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Visitor Center Interpretive Hosts

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Job category:
Compensation: RV Site Only
Hookups: Unknown - Inquire
Wi-Fi: Unknown
Pets OK?: Unknown

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Job Description



DEPT: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


DATES: 4/1/2023 – 7/18/2023


Seeking to fill 6 two-person team Visitor Center Host positions from April 1, 2023 to July 18, 2023.


Do you enjoy interacting with people from around the world? Is sparking an interest in learning what motivates you? Would you like to volunteer in a beautiful setting close to many recreational opportunities? Come join our team!


To be a volunteer here is to help visitors relate to the site, tell the Corps’ story, and provoke learning of the many aspects of Bonneville Dam as well as the amazing Columbia River Gorge. Volunteers assist the Ranger staff with these goals by greeting and orienting visitors at the information desks, running the register in our bookstore, providing personalized visitor interactions while roving throughout the visitor centers, staffing interpretive locations, and being our assistant on powerhouse tours.


** Two volunteers required per RV site to meet schedule needs. **



Located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon; Bonneville Lock and Dam is a National Historic Landmark operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Our site includes two powerhouses, a navigation lock, fish passage, and two visitor centers, one accessible from Oregon via I-84 and one accessible from Washington via SR-14. Volunteers rotate between working at each location. Bonneville Dam is capable of providing over 1,200 MW of power to the Northwest, and nearly ten million tons of commodities pass through the navigation lock per year. Visitor centers have been equipped with COVID-19 protection measures and policies to protect staff, volunteers, and visitors.



· RV sites are available for arriving volunteers April 1 – 4, 2023. Training will take place April 5 – 8, 2023.

·  Departure dates are July 9 – 11 or July 16-18, 2023. Departure dates will be coordinated to coincide with incoming volunteer arrival to limit time without volunteers.

· Average of 22 hours per week (per person). More hours may be requested for occasional special events.

· Facilities open 7 days a week. Work will include a rotation of Sundays and holidays.

· Preference for RV sites will be given to two-person volunteer teams due to staffing requirements.



** Two volunteers required per RV site to meet schedule needs. **

Bonneville volunteers provide high quality interpretive services to enhance visitor experiences in the busy visitor centers, including:

·        Staff visitor centers and bookstores

·        Greet visitors and answer questions about the site and surrounding area

·        Provide information about the site

·        Work with our Junior Ranger program

·        Inventory lost and found items

·        Handle cash

·        Educate visitors about park rules

·        Provide informal or formal interpretive programs

·        Assist Rangers with positive image and safety of Visitor Center and surrounding grounds through housekeeping, litter pick-up, and similar tasks.


Volunteers will be expected to comply with project, local, and federal regulations and guidelines. Such guidelines include Department of Defense COVID-19 risk reduction protocols as communicated during training and updated as protocols change.



· Answer questions and communicate Corps missions

· Desire to meet and interact with diverse visitors

· Commit to the scheduled volunteer session of 3 months

· Experience/skills in interpretation/education

· Cash handling, opening/closing cash reconciliation forms

· Pass a criminal background check

·  Visitor center experience

Training will be provided on interpretation, cash handling, customer service, public speaking, communication, and orientation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers & Bonneville Lock and Dam. Prior experience in any of these areas is a plus.

FBI fingerprint criminal history check will be administered upon arrival if volunteers do not have a recent clear check in the federal database.


  • General Assistance
  • Office/Clerical
  • Public Speaking
  • Visitor Information
  • Working with People



Volunteers will be working mostly indoors, independently from staff while working at the information desk and bookstore. Staff are nearby to respond to emergencies but will be occupied and so will depend on volunteers utilizing protocols taught in training to respond to small issues or questions independently. 3 hours per week one volunteer will rove outside in a limited shade environment at the Navigation Lock Visitor Area.

Volunteers are expected to interact with the public utilizing state and site COVID safety protocols. Clear acrylic barriers are at each desk, if masks are required they will be provided, regular sanitation protocols are in place.


Physical Demands: Volunteers should be able to stand or walk for moderate periods of time, should be willing to intermittently work outdoors in hot weather, walking up to a half mile. Adjustable-height seating and anti-fatigue floor mats are available while staffing information desk and bookstore.

Scheduling Demands: A typical work week consists of 3 6-hour days on duty and 3 days off duty. Volunteer schedules will rotate between working weekends and weekdays. The earliest a shift begins is 8:30 am, the latest a shift ends is 5:30 pm. Both volunteers will work the same shifts with the same break times, usually in the same location. Assignment locations are less than 1.5 miles apart but may take up to 10 minutes to get from one location to another as you must traverse an active dam site. Your lunch break is one hour long so you have time to return to your RV should you choose to.

** Two volunteers required per RV site to meet schedule needs. **


  • General housekeeping
  • Slip, trip, and fall hazards
  • Electrical hazards
  • Work organization and process flow (including staffing and scheduling)
  • Work practices
  • Ergonomic problems


  • Yes

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