Volunteering in the National Parks Service

How would you like to immerse yourself into a National Park? Get to see the behind the scenes action? You can do that as a volunteer!

Opportunities are endless! Each park has its own special needs: You may work in a gift shop, as a guide, campground host or at a research library. You may also help cleaning trails or performing in living history plays. Some locations have jobs assisting researchers with plant, animal and weather data or at archaeological sites.

Anyone can apply, from teenagers on up. You can volunteer as a family, club (Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts). Volunteers are responsible for their own living expenses and transportation to and from the site location.

Many parks are isolated, so housing is provided for volunteers. Depending on the park, volunteer accommodations may be fully furnished houses, volunteer villages, seasonal homes, dorms, bunk houses or RV campsites.

In exchange for housing, volunteers work at least 20 hours a week. Some parks ask for more, others allow splitting between a couple if sharing facilities. Volunteers are expected to attend training sessions to learn about the area they’ll be working in.

In recent years, over 250,000 people donate 7+ Million hours volunteering for the National Parks Service. In the current budget climate, the need for volunteers will increase.

To explore the opportunities of volunteering at a national park site, check out the website: Volunteer Opportunities

You can also check www.volunteer.gov which includes more option than the parks.

You may also explore the opportunities at a park you would like to visit. Look at the volunteer tab for the specific park website.

The rewards of volunteering at a park of interest to you is priceless. The learning experience, the people you meet, feeling good about serving and helping meet the park’s budget needs. Oh the stories you could tell!


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