experience and training.  It is a hands-on day.  As well, there is always the packup and cleanup.  This is all part of Camping Ministry.  You will participate in the full range of things that make up a functioning ministry; the excitement of challenge and the mundane chores.
  • When you are on a day with no program there is always planning and preparation to be done.  There is stock to be managed, horses to be worked and fed, repairs to be made and the facilities to be maintained fresh and appealing.
  • When you are on a study day you will be involved with group tuition, sometimes that will be outdoors and sometimes in the classroom.  Other times you will be doing your online training on your own bat.  Advice and help is always available.

We will also have regular meetings of our full Team, which MAD volunteers are encouraged to attend and be active participants.  Team meetings are also part of our training.

There will also be group and individual meetings with MAD volunteer supervisors to review progress and provide support.

MAD Training Program- Requirements and Cost

  • A personal commitment to follow Jesus, and be a member of a local Christian church.
  • Minimum 18 years of age as of the 1st January 2022, or have completed Year 12.
  • Driver’s licence and be able to/willing to learn to drive a manual car
  • Participants are expected to provide their own activity-specific clothing
  • Laptop for study purposes including internet dongle or access to mobile phone data
  • Be willing to cook, clean, work with kids, be a room leader, mow lawns and other communal chores
  • Have a current NSW Working with Children Check and be willing to attend Child protection training
  • USI – unique Student Identifier number.
  • A commitment to respect the policies, rules and expectations of Mountain Trails Adventure School, as well a commitment to respect the whole Mountain Trails Team of which you will be part. 
  • Be ready to learn, grow and contribute.
  • Preferably, to have been a volunteer on a Mountain Trails program before applying.

To apply, call or email us to get a Ministry Team, as well as a MAD Training Program application form.  You will need to complete both.

There may also be an opportunity to participate in a second-year MAD Training Program option, for those who wish to continue to pursue training in Outdoor Christian Ministry.

Key Dates

Applications open: 1st June, 2021
Interviews commence: 1st August, 2021
Applications close 1st October, 2021
Successful applicants notified 11th October, 2021
MAD Program starts 1st December, 2021
MAD Program ends 28th January, 2023

On-line Application Form – click here

PDF version to download

Our Aims

Statement of Belief