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Get Involved

Teen Volunteers

Teen Volunteers

Don’t just check off the service-learning hours for your school – get the most out of your volunteer experience! Enjoy volunteering while you learn new skills and meet others with similar interests. All that stands between you and an amazing volunteer experience are three steps: filling out your online application, registering online for your preferred orientation date, and attending your orientation. At orientation you will be able to select a volunteer experience in areas like animal care, conservation, golf, fishing and more.
Let’s Get Started!
Becoming a Great Parks teen volunteer is just a few steps away:

  1. First, we need your information. Start by filling out this online application.
  2. Next, choose a date for your three-hour training orientation below and register. All Teen Orientations will be held at the Hayloft Barn at Parky’s Farm, with the exception of Summer Teen Orientation East, which will be held at Lake Isabella. Registration will close for all sessions two days prior to orientation date.
  3. Lastly, come to orientation ready to talk about where you want to volunteer at Great Parks. We’ll chat about your options, take a tour exploring volunteer opportunities at the park and talk in-depth about where you want to volunteer. If you decide Great Parks is a good fit, you will receive a volunteer uniform, annual park pass and get your picture taken for your ID card.
Within two weeks of the completion of your orientation, a Great Parks representative will contact you to get you started.

Volunteer Opportunities
Do something you know you love, or try a new experience! Some examples of Great Parks’ volunteer opportunities include:

  • Winton Woods Riding Center: Assist in the stables with horse care and barn maintenance, be a part of the Special Riders Program or help with fall horse shows 
  • Parky’s Farm: Help in the barns, introduce animals to the public, assistant in the play yard, host a birthday party or support special events. 
  • Golf: Adopt-a-hole to maintain, help with a variety of tournaments or assist with day-to-day golf course care and maintenance. 
  • Fishing & Harbors: Assist with fishing tournaments, kids’ camps or day-to-day harbor maintenance. 
  • Natural Resources & Conservation: Join our “Stew Crew” to help maintain trails, plant trees or remove invasive plants from the parks.
Volunteer Benefits
Earn service-learning credits, improve your college applications, learn job skills, make new friends, explore new opportunities, make a difference in your community and have fun! Here are few extra benefits when you volunteer at Great Parks:

  • Annual Motor Vehicle pass (valued at $10) 
  • 10% discount on most items at our Nature’s Niche gift shops. 
  • Quarterly Newsletter 
  • Great Parks of Hamilton County volunteer shirt and baseball cap. 
  • Free entry for volunteer plus one guest to “Halloween Nights” at Parky’s Farm. 
  • 40+ hours in a calendar year: Invitation to Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at venues such as the Cincinnati Zoo, The Cincinnati Museum Center, Coney Island and Jungle Jim’s. 
  • 100+ hours in a calendar year: Receive a recreation pass, good for up 25 activities such as golf, bicycles, boating activities, fishing and more. 
  • Improve your college application and increase job skills. 
  • Open the door to potential seasonal job opportunities within the parks.
How old do I have to be to become a volunteer?
You must be between the ages of 14–17 at the time of application.

What if I’m older than that but I’m still in school?
High school and college students ages 18 and over should apply as Adult Volunteers.

Do I have to know exactly where I want to volunteer before I apply?
Nope. At the initial three-hour orientation, we’ll review volunteer opportunities and speak with applicants one-on-one to make sure you find your best fit.

How much time is expected of me as a volunteer?
After completing and submitting the application, you’ll need to attend a three-hour group interview and orientation. Once you are a volunteer, you’ll be expected to log 30 hours of service per year to still be considered an “active” Great Parks volunteer.

I can’t commit to that much time – is there anything else I can do?
Yes! We always need help for our 3-4 hour weekend projects throughout the spring, summer and fall. You can view a list and sign up for one here

What do I wear?
All Great Parks’ volunteers and are required to wear a Great Parks shirt and name tag (supplied by Great Parks) with khaki pants or shorts. We also have an optional Great Parks’ ball cap you can wear.

Do I need to track my time?
Yes! Volunteers must track AND log their hours online in the Volunteer Information Center. Having these hours helps the park to secure grants and other community funding, and can also help you to earn extra benefits!

Can I volunteer with my friend?
Sure. As long as both of you complete the three steps needed to become a volunteer (online application, register an orientation online and then attend orientation) you can request to volunteer at the same location. Schedules depend on the needs of the location in which you volunteer, so although there may be many times that you are able to volunteer together, it is not always guaranteed.

If I volunteer at the Riding Center, will I be able to ride the horses?
Although it has been described as rewarding and relaxing, volunteering at the riding center is hard work and does not involve riding the horses. Opportunities include caring for the horses, taking care of the stables where they live, assisting with horse shows and helping with the Special Riders Program. If you are interested in learning to ride horses we welcome you to sign up for upcoming lessons at the riding center.

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