Volunteer Opportunities. . .
is a great way for beginning Workampers to "test the waters" and for
experienced Workampers to have more flexibility than paid positions
require. The hours and length of stay are usually for shorter periods.
Volunteers serve without pay, but are often provided with a free RV
campsite with hookups. Training, supervision, tools and supplies are
provided. Volunteers receive the same benefits and protection as federal
employees under the Federal Employees Compensation Act and the Federal
Tort Claims Act.
What do volunteers say after trying it? They enjoy gaining skills, working
outdoors at beautiful lakes, meeting new people, making a difference,
and having fun! The experience, training and confidence acquired while
working as a volunteer can be invaluable. Good Workamping references
can make the difference when applying for other Workamper jobs.
What is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Volunteeer Clearinghouse?
The US Army Corps of Engineers Volunteer Clearinghouse is a national
information center for people who are interested in volunteering their
time at Corps lakes and projects. Potential volunteers can call a
toll-free telephone hotline number,
1-800-VOL-TEER or 1-800-865-8337, or go online to www.orn.usace.army.mil/volunteer.
Clearinghouse links volunteer workers with Corps lakes and projects
across the country that can use their services. Each person who contacts
the Clearinghouse receives a volunteer packet with opportunities, application,
brochure, and points of contact for the area requested.
What can I do as a Corps Volunteer?
The Corps of Engineers offers many volunteer opportunities in recreation
and natural resources management on its nearly 12 million acres of land
a volunteer, you can:
Hosts and Campground Hosts are popular positions for Workampers. The
duties vary, but may include greeting the public, providing information,
answering questions, registering campers, helping with special events,
inspecting facilities, providing surveillance, opening and closing the
gate, and maintaining quiet hours. Some locations may include fee collection,
using a computer, or maintenance work.
as a Park or Campground Host
a Visitor Center
park trails and facilities
|• Lead tours
of the lock, dam or power plant
fish and wildlife habitat
What should I
consider before volunteering?
When considering volunteer positions, remember that a free RV campsite
with free utilities is estimated to be worth from $200 to $400 per month,
depending on the amenities and location. Benefits vary from location
to location. Prospective volunteers should fully investigate the duties,
requirements, and benefits of a specific position before submitting
How do I apply
for Volunteer Positions?
to apply for volunteer positions. Contact the Volunteer Clearinghouse
at 1-800-865-8337 or go online to www.orn.usace.army.mil/volunteer.
Callers should be ready to provide information about the type of work
and area they may want to volunteer.
The Volunteer Clearinghouse will mail you a packet that includes the
coordinator's name for the location that you would like to volunteer.
Call the coordinator (it's usually a Park Ranger who will welcome your
call!) to discuss the current volunteer opportunities. In addition,
the Clearinghouse will give your name, address, phone number and work
interest to the Park Rangers, so you may receive a call from them to
see if you're interested in coming to their lake. The Clearinghouse
serves as a matchmaker, pairing enthusiastic workers with Corps lakes
and projects that can use their services, providing both with a memorable
For Current Volunteer Opportunities. . .
Army Corps of Engineers
Learn more about becoming a
Corps of Engineers Volunteer today!
Give a Helping Hand
Park Attendants Contracts. . .
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers utilizes independent contractors
to perform much of the day-to-day operation & maintenance of their more
than 4000 parks. These parks are managed by more than 400 field offices
(also known as projects.) A few of these projects lump all of their operation
and maintenance into one package called an “umbrella contract.” Most projects,
however, contract for each individual function separately, i.e. mowing,
cleanup, major repairs, major maintenance, and park (or gate) attendant
Is Involved in a Park Attendant Contract?
While there are exceptions, most Corps Park Attendant contracts require
a couple, (two adults with no children under age 16), to live in the
recreation area and perform the duties to operate a campground or day
use recreation area. Work shifts are generally 8 hours a day, 5 days
a week and may include evening and/or nighttime hours, split shifts,
and will almost always include weekends and holidays. Most contracts
are from 4-7 months, beginning in April or May, and ending in September
of October. An RV site with hookups is provided adjacent to the entrance
station or gatehouse.
Duties vary, but may include greeting visitors, registering campers,
collecting fees, maintaining a status board of occupied sites, providing
information, answering questions, using a computer, inspecting the area
to assure proper use of facilities, providing surveillance, opening
and closing the gate, maintaining quiet hours, and minor housekeeping
of the entrance station. Park Attendants must use the special computer
software and coordinate the implementation of the NRRS (a nationwide
reservation system used by the Corps and Forest Service) for campgrounds
that accept reservations. Some contracts may also require some grounds
maintenance. Since the size and popularity of Corps parks varies greatly,
the pace of the work can also vary. The duties and pace of the work
should be thoroughly understood prior to preparing a bid on a particular
contract. If at all possible, visit the parks you are interested in
during the busy season.
How Do I Place
a Contract Bid?
Contracts are awarded to the lowest “qualified” bidder. Bidding procedures,
deadlines, & qualifications vary from district to district and project
to project. If possible, we recommend visiting the park manager at the
project(s) where you would like to work. You should ask about qualifications,
duties, work schedules, etc. If you decide you want to bid, ask for
a copy of the contract specifications (sometimes called “scope of work”)
and ask to be placed on the mailing list to receive an “invitation for
bids” or “bid package.” In some cases, the park manager will refer you
to the Contracts Branch or Purchasing Section in their District Office.
Due to the variations in these contracts, we strongly recommend that
you thoroughly understand the requirements before you bid on any contract.
Bids are taken on a “per day,” “per month,” or “per season” basis. Complete
bidding instructions are included in each bid package.
Should I Bid?
When deciding how
much to bid, it is recommended that you simply establish an hourly wage
that you can be happy with and then multiply that wage by the number
of hours in the contract. Please consider that some of the people you
may be bidding against may be dependent on this income. If you don't
need extra income, but want to be of service please consider a volunteer
position. Most volunteer positions offer a free site with hookups plus
shorter work periods. More details on volunteer
opportunities are provided at the top of the page.
Other things to consider when preparing your bid:
of the contracts, especially those with maintenance, can be physically
some projects, attendants share the operation of a gatehouse with
contracts require longer work weeks and/or longer hours.
contracts have renewal options for a 2nd and/or 3rd season (provided
both parties are agreeable).
review a list of
available Corps contracts,
news and information about the Corps of Engineers and Workamping
meet Richard and Pauline Anderson,
Corps of Engineers Contract Gate Attendants,