National Park Service

Job category:
Compensation: RV Site Only
Hookups: Full (FHU)
Wi-Fi: Unknown
Pets OK?: Unknown

Job Description

FROM: https://www.volunteer.gov/s/volunteer-opportunity/a09t000000CC897AAD/scottys-castle-interpretation-volunteer-spring-2022


ADDRESS: Death Valley National Park; Grapevine Ranger Stationn36.996192, -117.365975; Death Valley, California 92328

DEPT: National Park Service

DATES: 1/31/2022 – 4/29/2022


This position is within the interpretive division reporting to the Scotty’s Castle Supervisor. Guide(s) will primarily conduct interpretive programs in and around the Scotty’s Castle campus to help visitors connect to Death Valley and have an enjoyable experience.. The three paramount objectives of this position are safety, security, and visitor enjoyment.


Main Goals for This Position to Accomplish:

  • Serve as a front-line volunteer by leading guided tours and conducting formal interpretive programs to a clientele of national and international visitors
  • Promote visitor safety, resource protection, and visitor understanding
  • Security of historic resources (i.e. numerous gates and doors must be secured throughout tours and visitors are not allowed to stray while on historic district tours.)
  • Rove park locations to provide informal interpretation


  • Volunteer training is led by park staff. The park library is a recommended resource for independent learning about the park. Free online trainings will also be available from ProValens Learning (www.provalenslearning.com)


  • All volunteers will be asked for a self-assessment during an exit interview and a short report highlighting suggestions for the future, key successes, and outstanding problems/limitations. Volunteers will also be expected to track and report all hours worked during their volunteer opportunity.

Tools, Equipment, and Vehicles to be Operated:

  • Volunteers will not operate park computers unless they have completed a Homeland Security Clearance and have been given DOI network rights. VIPs will have access to government vehicles. Interpretive resources, props, radios, and safety equipment will be available for check-out.
  • Volunteers are welcome to bring and use their own equipment, but the park will not be responsible for damaged personal equipment and will not reimburse volunteers for lost or damaged property. When available and appropriate, VIPs are encouraged to use park equipment, such as cameras or vehicles.

Location(s) Where Work Will Be Performed:

  • Most of the work is performed in the North District of Death Valley National Park (the North District is typically denoted as sites along Scotty’s Castle Road). Additional duties may be performed in other front country areas of the park.

Benefits to the Volunteer: The volunteer may enjoy the following benefits:

  • Free RV site with hook-ups or government housing
  • Training covering both technical subject matter and communication skills
  • Development of work experience and skills in the field of interpretation
  • Cross training with other divisions
  • Enjoyment of sharing the wonders and resources of Death Valley National Park with visitors

Position Supports Which Division(s):

  • Directly supports operations in the park, including interpretation and resource management objectives.

Scope of Contacts:

  • The volunteer leads formal and informal tours/education programs alongside other volunteers and NPS staff. Contacts with park visitors, including school age children, non-English speaking visitors, and senior citizens is to be expected. Volunteers will be expected to support the National Park Service mission and maintain a professional demeanor when interacting with the public.

Uniform Requirements:

  • The position is uniformed, and parts will be provided. Short-sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, and a volunteer hat will be provided. Pants must be brown or khaki/beige color. Sturdy boots recommended. Belts, pants, and boots are not provided.

Volunteer Rewards:

  • Since this position is unpaid by the National Park Service, it falls under the Volunteers-in-Parks Program (VIP). The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve America’s natural, cultural, and historical legacies. This makes for a unique and respected federal agency. Aside from the reward of a positive affiliation with the agency, the returns from volunteering depend upon the goals of each individual volunteer. In short, the experience is what you make it to be. 250 hours logged will earn a Volunteer Annual Pass.

Brief Description of Work to be Performed:

  • Lead guided tours of Scotty’s Castle and Lower Grapevine
  • Lead formal and informal interpretive walks of Ubehebe Crater and Titus Canyon
  • Print tour attendance lists from Death Valley Natural History Association
  • Check visitor tour tickets/confirmations for accuracy
  • When conducting formal guided tours of Scotty’s Castle and Lower Grapevine the guide must keep all visitors together and protect the natural and historical resources under our care
  • Assist park visitors with trip planning and orientation of surrounding areas
  • Answer visitor inquiries via phone, mail, or through park email
  • Research park resources
  • Work alongside NPS staff
  • Use the park phone and radios for communication and to report emergencies
  • Assist with stocking and restocking park maps, handouts, and visitor guides at park kiosks in the North District
  • Rove park overlooks and trails to provide orientation information or informal interpretation that connects visitors to park resources
  • Drive government vehicles safely
  • Use park computers to answer information emails
  • Collect and record stats of phone calls, mail requests, and visitor contacts

Knowledge and Skills Required to Successfully Fill the Position:

  • Ability to communicate accurate information to visitors with varied knowledge levels and communicate park mission and objectives, all while respecting the personal beliefs of the visitor
  • Skills associated with working with children of all ages, including the ability to maintain discipline, instruct, and ensure safety
  • Skills in and related to dealing with an extremely varied visitor audience in a high stress, fast-paced work settings

COVID-19 Safety:

  • Ability to adhere to guidance and policies associated with the mitigations of the COVID-19 virus as outlined in the Employee COVID-19 Handbook

Length of Commitment:

  • at least 3month (unless otherwise specified). Volunteers must be prepared to commit to a full-time work schedule. “Full time” is defined as a 32-hour work week on a regular schedule with three days off per week. Volunteers may be required to work weekends.

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