Monday, March 10, 2008

Status of volunteer positions for 2008

I've been getting quite a few inquiries about volunteer opportunities for this summer, so here's a quick summary of where we stand and how to find further information.

SCA Internships: If you're looking for full-time volunteer positions, we have several currently advertised through the Student Conservation Association. You'll find a complete listing of these positions (usually 12 weeks in length) on SCA's website.

Full-time and Long-term Assignments: We also have several other long-term positions that are not being advertised through SCA. Some of these positions are full-time--Campground Hosts, for instance, or Curatorial Assistants. Others are "long-term" in the sense that we're looking for someone who can return repeatedly, but who wouldn't live full-time on-site here in the park. Our Meadow Rovers are a good example of these positions. You'll find these posted on our NPS website, and you can apply directly online.

Coming Soon: If you don't see a position that interests you, keep an eye on both of the aforementioned websites, because other positions will get posted as we continue planning for our summer programs. We're considering some very exciting new opportunities, including amphibian surveys, soundscape monitoring, and historic structure restoration.

General Volunteer Opportunities: In addition, you can apply for a "general volunteer opportunity," or send me an e-mail, if you'd like to be considered for potential future positions. Note, however, that only a very small percentage of people who apply in this way end up getting hired as volunteers. You're much more likely to end up with a good volunteer assignment if you apply directly to something we're recruiting for.

Our Mailing List: You can also just send me an e-mail and ask to be put on our volunteer program mailing list, to be notified when new opportunities become available.

Blog Notices: Keep an eye on this website, too. I try to post notices about new volunteer positions here when they become available.

The Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative: One of our most successful programs last year was through our partnership with the Student Conservation Association. We will again offer many such opportunities this year, from trail reconstruction and meadow repair to wilderness cleanup and historic campground restoration. Like last year, these opportunities will be posted on SCA's Mount Rainier Recovery calendar. We'll start posting new projects by early May. (Most places in the park aren't snow-free until June or even July!) These projects will last anywhere from one day to a full week. Some will suitable for families while others won't, so read the job descriptions carefully.

Group projects: If you're part of an organized group and would like to come volunteer together, contact us and we'll try to connect you up with a good project! We already have numerous groups on our calendar for this summer. Jill Baum (360-569-2211 ext. 3414) is usually our Project Manager for such events, but she's out on vacation for most of the month of March (in New Zealand, the lucky bum!), so in the meantime, give me a call at extension 3385 or drop me an e-mail.

Washington Trails Association: Like last year, you'll also have lots of opportunities this year to do trail work through WTA, who has assigned a full-time trails manager to organize projects in the park. Check out their website for a full list of opportunities, which are generally posted about six weeks out and fill up rapidly.

Other partners: The National Parks Conservation Association also has volunteer opportunities occastionally that support Washington's national parks--either on-the-ground work, or letter writing campaigns. Washington's National Park Fund coordinates fundraising on behalf of the parks. The Mountaineers organize recreational and educational trips to national parks and other public lands. Visit the Northwest Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition's blog for more information.

I hope that gives you a few ideas about how to keep busy this spring and summer!

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