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Volunteer Camp Host Opportunities in Canada

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Canadian Volunteer camp hosting is an excellent way to live in some of the most beautiful places in Canada with free site and utilities in exchange for a few hours of work. Not only are you providing a valuable community service, you benefit financially as well.

Glacier National Park of Canada

From their website:

Non Canadians and Volunteers

National Parks in Canada are run by a department of the federal government. In order for us to hire someone who does not have Canadian citizenship, we would first have to prove that there is no Canadian who wants the job. As you can imagine, this is a rare circumstance.

For more information on volunteering, you may also contact the Parks Canada Volunteer Program .

National parks have very few volunteer positions available each year and cannot predict what opportunities will come up. Volunteers receive no pay, but are compensated for out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the project. While accommodation may be provided at no cost, availability varies from park to park and season to season. You should be prepared to pay for food and accommodation if need be. Most parks prefer that volunteers stay for a minimum of one month to justify the time spent on orientation and training. Volunteers are considered to be workers under Canadian immigration law. Non-Canadian citizens must obtain an employment authorization from a Canadian embassy or consulate, at a cost of $CDN150. 00. 

From Qubec Parks Canada Agency Website:

U.S. Citizens volunteering in Canada

Volunteering

Some national parks and national historic sites take applicants (foreign and Canadian) for volunteer positions. For Canadian applicants, you should directly contact the national parks and national historic sites which interest you. Remember to include the nature of your studies and the dates which you would like to work.

For foreign applicants to be considered for a volunteer position, you must first fill out a questionnaire which you can obtain by writing to:

Parks Canada National Volunteer Program
25 Eddy Street, 4th Floor
Hull, Quebec
Canada
K1A 0M5

The questionnaire must be returned to the same address.

Canadian applicants can also submit a questionnaire to the above address if they don't have in mind a specific park or site they would like to volunteer in. If they want to volunteer far from home, they can use this address to obtain some direction concerning possibilities offered in other regions of Canada.

The deadline for spring or summer placement through the central co-ordinator is February 1st of the preceding year. The deadline for autumn or winter placement is July 1st of the preceding year.

If there is a volunteer position where your skills and experience can be used, you will be contacted by Parks Canada staff, by letter or phone.

Click Here to visit the Parks Canada Agency website for more information.

Alberta Provincial Parks

From their web page:

Campground hosts greet visitors and provide them with information. They volunteer a minimum of three to four hours a day, five days per week (including weekends). Hosts must provide their own self contained camping unit (RV, truck camper, or tent trailer).

Other hosts: in some parks, volunteers provide hosting services in day use areas and visitor information centres, rather than in campgrounds.

Your hosting duties:
Each site and each volunteer are unique so duties vary, but as a rule hosts:

  • welcome visitors;
  • assist with public education and interpretation
  • provide information about facilities, services, activities, rules and regulations;
  • provide information about things to see and do in the surrounding area;
  • assist visitors in obtaining help in emergency situations; and inform authorities about observed infractions or public safety concerns

What support do we provide to our hosts?

  • Supervision, training and orientation.
  • Introductions to other team members, including staff, volunteers and contractors.
  • A site tour to familiarize hosts with services, facilities and equipment.
  • General information on duties, the work site and the surrounding area.
  • Information about rules, emergency procedures and emergency contacts.
  • Publications to hand out to visitors.
  • A free campsite, easily accessible to visitors, with at least one utility if available.
  • Identification items (nametags, ball caps, T-shirts, signs for the host's vehicle and campsite).
  • An opportunity to participate in the annual volunteer conference held each spring.
  • A copy of the "Partners in Preservation" newsletter, published twice a year.

Visitor benefits include:

  • a friendly welcome;
  • someone to talk to about registration, facilities and services;
  • a richer camping experience through discovering new places to go, new attractions to see, and new events to take part in;
  • an increased sense of security;
  • a sense of community; and
  • a lasting, positive impression!

Who makes a good volunteer host?

  • Friendly, outgoing, hospitable people!
  • People who have a keen interest in preserving and conserving nature.
  • People who possess a general knowledge of Alberta's parks and protected areas.
  • Camping enthusiasts who are available for a minimum of three weeks.

Volunteer Host Opportunities

Applications for the upcoming season are now being accepted.
The following sites may be available for volunteer hosting at:

  • Big Knife Provincial Park

  • Chain Lakes Provincial Park

  • Crimson Lake Provincial Park (Twins Lakes Campground)

  • Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

  • Dillberry Lake Provincial Park

  • Dunvegan Provincial Park

  • Moonshine Lake Provincial Park

  • Notikewin Provincial Park

  • Peaceful Valley Provincial Recreation Area

  • Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park

  • St. Mary Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area

  • Williamson Provincial Park

Additional sites may be available, especially for partial season.

Click here to get more information.

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

From their web page:

Banff National Parks of Canada

Do you enjoy the great outdoors?
Are you a friendly, outgoing person?
You would be a great campground host!

People from around the world visit Banff National Park to relax, experience the great outdoors and learn about Canada's natural heritage. You can join them by volunteering as a host at one of our campgrounds.

Campground hosts greet visitors and provide them with information. They volunteer for four hours a day, five days a week (including weekends). In return, hosts have free entry to the park for a year, a free campsite while they volunteer, a site tour and many other benefits.

Volunteers are encouraged to stay for a minimum of two weeks and to provide their own self-contained camping unit (RV, truck camper or tent trailer).

Click here to get more information. 

Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada

From their web page:

Campground Host Program

People from around the world visit Kootenay National Park to relax, experience the great outdoors and learn about Canada's natural heritage. You can join them by volunteering as a host at one of our campgrounds.

Campground hosts greet visitors and provide them with information. They volunteer for four hours a day, five days a week (including weekends). In return, hosts have free entry to the park for a year, a free campsite while they volunteer, a site tour and many other benefits.

Volunteers are encouraged to stay for a minimum of two weeks and to provide their own self-contained camping unit (RV, truck camper or tent trailer).

Click here to get more information.

Nova Scotia Provincial Parks

From their web page:

Campground Host Program

The Campground Host Program began in Nova Scotia in 1996 to enable Nova Scotia Parks to maintain and surpass their current level of service. Similar programs have been successful in parts of the United States and in several other Canadian provinces. The benefits of the Campground Host programs are many, including better orientated and informed visitors, reduced vandalism and theft and fewer complaints.

Volunteer Campground Hosts spend at least two weeks in one of the participating provincial parks and commit to being on duty for four hours a day, five days per week, with weekends being the most busy time. To assist the park staff, Campground Hosts meet and greet campers and help orient them to the park, provide information about the park and monitor facilities in the park.

Hosts receive numerous benefits from their assignment, from enjoying the great outdoors, to meeting and helping people, to gaining experience to use in pursuing a career.

Provincial Parks participating in the Campground Host program:

  • Amherst Shore Provincial Park,
  • Battery Provincial Park,
  • Blomidon Provincial Park,
  • Graves Island Provincial Park,
  • The Islands Provincial Park,
  • Mira River Provincial Park,
  • Smileys Provincial Park
  • Porters Lake Provincial Park, and
  • Valleyview Provincial Park.

To become a Campground Host you must be:

  • willing to commit to a minimum two week period
  • available five days between Monday and Sunday for four hours per day
  • available for training at the beginning of the summer
  • interviewed for the park of your choice
  • agreeable to submit to having a background check and a search of the Child Abuse Registry and pass both.
  • 19 years of age

Click here to get more information.

Ontario Provincial Parks

From their web page:

The Ontario Parks volunteer program provides an opportunity for individuals to make a tangible contribution to a specific park, a park to which they often have a special attachment. Volunteers supplement most aspects of park operations including acting as campground hosts, maintaining trails or canoe routes, and undertaking research. To learn about volunteer opportunities, simply contact the superintendent of the provincial park of interest to you. 

Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada, Alberta Canada

From their web page:

Campground Host Program

People from around the world visit Waterton Lakes National Park to relax, experience the great outdoors and learn about our natural heritage. You can join them by volunteering as a host at one of our campgrounds.

Campground hosts greet visitors and provide them with information. They volunteer for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week (including week-ends). In return, hosts have free entry to the park for a year, a free campsite while they volunteer, a site tour, and many other benefits.

You must volunteer for a minimum of 2 weeks and provide your own self-contained camping unit (RV, truck camper, or tent trailer).

Click here to get more information. 

Yoho National Park, British Columbia

From their web page:

Campground Host Program

People from around the world visit Yoho National Park to relax, experience the great outdoors and learn about Canada's natural heritage. You can join them by volunteering as a host at one of our campgrounds.

Campground hosts greet visitors and provide them with information. They volunteer for four hours a day, five days a week (including weekends). In return, hosts have free entry to the park for a year, a free campsite while they volunteer, a site tour and many other benefits.

Volunteers are encouraged to stay for a minimum of two weeks and to provide their own self-contained camping unit (RV, truck camper or tent trailer).

Click here to get more information.

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