Located approximately 20 miles northwest of center city Philadelphia, Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of George Washington and the Continental Army. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times. (http://www.nps.gov/vafo)
Benefits for Volunteer:
Stay physically and mentally fit while improving the community through service to your local, national park.
Meet others who share your passion for service, history, nature, or recreation.
Learn a wide range of subjects through complementary training opportunities (e.g. trail maintenance techniques, history, natural resources, safety, etc.).
Be eligible for the National Park Service (NPS) Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) perks (e.g. The Volunteer Pass to federal lands and recreation sites).
Be eligible for the Valley Forge National Historical Park (VF NHP) VIP perks (e.g. annual appreciation luncheon, 20% discount, etc.).
Deepen your appreciation of Valley Forge National Historical Park, each of our key partners, and how we collaborate to steward this land and its stories.
Be 18 years of age or older.
Ability and desire to follow applicable federal, state, and local laws/policies, as well as directions from staff and other volunteer leaders.
Excellent communication skills: be able to treat visitors, park staff, and fellow volunteers with professional courtesy, and ask for help when needed.
Ability to stand for 4 hours at a time on a hard surface.
Ability to move quickly and carefully within a small work area (8’x5’) around chairs, desks, boxes, filing cabinets, and other staff at the desk.
Ability to hear and follow conversations easily within a crowded room.
Manual dexterity and ability to do repetitive motions with very few errors.
A minimum commitment of 8 hours monthly for volunteers. The typical shift lasts 4 hours, and shifts are scheduled based upon park priorities and the availability of volunteers. The busiest months are March through September of each year, and the park has extended hours (9am-6pm) during several months of the summer.
Tasks & Responsibilities:
Accurately and professionally communicate the following kinds of information: directions, program schedules, special events details, and park regulations.
Answer the desk phone, take and relay messages.
Administer the Jr. Ranger program.
Troubleshoot any customer service issues.
Ensures adequate number of printed materials (e.g., park unigrids, trail maps, Jr. Ranger books, etc.) are available.
Ensures adequate number of other resources (e.g., stamps, Boy Scout and Girl Scout ranger patches, etc.) are available.
The volunteer will receive training from the Director of Visitor Services, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board.
While we strive to create the safest environment possible, it is impossible to eliminate all potential hazards. Feel free to ask for more information on these or other topics. The Park will provide a volunteer uniform and any necessary safety equipment. NOTE: With the exception of (Not Applicable) no personal property is required to perform the duties of this position. The park is not responsible for the loss or damage of any of personal items.
The Volunteer must read and sign the Confined Space Program Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Additional safety tips include:
Self-Care: Volunteers should be prepared for each shift with drinking water, food, snacks, and any necessary personal medication.
Attire: Volunteers should wear a park-issued VIP shirt, business casual shorts/pants, and closed toe shoes—no open-toed shoes, sandals, or flip-flops.
Short Term Impact:
Visitors feel welcomed and receive the information they need to enjoy the park.
Long Term Impact:
Visitors feel inspired to return to the park again and/or inquire about stewardship opportunities.
Visitor Services VIPs report to the Director of Visitor Services, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board.