Want to learn more about what it’s like to give back with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), or have a specific question about our volunteering process? Check out the questions and answers below
- What kind of work is done on VOC volunteer projects?
- Where do VOC volunteer projects take place?
- Do I need any experience to volunteer?
- Can I complete my community service hours through VOC?
- How long do VOC volunteer projects last?
- Can I volunteer for just part of a project?
- How difficult is the work on VOC volunteer projects?
- How many volunteers typically participate in a VOC project?
- Will food be provided at my project?
- Can I bring my kids along?
- Can I bring my pets?
- Where do I stay during multi-day or overnight volunteer projects?
- What are Stewardship Adventures?
- Do I need to register for VOC volunteer projects, or can I just show up?
- How do I register for a VOC volunteer project?
- What happens next after I register for a VOC volunteer project?
- What if I can’t make it to a project that I’m registered for?
- Does VOC arrange carpools for projects?
- Are projects ever cancelled because of bad weather?
- Are there other ways for me to help on a project?
- How do I become a volunteer team leader or crew leader?
- I am unable to attend scheduled projects. Are there other ways to get involved?
- What if I have more questions?
What kind of work is done on VOC volunteer projects? All the work done through VOC volunteer projects helps protect, enhance, restore, and preserve Colorado’s natural places. Specific types of work include trail construction and maintenance, gardening and planting, wildfire and flood restoration, invasive weed removal, ecological and habitat restoration, forestry management, youth environmental education, and preservation of historic structures.
Where do VOC volunteer projects take place? VOC provides various opportunities to volunteer outdoors at locations statewide. Some projects are in the city, while some are high in the mountains, in wilderness areas, or on the rural plains. To view upcoming project locations, check out our current volunteer opportunities.
Do I need any experience to volunteer? No. You’ll be working with a small crew led by an experienced VOC volunteer crew leader who will teach you all you need to know and help you have a safe, fun, and rewarding experience.
Can I complete my community service hours through VOC? Yes! Whether you’re a high school or college student in need of community service hours or need to complete court-ordered community service for a non-violent offense, you can earn your hours on a public VOC project. (Students under 16 must be accompanied by a guardian for single-day projects, and minors under 18 must have a guardian with them for overnight projects.) Visit our volunteer opportunities, sign up for a project that interests you, and register. Bring any paperwork you need signed to your project, and a VOC project manager will sign off on your hours at the end of the project.
How long do VOC volunteer projects last? Some projects are only a half- or full-day, while others may take place over a weekend or several days. Project durations are noted within the project descriptions.
Can I volunteer for just part of a project? VOC encourages volunteers to stay for the duration of the volunteer project; however, on most weekend or multi-day projects you can select the day(s) you wish to volunteer.
How difficult is the work on VOC volunteer projects? VOC offers projects with varying levels of physical demand. To help you find projects that fit your desired level of physical activity, each project is rated as easy, moderate, or difficult (or a combination of levels):
- Easy – These projects are great for youth and people new to VOC or outdoor experiences, as they typically have minimal physical demand and worksites that are easy to access. Work activities might include tree plantings, pulling weeds, or spreading gravel on trails.
- Moderate – These projects require greater physical activity, such as lifting and digging, and access to worksites may be longer distances and/or require hiking. These projects serve as a great starting point for further, more difficult projects.
- Difficult – These projects are physically demanding and often have difficult access to the worksites and/or take place at high altitude. Further, tasks may require technical skills, such as building rock walls or constructing trail steps. Volunteers are typically required to be 16 or older on difficult projects.
How many volunteers typically participate in a VOC project? Some projects can have as few as a dozen volunteers, while others can have more than a hundred. If you have specific questions, call the VOC office at 303-715-1010.
Can I bring my kids along? Yes! Recommended minimum age for child volunteers can be found in each VOC project description (the minimum age can range from 6 to 18 depending on project difficulty). The guidelines are based on the nature of the work and safety considerations. On one-day projects, youth under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (16 & 17 year olds must have signed adult permission). For overnight projects, all volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Where do I stay during multiday or overnight volunteer projects? On multiday projects, volunteers usually camp overnight. VOC will provide a place to camp (and food!). You just need to bring your own tent and camping supplies. Occasionally, there may be other accommodations available nearby such as a hotel or resort; such options will be noted in the project description and registration details.
What are stewardship adventures? Stewardship adventures combine adventure travel with volunteer activities. These are typically multiday projects and have a cost associated with the adventure part of the project.
Do I need to register for VOC volunteer projects, or can I just show up? You must register so that we can effectively plan for the number of volunteers expected with regard to tools, volunteer leaders, food, etc.
How do I register for a VOC volunteer project? You can register on our website. Go to volunteer opportunities, find a project that interests you, and click on the project name. You will be transferred to a project summary on a secure registration site. If you are a returning volunteer, log in and go through the registration process. If you are a new volunteer, you will need to create an account, and then provide the requested information. After you have completed the registration, you’ll receive an e-mail confirming your registration. You can also register by calling VOC at 303-715-1010.
What happens next after I register for a VOC volunteer project? Once you have registered, you will receive a reminder approximately four weeks before the project. You will then receive detailed project information approximately ten days prior to the project. This email will provide background and logistical information including how to get to the project, a map of the project site, what time to be there, what to bring, what meals we will provide, where to park, and where to camp or other accommodation options.
What if I can’t make it to a project that I’m registered for? Call the VOC office at 303-715-1010 as soon as possible to cancel your registration so we can adjust food and crew leader needs and offer your spot to another volunteer.
Does VOC arrange carpools for projects? Yes! When you register for a project, you will be given the opportunity to note if you are interested in carpooling and whether you can offer or need a ride. We will then put everyone interested in touch with each other two weeks prior to the project.
Are projects ever cancelled because of inclement weather? Projects are generally not canceled because of rain or light snow showers—weather conditions must be severe before we’ll cancel a project. You can call VOC at 303-715-1010 for information on cancellations.
Are there other ways for me to help on a project? Yes. We are always in need of people to help cook, assist with tools, take photographs, or blog about projects! Please call VOC at 303-715-1010 to learn about other volunteer opportunities like these.
How do I become a volunteer team leader, crew leader, or crew chef? VOC offers plenty of rewarding volunteer leadership opportunities, both in the field and in the classroom. Click here to learn more about leadership opportunities available with VOC.
I am unable to attend scheduled projects. Are there other ways to get involved? Yes! If you are unable to make our scheduled projects, simply download the YourCO mobile app to participate in a variety of simple and fun do-it-yourself tasks to help care for Colorado on your own time. You can also earn cool rewards and digital badges by completing these tasks and accumulating points! In addition, we often advertise other volunteer positions that help with marketing, photography, office support, and other roles. Check the “Join Our Team” section of the website to view current positions.
What if I have more questions? Please contact VOC at 303-715-1010 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.