If you enjoy working with young people and inspiring them to pursue science and nature education and careers, please consider becoming a YSI volunteer. The rewards far exceed anything you might imagine. For over 60 years, volunteers have helped YSI teach more than 30,000 children per year.
YSI Volunteers help us achieve our mission every day.
• Do you enjoy working with or on behalf of young people?
• Do you want to support science and nature education that inspires children to learn more and be excited about science and nature?
• Do you want to be part of educating the next generation of science and technology professionals, teachers, researchers, and critical thinkers?
• Are you a Middle School or High School Student needing to earn community service hours while you learn cool things, explore career paths, and enjoy nature - all while helping YSI?
If you answered yes to any of these, then become a YSI volunteer!
You can volunteer for an hour, a day, a week, or longer. Minimum age for volunteers is 14 unless otherwise noted. Here's a sampling of some of our on-going opportunities.
YSI’s Summer Science Camp (SSC) Volunteer
Volunteers will take initiative in various ways to help camp be a success. The two main duties of volunteers (depending on the shift selected) will be either strategically helping instructors assemble materials and activities for their camps and/or helping with end of the day camp take-down.
Our SSC camp program provides volunteers with optional growth opportunities. Here is a sneak peek:
• Volunteer Enrichment
- volunteers can choose to learn about natural history, participate on guided nature walks, animal meet & greets, etc for 30 minutes after their SSC shift.
• Volunteer Lead Opportunities
- every week, an individual will be selected to act as a Lead for their team. Leads will work with YSI’s volunteer coordinator to foster leadership skills and strategies.
• “Shutterbug” Program
- a team of volunteers work together to capture the camp experience with YSI’s camera in fun and creative ways.
• The Youth Science Institute’s Summer Science Camp (SSC) volunteers are responsible for helping with camp preparation. SSC volunteers do not work directly with children in camps.
• Camps run weekly from June to mid-August.
• Volunteers must commit to work three (3) camp weeks
(do not have to be consecutive) - shifts are two hours/day.
• Volunteers must submit required paperwork
, participate in an interview
, and attend an orientation
**Who would excel in this service opportunity.**
• Those looking to improve leadership skills.
- Volunteers have the option of applying to be a “Volunteer Lead”, where they work closely with the Volunteer Coordinator to identify and improve leadership skills.
• Those who want to channel their creativity and critical thinking skills.
- Volunteers are given tasks and the autonomy to complete them in various ways. Those who enjoy thinking “outside the box” are encouraged to apply!
• Those thinking of becoming a teacher.
- This is a great way to gain experience in learning what happens “behind the scenes” of a class and camp.
• Those who enjoy completing tasks.
- If you like making lists and checking off the tasks you finish, this is definitely for you! There is nothing more gratifying than knowing your hard work is completed and appreciated.
We hope to see you this summer!
Help us feed snakes, exercise turtles, and maintain our animals' homes. Volunteers help Staff Curators feed and care for the live animals used in our programs. We welcome Junior Curators beginning at age 14 (requires training and a longer-term commitment).
Trail and Landscape Maintenance
Help us maintain our outdoor classrooms, native-plant trail, and garden areas. Depending on the season, work may include weeding, mulching, pruning, watering, and soil preparation.
Like coordinating the big picture or helping with the smaller details? Help is needed leading up to and on the day of our Free Family Fun Day in February and our Wildlife Festival in October. You can help with a single task, like preparing materials, or with a bigger piece of the puzzle, like coordinating the craft tables. Or you can volunteer for just a couple of hours at the event. Like to throw parties? We also hold special events for our donors each year.