Volunteers are always wanted to work outdoors. Outdoor work is among some of the most satisfying work around. As a volunteer, you get to learn the ropes and enjoy your favorite outdoor locations for free.
You won’t be getting the paycheck of employees, but you still have to abide by their regulations. You’ll have a more flexible schedule and may be able to have a bit more fun. Volunteer opportunities for the summer are available from both government and non-government/non-profit organizations.
Organizations and agencies like the National Park Service, National Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, state governments, The Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, The Student Conservation Association, and many others welcome volunteers with open arms.
As many of these groups are on tight budgets, volunteers really help get things done.
Volunteering is also a great way to get your foot in the door for future outdoor seasonal or career jobs. You’ll meet all the right people and have the insider’s perspective on how things work. It’s a good way to learn what you want to do and to also get into the system. Another benefit is it looks great on a resume.
Anyone can volunteer. You may be a bored high schooler, an eager college student, a wondering middle-ager, or a friendly retiree. It doesn’t matter. Everyone can help in one way or another. As long as you have a love for the outdoors, you’ll fit in. It’s always nice to be around people that have similar interests as you. Being a volunteer in the outdoors surrounds you with other people that love what you love – nature. You’ll meet all sorts of people, some of them will become life long friends and others vital professional links for you future career.
As a volunteer you have more places to choose to work because you can really volunteer just about anywhere. Since every park needs volunteers, you can work anywhere.
Another perk is that you can work when you can. Maybe your college campus is close to a beautiful national forest. Then you could volunteer on Sunday’s to clean up trails. Or maybe the national park down the road is building a bridge. You could spend a weekend helping with the construction.
The flexibility of being a volunteer is awesome. If you like being outdoors and there is a park or forest nearby, you might as well volunteer. Only good things come from helping out.