Teen Volunteer Opportunities

From caring for animals to helping with day camps to learning about art and nature, volunteering in the parks will help you gain leadership skills, life skills and job skills. Plus, you might just have fun while you're at it. 

Teen Council

The Teen Council serves as the voice for young people in our community as users and stewards. Teens provide their perspective on Three Rivers initiatives, collaborate with staff on ideas and programs to engage teens in the parks, and learn about all aspects of the Park District. Members collectively create a vision and goals that drive their efforts for the year. Open to ages 14-19.

Contact: Kaja Vang

Global Youth Service Day

Registration is now open for 2021 projects! Join an international effort of service and service learning during Global Youth Service Day: April 23-25. Help prepare trails and gardens for spring or tend to early season crops. Open to ages 12 through college. Registration required. Free to participate. All supplies and training are provided.

Contact: Katie Brom

Outdoor Youth Crew

The Outdoor Youth Crew focuses on outdoor recreation skills, including fishing, archery, paddle sports, group games and teambuilding. Participants help with programs at a variety of locations throughout the Park District.

Contact: Heather Gordon

Silverwood Teen Arts Council

a man taking a picture by a lake

The Silverwood Teen Arts Council (STAC) is focused on the arts and nature and takes place at Silverwood Park. The STAC helps plan two teen nights each year in collaboration with professional artists. Participants are exposed to a variety of artistic mediums, artists and outdoor skills. STAC members commit to 40 hours of volunteering in one year. 

Contact: Seth Eberle

Counselor in Training

The Counselor-in-Training program is not available in 2021. We hope to bring it back in 2022. 

Teens can continue the fun of summer camp while developing leadership skills. Participants learn how to foster friendships, solve problems and be a role model for kids. Includes one week of training and at least one week of summer camp immersion assisting staff with overnights. Space is limited, and there is a fee for food and lodging. Scholarships are available for those with financial need. Open to ages 15-18. 

Contact: Mary Morris

Eastman Nature Center

Naturalist Youth Leader Program: Experience working as an assistant naturalist, receive hands-on nature education training, learn about different ecosystems and become more comfortable in the outdoors at Eastman Nature Center. Applications accepted starting in January.

Contact: Vicky Wachtler

Animal care volunteer: Help care for live reptiles and amphibians. Animal volunteers commit 1–2 hours weekly for a minimum of six months.

Contact: Brandon Baker

Lowry Nature Center

Day camps: Assist naturalists with camp at Lowry Nature Center, including helping with craft projects, outdoor nature activities and keeping an eye on kids during hikes.

Bluebird monitoring: Open bluebird houses and make notes about the nest, eggs and babies inside. Trail monitoring is done every 7–10 days from April 1–Aug. 1.

Animal care volunteer: Help care for live reptiles and amphibians. Must commit 1–2 hours weekly for at least six months.

Native bees: Assist a naturalist with native bee nest box surveys.

Dragonfly surveys: Learn how to identify and record species, as well as net, handle and photograph/record dragonflies.

Contact: Kirk Mona

The Landing Youth Leader Program

a group of kids in historical clothes lined up performing

The Youth Leader program is not available in 2021. We hope to bring it back in 2022.

The Youth Leader Program at The Landing is focused on local history and the environment. As a participant, you will get to experience working as a "counselor in training" during the summer camp program. Teach skills from the past and become more comfortable presenting in front of a group. Open to participants ages 12–18.

Contact: Zack Mohlis

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

Day camps: Assist naturalists with day camps for children, including helping with craft projects and nature and recreation activities.

Phenology citizen science: Collect data related to the seasonal changes in the park. You must collect data at least once per month from April–November.

Water quality monitor: Collect data related to the Mississippi River’s health. Data must be collected twice per month from April-November.

Animal care volunteer: Help care for live reptiles and amphibians at Mississippi Gateway. Animal volunteers commit 1–2 hours weekly for a minimum of six months.

Contact: Ashley Smith

Other Volunteer Opportunities

In addition to ongoing volunteer opportunities, Three Rivers is always looking for short-term volunteers. See additional volunteer options at Three Rivers.