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Volunteer with Montana State Parks

Montana State Parks offer volunteer opportunities for individuals of all ages, families with children, as well as service groups and clubs.

Great Reasons to Volunteer

  • Meet new people and build relationships
  • Be an environmental steward
  • Learn about the parks and what they protect
  • Improve health
  • Spend time amongst Montana‚Äôs natural and cultural beauty
  • Enhance work and volunteer experience

Current Volunteer Positions Available

Would you like to help at a visitor center, host a campground, share your love of history, culture, or science with park visitors, or do a project tailored to a special interest? Consider one of these volunteer positions:

Park Naturalist

POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

Region 1 (Northwest) - Kalispell Area

Region 2 (West Central) - Missoula Area

Region 4 (North Central) - Great Falls Area

Region 5 (Eastern) - Billings Area / Eastern Montana

 

DUTIES
A Park Naturalist assists park staff in preparation and presentation of natural and cultural history interpretive programs for children through seniors on- and off-site; develops and cares for live and static exhibits; may handle live animals such as reptiles, raptors, mammals, and insects; greets park visitors, provides park information, and leads hikes and tours; assists with evening and weekend programs that may involve multi-media presentations, music, guest speakers, and helps at special events. Naturalists will also be involved in designing informational displays, writing informative articles, researching area history, and performing routine maintenance on trails and interpretive facilities.

DURATION
Preferably, individuals would volunteer for any four-week period or regularly scheduled hours May through September. Most of the time is spent between Memorial Day and Labor Day and weekends and holidays. The volunteer should plan to provide 20-24 hours per week during the assigned period or 6-8 hours for a one-day shift. A special need exists for volunteers during spring and fall months for assistance with school groups, both in the state parks and schools. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, this opportunity is often associated with evening campfire programs, weekend lecture series, and special events.

EXPERIENCE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Applicants should have experience leading children aged 3-12 years; be an excellent communicator, highly enthusiastic, flexible, self-motivated; able to work with minimum supervision, and possess basic knowledge of natural sciences, effective writing skills, and a desire to share knowledge and experiences with people of all ages, especially children. Also helpful would be artistic and photographic skills, familiarity with audio-visual equipment, and an extra abundance of patience. Must provide own transportation and housing. CPR and standard first aid certifications are a plus.

Park Host

HOST OPENINGS AND SITE INFORMATION
See the document below for site information about the Park Host positions that are currently available.

Volunteer Campground Host Openings

Volunteer Hosts assist at parks listed below:

Region 1 (Northwest) - Kalispell Area

Region 2 (West Central) - Missoula Area

Region 3 (Southwest) - Bozeman Area

Region 4 (North Central) - Great Falls Area

Region 5 (Eastern) - Billings Area / Eastern Montana

 

DUTIES
Park Hosts serve as liaisons between park users and park staff. Hosts camp among other campers, where campgrounds are provided, in order to provide a personal touch and to accommodate the needs of park visitors. Hosts assist visitors by providing information about the park, answering questions, and explaining rules. Hosts must be familiar with the reasoning behind state park rules. Hosts must also become familiar with local points of interest and know the location of services that may be requested by campers. When park staff are not present, a host may perform light maintenance work around the park or make minor repairs. Other duties may be assigned according to the needs of the park and the skills of the volunteer. Hosts are not expected to enforce park regulations; rather, they should be observant and courteously advise campers of unintentional or minor violations. They should report flagrant violations to park personnel responsible for law enforcement. Hosts must set an example by being model campers, practicing good housekeeping at all times in and around their campsite, and observing all rules. Park Hosts may also be called upon to assist with monitoring user fee compliance, help with special event activities, announce interpretive programs, and other assigned tasks when park staff are not present.

DURATION
Park Hosts are needed throughout the camping season from May 1 through September 30. Hosts are required to be available for a minimum of four weeks at most state parks. A two-week minimum may be applicable at some remote sites. Consideration may be given for both longer and shorter periods of service. Generally, hosts provide 24-32 hours of volunteer service time per week to park tasks, but this can vary depending on individual park needs. You may contact the park manager of the park you are interested in to get more information. Days off will be taken during weekdays, Monday through Friday. Hosts will be considered "on-call" at all times of the day and night.

EXPERIENCE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Applicants must be experienced campers, enjoy the great outdoors, and have a desire to help others enjoy recreating in Montana State Parks. Candidates must also be outgoing, friendly, and enjoy meeting people. Hosts will reside at a designated campsite during their stay and must provide their own housing, equipment, and personal items. Many parks do not have hookups, so self-contained units are advisable. Knowledge of basic first aid is helpful; CPR and standard first aid certification are a plus. Applicant(s) must have a self-contained camping unit; housing cannot be provided. Some areas have full hookups, phone, and pads; some have none. Some sites are close to communities with stores, laundromats, and other services; other sites are 30 or more miles away from such services.

Visitor Center Attendant

POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

Region 1 (Northwest) - Kalispell Area

Region 2 (West Central) - Missoula Area

Region 3 (Southwest) - Bozeman Area

Region 4 (North Central) - Great Falls Area

Region 5 (Eastern) - Billings Area / Eastern Montana

 

DUTIES
Visitor Center Attendants are responsible for greeting and assisting guests at State Park visitor centers. Volunteers provide information and assistance, conduct tours, run multi-media programs, keep attendance records, and perform routine maintenance duties at facilities. They may also be involved with exhibit design and construction, artifact inventorying, gift shop sales, research, and assistance at special events.

DURATION
Visitor Center Attendants are needed for any four-week period or regularly scheduled hours year-around. Visitor Center Attendant volunteers should plan to spend 20-24 hours per week during the assigned period.

EXPERIENCE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Applicants should have considerable experience and/or interest in history, Native American culture, or natural sciences; effective communication skills, and a strong desire to share knowledge and experiences with people of all ages and backgrounds. Also helpful would be writing and artistic abilities, public speaking experience, photographic skills, and familiarity with audio-visual equipment. CPR and standard first aid certifications are a plus. Volunteers must provide their own transportation and housing.

Special Projects Assistant

POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

Region 1 (Northwest) - Kalispell Area

Region 3 (Southwest) - Bozeman Area

Region 4 (North Central) - Great Falls Area

Region 5 (Eastern) - Billings Area / Eastern Montana

 

DUTIES
A Special Projects Assistant works with park staff to accomplish a one-time or special yearly project or event. Duties are so broad for this position that the list of possible opportunities is too long to list here. Duties may include, but are not limited to, preparing for an event (setting up tables and chairs, decorating the area, cooking, shuttling vehicles, picking up and returning dignitaries to the airport, purchasing needed supplies, arranging for music, entertainment, or guest speakers, cleaning the area beforehand, setting up displays, hauling display items to and from various areas, and staffing display areas during certain hours of the day); and being present, as needed, during a special project to greet guests, provide information about the project, assist with presentations, or conduct on-site surveys. When the project or event is completed, the volunteer may assist with cleanup and finishing various logistic functions. Other duties may include inventory, archiving, researching, photography, maintenance, or restoration work.

DURATION
Special Projects Assistants are needed throughout the year and their time commitment varies according to the scope of each project.

EXPERIENCE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Volunteers must be willing to accept any type of an assignment (often with very short notice). They should also be flexible, self-motivated, able to work with minimum supervision, energetic, enthusiastic, and able to work with a wide range of individual personalities, ages, and backgrounds.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

There are many ways your group can volunteer. This includes boy scouts, girl scouts, corporations, 4-H clubs, schools, community service groups, church groups, environmental groups and so forth. Duties are usually project specific and will be designed around the interests of the group as well as the needs of the park or program.

We understand that every group interested in volunteering has different priorities and requirements. For more information on group volunteering, please call 406-444-3750 or the park manager at the park you are interested in.

Special Volunteer Days

Bring your family and friends. Lend a hand with general clean up, tree-planting, cave restoration, listen to interpretive talks, go on a guided walk, and more; finish the celebration with a free BBQ or other refreshments. For event details, contact the parks below, or check with your local state park.

Other opportunities for special volunteer events at Montana State Parks are offered on Earth Day, National Trails Day, Get Outdoors Day, Global Youth Service Day, and National River Cleanup Week.  If you or your organization are interested in planning your own event in a state park, please contact the park manager.

 

How to Apply

 

1) Download and complete the application above.

 

2) If you are interested in a volunteer position at a particular state park, return your application to the Park Manager listed as the contact for that park.

 

3) You may also submit your application to the Montana State Parks Headquarters, 1420 6th Ave, Helena MT 59620 or e-mail jnaiman-sessions@mt.gov, and we will work to match your application with the state park(s) that have volunteer opportunities.



Although there is no deadline for submitting an application, it is highly recommended you do so by December 1st for the following summer season. Most positions are filled by mid-February. Occasionally, due to unforeseen circumstances, last-minute position vacancies occur.

Volunteer positions may include benefits such as training and orientation, Workers' Compensation insurance, reimbursement for travel and meals (up to $100 per month, or to the extent funds are available), volunteer uniform, college credit, or other special provisions unique to the site. Park Host benefits may also include one complimentary annual state park entrance pass, and a free campsite.

Positions are governed by the Volunteer Policy Guidelines (pdf) adopted by the Parks Division, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and other applicable laws, rules, and policies.