Volunteers Help Run State Parks
The South Carolina State Park Service has benefited greatly from a variety of volunteer efforts over the years. In 1978, the state legislature authorized the South Carolina “Volunteers in Parks” program (Act 554). The major objective of the program is to use voluntary assistance that is mutually beneficial to both the state parks and our volunteers.
Each park manager directs the volunteer program and activities at their park. The park manager matches the volunteer’s time, interest, and experience with the park’s specific needs.
Traditionally, the State Park Service has benefited from volunteers serving as maintenance workers, clerical aides, living history program aides, and campground hosts. In more recent years, there has been an increased effort to improve and enhance visitor contact through new and renovated park facilities, increased recreational and educational programs, and increased natural resource management and wildlife projects. This has provided even more opportunities for interested volunteers to become more involved in their state parks.
How do I become a volunteer?
Anyone may become a state park volunteer. Interested persons should submit their completed volunteer application to the park(s) where they want to offer their time and services. A personal interview is usually scheduled to establish where an applicant’s talents may best be used to mutually benefit the park and the volunteer. Find park information, addresses, and phone numbers here.
Volunteers may be “regular-service” volunteers engaged in specific service activities on an ongoing basis, or they may be “occasional-service” volunteers providing a one-time service. They could even be a “material donor” providing funds, materials, or services.
Areas of Volunteer Interest
- General Park Work
- Campground Host
- Environmental Education Instructor
- Visitors/Interpretive Center Host
- History Programs Instructor
- Recreation Programs Instructor
- Trail Maintenance
- Tree Planting
- Biological Surveys
- Archeological/Cultural Surveys
Park/Campground Host Program
The park/campground host program is a successful part of the “Volunteers in Parks” opportunity. It is conducted only at parks with a campground operation and where the regional manager has determined a host will serve a genuine need of the park. The primary objective of the host is to serve as a park representative, providing information and assistance to park visitors. The host also assists with other park/campground operations, as determined necessary.
The host will be required to provide a minimum of 20 hours per week. This program usually begins around March and ends around November. Park/campground hosts must be in good health and physical condition and must be able to deal tactfully and cordially with the public.
For more information about volunteering, reach out to the park where you want to volunteer, or:
- Write to: South Carolina State Park Service, 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201, or
- Call: 803.734.0156, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday
The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, age or handicap and is an equal opportunity employer. If anyone feels that he/she may have been discriminated against, a complaint may be filed with the Equal Opportunity Office, US Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240.