Monday, December 28, 2009

Spring Meadow Rover Breakfast set for May 8

From Amy Mann, here's the first notice for our Spring Meadow Rover Potluck, a tradition started a few years ago by some of the park's Meadow Rover volunteers. It's not too early to put this on your calendar! It's a great event for meeting other volunteers, catching up with old friends after the long winter, or learning about the park's volunteer (and specifically meadow rover) programs if you're new.

May 8, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Potluck Brunch hosted by the Tacoma Branch Hiking & Backpacking Committee and the Mount Rainier Volunteers-in-Park (VIPs), at the Tacoma Mountaineers clubhouse, 2302 N. 30th Street, Tacoma, WA 98403. All Mountaineers members, as well as non-members, are welcome to attend this event to find out about volunteering at Mount Rainier National Park and to help the Park VIPs kick off the 2009 Meadow Roving season. There are a number of Tacoma Mountaineers who volunteer at Sunrise during the summer, as well as other Mountaineers who volunteer at Paradise and in the backcountry on a year-round basis. Opportunities at the Park abound - check out the volunteer opportunities listed on the Park website,, and at the VIP blog at  It's a terrific "job"! If you have just a couple of days a month (weekends or weekdays) there is something for you to do at Mount Rainier National Park. If you've done all the trail maintenance and rebuilding that your body can handle, meadow roving might be just the ticket to get you out and let you give something back to the Park.

Bring something yummy to share for brunch. We'll plan to start serving food at 9:30 a.m. Doors will be open by 8:00 a.m. if you want to come early to slip your treat into the oven to heat it up. Coffee, tea, juice, tableware will be provided. Questions or for directions, contact Carol Berry,, 253-845-9297, Amy Mann,, 253-759-2796, or Martha Scoville,, 253-752-5014.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Calling All Summer and Long-term Interns!

We've just submitted a whole host of requests from the Student Conservation Association for interns during the 2010 season. If you're looking for an opportunity to get your foot in the door with some very exciting programs, here's your chance! These internships range from 12 weeks to 8 months in length, and encompass the whole range of activities at Mount Rainier National Park. I'll post links to the specific position announcements as they are added to SCA's database, but some of these are too new to be on the site yet. Follow this link to search for positions with the keyword of "Rainier" in the description: that should capture the whole list! Meanwhile, here's a summary of what we've requested so far:

Camping Adventures Assistant (link pending): Help lead five "Camping Adventures with My Parents" (CAMP) programs, providing introductory camping experiences to diverse families from the Seattle and Tacoma urban areas! This 12-week position will begin around June 7.

Citizen Science Coordinator: Recruit, train, and lead citizen volunteers on projects in the park's wilderness, including amphibian surveys, wetland mapping, and soundscape monitoring! This is a 12-week position starting about June 28.

Meadow Rover Manager (link pending): Help manage the popular Meadow Rover program at Paradise, whose participants patrol and mark trails, educate visitors, and protect the beautiful subalpine meadows by keeping visitors on the trails. We hope to hire a 6 month intern beginning mid-April.

Preventative Search and Rescue Ranger: Patrol the trails above Paradise, assisting hikers and maintaining trails. Help with search and rescue events, but through education, try to prevent them! This 12-week position begins approximately May 23.

Restoration Interns: Serve on the park's revegetation crews planting native plants at sites around Paradise. You'll be working alongside a lot of volunteers! These 12-week positions will begin around June 7.

Trails Volunteer Coordinator (link pending): Work with the park's trail crew to repair and rebuild trails all over the park, and help recruit, train, and lead volunteer groups to help. Past volunteer work crews have included employee organizations, church groups, Boy Scouts, and environmental clubs. This 16-week position begins about May 17.

Urban Outreach Assistant (link pending): Help plan and organize this summer's urban outreach program at Mount Rainier, including the new and exciting "Camping Adventures with My Parents" (CAMP) program. Build partnerships, recruit and train participants, and organize 3-day camping experiences for families who've never been camping before! This will be as much as an 8-month position beginning in early February.

Visitor Services Interns (Ohanapecosh and Paradise): Work alongside Mount Rainier's interpretive rangers, staffing visitor centers and leading interpretive walks and talks! These 12-week positions begin May 24.

Volunteer Coordinator Intern: Help lead Mount Rainier's growing volunteer program, which last summer worked with 1,865 people! For those of you who've been following the blog and saw the many postings by Nick Abel, this is the readvertisement of his position. The 6-month position begins around May 3.

One caveat on all of these positions: most, so far, do not have confirmed funding, though all of them stand a good chance of being funded one way or another. Don't wait to apply!

If you're a geology student, don't miss the possibility of applying for Geoscientist-in-Parks positions, for which the Geologic Society of America is now accepting applications for a brief period. And watch for other SCA positions to be announced as well. Other positions we're considering include a long-term Education Internship; a Living History Coordinator; a Maintenance Volunteer Coordinator; a Safety Intern; and high school crews through SCA's Conservation Leadership Corps. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mount Rainier volunteer wins National Public Lands Day photo contest!

Two photo awards for Mount Rainier volunteers in one week--is this the beginning of a trend?

The winners of the National Public Lands Day photo contest have just been announced, and for the second year in a row, one of the winners is a photo taken at Mount Rainier. This year's winning photo was captured by Bob Davies, advisor for the Boy Scouts' Order of the Arrow and local T'Kope Kwiskwis Lodge 502. His Scouts helped build a new section of the Glacier Basin Trail, in partnership with the park's trail crew and a team from the Washington Trails Association. The local "Arrow Corps 502" plans to return next year with an even larger group to help with projects all over the park, and is planning for a major volunteer effort at the park in 2011.

Good work, Arrow Corps Scouts, and congratulations, Bob Davies!

To see Bob's winning photo and the other six winners of this nationwide contest, go to the website of This summer, 223 volunteers participated in projects all over Mount Rainier National Park. Next year's National Public Lands Day will be September 25, 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Operations Training December 14

For those who will be volunteering this winter and are interested in Winter Operations Training, details have been posted on our volunteer discussion group at The training will be all day on Monday, December 14. Hope to see some of you there!

A winter volunteer assignment and an RSVP are required.

Mount Rainier volunteer photographer wins Olympus Photo Contest!

Congratulations to John Chao, who has been taking photographs as a volunteer at Mount Rainier for several years, and whose photograph has been selected as one of fifty winners of the Natural Resource Program Center's Olympus Photo Contest! John's photo, of volunteers working on trail reconstruction in 2007 under the direction of the Student Conservation Association's Mount Rainier Recovery Corps, was selected from more than 700 entries, and wins for our volunteer program a brand new Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 (waterproof, shock proof and freeze proof) camera!

For more information about the contest, and to see all fifty of the winning photographs, go to John Chao's photographs can also been enjoyed at and

Winter volunteer opportunities

Yes, it's that time of year again! I'm starting to get inquiries about what opportunities might be available for volunteering at Mount Rainier National Park during the winter months--which up here in the mountains means roughly November through May. Unfortunately, there aren't many such opportunities. But there are a few. Here's a quick summary:

- Nordic Patrol. We work in partnership with the Washington Ski Touring Club to provide ski patrol services at Paradise, including marking trail routes and assisting visitors. This requires a very dedicated and spirited kind of volunteer, but those who contribute provide an invaluable service. People interested in this opportunity should contact WSTC directly at, as we work with the group, not with individuals. If you have questions about ski patrol at Mount Rainier, contact Daniel Camiccia at 360-569-2211 ext. 3419.

- Visitor center and snowshoe walks. Most of the work in our visitor centers, and on the trails leading snowshoe walks, is done by our permanent and seasonal staff. However, there are always busy times like the Christmas holidays when we're short staffed and welcome the help of volunteers. Anyone interested in these opportunities should contact us well in advance of the winter season so that they can participate in our winter seasonal training in early December. In other words, if you're interested this year, now is the time to contact our West District Interpreter, Lee Snook, to express your interest. Her number is 360-569-6043.

- Greenhouse assistance. Our greenhouse is active throughout the winter, and we're always open to working with volunteers who are willing to commit to coming out on a regular basis to help us weed, pot, and care for our plants, most of which will be used on revegetation projects during the summer. We especially need help in the spring as we're gearing up for the season. For more information, see our listing on, or contact Josh Drown at 360-569-6170.

- Curatorial library. Brooke Childrey, our museum curator, works with many volunteers to sort and store our archives, photos, and historic artifacts collections. Our full-time curator positions are filled for this winter already, but there may still be possibilities for the right person to help with special projects on an intermittent basis. Call Brook at 360-569-2211 ext. 2366.

- Education program. Our curriculum-based education program works with many school groups in the spring and fall, and also has a number of curriculum-development projects underway. We're always looking for individuals who have educational background and experience to help out. For more information, contact Fawn Bauer at 360-569-6037.

All of these opportunities, as well as the summer positions we're already recruiting for, are posted on our NPS website at

By the way, as you may know, during the summer we provide free camping for people who volunteer in the park. In the winter that's also true--but much colder! So, during the winter we also keep an apartment warm and stocked with basic supplies for use by working volunteers. If you are able to arrange an intermittent winter volunteer position, contact me to ask about using the volunteer apartment. My number is 360-569-2211 ext. 3385.

Summer positions will be coming soon! Watch the list in the right-hand column and on the NPS website for positions we're currently recruiting, including student internships, volunteer coordinators, campground hosts, group opportunities, and many more. If you'd like to get on our mailing list, just send me an e-mail. And watch this blog for late-breaking updates!

Lower elevation opportunities: While we're under heavy snow for half the year, many of our partners work at lower elevation under the snowline. Consider volunteering with them through the winter! The Washington Trails Association, for example, has a long list of volunteer projects. Olympic National Park has land as low as sea level, and their annual Coast Cleanup is legendary. Or, check out the websites of the National Parks Conservation Association, Washington's National Park Fund, or The Mountaineers. You can also find great opportunities throughout the region on the websites and

Wherever you contribute, thanks for your time!