• Construction/Maintenance • Computers • Research Library • Office/Clerical • Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information • General Assistance • Weed/Invasive Species Control
Photo Courtesy of NPS
PLEASE NOTE: Trailer Pad Host positions are filled through spring 2022. This position can be for one host or a couple. Positions usually last four to six months between April and October, with a minimum of 20 hours per week for each individual volunteer.
While we do not have a campground at Hopewell Furnace, we do have one campsite with full hook-ups where “Volunteer Hosts” have stayed since 1993. Instead of hosting a campground, these volunteers serve at the park’s visitor center and participate in living history programs.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves and interprets an early American iron-making community and its effect on the nation’s industrial history. The historic village includes the charcoal-fueled furnace, Ironmaster’s mansion, tenant houses, and a blacksmith shop. We are one of the few parks that have an active farm program, showcasing animals that would have historically called the furnace home. Programs and events vary throughout the year; these events include sheep shearing, charcoal making, Fourth of July celebration, living history demonstrations, apple picking in the historic orchard, and other seasonally-themed events.
Hopewell Furnace is a small park, protecting 848-acres of America’s industrial heritage. In addition to visitors exploring the historic village, we receive a number of visitors enjoying the resources at neighboring French Creek State Park, including hikers, campers, and daily recreational users.
Come volunteer at this hidden gem within the National Park Service.
Duties of this position vary based on time of year, park needs, and volunteer interests and skills. The main areas that hosts typical assist are Visitor Services, Living History/Demonstrations, and Maintenance.
Visitor Services: Duties include acting as a front line representative of the National Park Service, orienting visitors to the park, conducting bookstore sales, operating the park’s orientation program, answering questions, and recording park visitation statistics.
Living History/Demonstrations: While in appropriate period dress, demonstrate various activities commonly performed by the men and women who lived and worked at Hopewell Furnace, including molding & casting, charcoal making, black-smithing, farming, cooking, baking, sewing, spinning, knitting, and weaving. The interpretive program includes an active farm with livestock. In addition, Hopewell Furnace conducts its own charcoal-making demonstration twice a year in an effort to preserve the otherwise lost skill of producing charcoal from cord wood while providing the fuel needed for molding & casting and blacksmithing demonstrations.
Maintenance: Duties such as painting, repairing historic structures, mowing grass, and splitting wood for charcoal burns, and working with the Facility Manager on inventories, condition assessments, and other administrative functions.
Skills & Qualifications Required:
Must enjoy interacting with people and have great customer service skills
Must be willing to learn about Hopewell Furnace and its history, and the resources that lie within and surrounding the park
Must be able to learn cash register operations, including the accurate handling of money and credit card processes
Minimum age 16, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian
Must provide own RV unit
Ability to live in remote setting with sporadic cell phone service. Hopewell is a secluded setting, but is approximately 15 miles to Reading PA, with public libraries, restaurants, entertainment, places of worship and all the amenities of a medium-sized city, and other smaller towns are located within five-ten miles
If you have any questions, you may contact the park’s Volunteer Coordinator, Amanda Sherry, at (610) 582-8773 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mailing address: Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520.
HOUSING & AMENITIES Type: Trailer/RV Pads Description: Accommodations:
The park has a campsite with full hook-ups (water, electric, sewer), which can accommodate one small RV. We are not set up to handle any trailers, fifth-wheels, or motor homes with an overall length of more than 35 feet.
Located in southeastern Pennsylvania, just 15 miles from Reading and 45 miles west of Philadelphia, but still in a very rural area. Hopewell Furnace is adjacent to 8,000 acre French Creek State Park and is close to Pennsylvania Dutch Country.