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Old 09-16-2019, 12:33 AM   #1
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Volunteering in national parks?

Not sure where to post this but does anyone know of information sources about volunteering in national parks? I'd like to learn more, from sources other than the parks themselves.

They are an obvious source but I'm also looking for alternative sources. Web sites such as this that are frequented by people with experience would be ideal.

TIA
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:08 AM   #2
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Have you looked at the Workamper site? It's probably the number one site for info. And their site leads to more resources you can use.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:31 PM   #3
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Have you looked at the Workamper site? It's probably the number one site for info. And their site leads to more resources you can use.
No, but thanks. That's the kind of information I was looking for.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:40 PM   #4
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Hi,

If you come up dry on national parks, the Bureau of Land Management, and I also believe the Forest Service, use volunteers in their campgrounds. Google would be your friend in that regard.

Hope this helps.

Rich Phillips
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:20 PM   #5
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Cool

Try volunteer.gov
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Old 09-17-2019, 03:42 PM   #6
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Volunteer.gov is by far the best one to use. The VIP (Volunteers in Parks) coordinators are usually hard to contact.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:22 PM   #7
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A bit off of what the poster asked.... I visited Yellow Stone (YSNP) a few years back as a camper. When ever I stopped within YSNP (restaurants, gift shops, gas stations, RV campsite ect.) and I saw workers I would ask them the pros and cons of working in the park. The negative comments seemed to out weighed the positive. I tried to ask the older park works that seemed to be closer to my age (retired age). All the websites I visited painted a very rosy picture. This is just my experience. I'm sure there are a lot people who have worked at parks and loved every minute. Hopefully, some one who subscribes to this site will share their experience.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:13 PM   #8
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Were the people you spoke to volunteering for the park or working for the concessionaire? I'm under the impression there's a big difference.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:12 AM   #9
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For NPS volunteers, you need to work 32 hours per week to get a free RV site.
Working for a concessioner is like any other job - its a job! Yes, you are usually ina very special place, like YELL, but you are still a employee with a work schedule, witch trumps your desires. My situation is a bit different as I work as a seasonal Park Ranger, uniform and all. My wife, however, has worked for concessioners at several parks, some good some not so. When talking to worker bees, ask WHO they work for
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:16 AM   #10
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For NPS volunteers, you need to work 32 hours per week to get a free RV site.
Working for a concessioner is like any other job - its a job! Yes, you are usually ina very special place, like YELL, but you are still a employee with a work schedule, witch trumps your desires. My situation is a bit different as I work as a seasonal Park Ranger, uniform and all. My wife, however, has worked for concessioners at several parks, some good some not so. When talking to worker bees, ask WHO they work for



so any you would recommend or stay away from?
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:29 AM   #11
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Really depends on the park and the local concessioner management, Xanterra and Delaware North are two of the majors. She has worked for both. The park's affiliated associations operate the book stores in the visitor centers but these positions are usually hard to come by
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:40 AM   #12
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Coolworks.com is another good resource. They mainly have jobs, not volunteer positions but they usually have volunteer positions listed by mid winter for summer season. They have a section dedicated to national parks, and also a section for jobs that include an RV space.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:00 AM   #13
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Don't know about the NP's in the lower 48, but Denali NP, and some others in the state have these programs. Some are paid positions, some are strictly volunteer. Yes, most of the time you'll receive free camping, but you're going to have to "work" for it. Usually 30-32 hours per week. Often the work tasks are arduous, at all hours and not always under the best conditions. A lot of college kids take advantage of these programs. We have many folks that come from outside expecting free leisurely camping. They learn differently in a hurry and very seldom last more than a couple of days.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:33 AM   #14
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In addition many state parks use "Campground Host" positions. I believe here in LA they pay a small stipend as well as free site.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:23 PM   #15
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... We have many folks that come from outside expecting free leisurely camping. They learn differently in a hurry and very seldom last more than a couple of days. ...
Outsiders may not recognize that "outside" has a specific meaning to Alaskans.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:26 AM   #16
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For NPS volunteers, you need to work 32 hours per week to get a free RV site. ...
What is the cash value of that site? Divide that by 32, then multiply by about 1.25 (offsetting taxes) to get your hourly compensation rate. But I don't think of volunteering in a NP in purely financial terms. Among other things, by spending longer periods in those parks you get to see things you probably wouldn't, on a short term stay.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:49 PM   #17
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Volunteering in national parks?

DW and I are just finishing our first volunteer Campground Host assignment at Glacier National Park. It has been fantastic! The reward has been spending 3 months in a fantastic park and working with an incredible number of happy campers.

Yes it did involve long days but not really hard work. Yes you will encounter a few unhappy campers but if you donít mind working with the public itís a great job.

Most National Park volunteer opportunities can be found on Volunteer.gov but a few, like Glacier NP, are only mentioned in the volunteer section of their website. Read the description carefully as the duties vary from park to park.

Again we have really enjoyed it and look forward to our next opportunity.
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