Museum & Education Volunteers

Our volunteers are part of a team working to connect people with their natural and cultural legacies. We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities to suit just about any skill and interest. Volunteer at the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Homer Lake Interpretive Center, as well as at several Forest Preserve District sites. Use your strengths, passions and dedication to make a difference in the life of someone today — volunteer with the Museum & Education Department!

Contact the volunteer coordinator at volunteer@ccfpd.org or (217) 586-3360 to get started.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Public Program & Special Event Volunteers. Engage the public in the Department’s array of exciting programs and events throughout the Forest Preserves. (see below for more info)
  • Youth Program Volunteer. Assist staff with school programs (Sept-May) and summer day camps (June-July) at Homer Lake, Lake of the Woods and other District sites. (see below for more info)
    • Counselor in Training. These 11-17 year old volunteers assist with summer day camps at Homer Lake and Lake of the Woods. (see below for more info)
  • Program Photographer. Photograph posed and action shots of participants at events and programs.
  • Office Assistant. Provide friendly service to visitors at the Museum of the Grand Prairie and/or the Homer Lake Interpretive Center.
  • Frog Call Survey. Monitor frog populations at District sites in this citizen science initiative.
  • Museum-Specific Volunteer Opportunities
    • Living History Volunteer. Demonstrate daily life skills and vocations in 19th century Illinois through first and third person interpretation.
    • Docent/Tour Guide. Help visitors gain more understanding of the exhibits at the Museum of the Grand Prairie.
    • Collections Volunteer. Process, catalogue and care for our collections at the Museum of the Grand Prairie
    • Exhibit Volunteer. Work with our curatorial staff to aid in the design and/or construction of temporary and permanent exhibits.

More Information

Public Programs and Special Events

We annually need help at the following regular events, as well as new events that occur each year.

Our most popular annual programs & events:

  • Prairie Stories
  • Harvest Fest
  • Take Me Fishing
  • Bird Migration Festival
  • Owl Prowls & Woodcock Walks
  • Nature PreK Programs

Summer Day Camps

Counselor-in-Training Program

If you are 11-17 years old, you may apply to be a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) for summer day camps at Homer Lake and Lake of the Woods.

For more information, email David Evans at devans@ccfpd.org or call (217) 896-2455. Candidates are selected through an application and interview process.

Adult Day Camp Volunteers

Our adult volunteers play a valuable role in our summer day camps! Please contact Stacey Clementz or call (217) 896-2455 for more information about current needs.

School Programs

Assist staff with education programs for school groups, grades K- 5. Training is provided. Time commitment is generally 2-3 hours for each program (including setup and cleanup), unless noted otherwise.

Programs occur on weekdays; exact dates and times for each program vary depending on teachers' schedules. Please contact us for more information.

Our most popular programs are listed below.

Prairie Adventures

(This is a five-hour program; volunteer for a half-day or full-day)

One-Room Schoolhouse

Dress in traditional garb as you take students on a trip back in time in our one-room schoolhouse. Schedule will vary according to how many marms or masters we have at the time. Pick the times you can be here.

  • Season: April-May & Sept-Oct
  • Location: Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
  • Contact: Katie Snyder

First Illinoisans

  • Season: Oct-Nov
  • Location: Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
  • Contact: Katie Snyder

Life on the Grand Prairie

  • Season: Sept-Nov; March-May
  • Location: Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
  • Contact: Katie Snyder

Into Insects

  • Season: April-May & Sept-Oct
  • Location: Homer Lake & Lake of the Woods Forest Preserves
  • Contact: Stacey Clementz

Sights & Sounds of Nature

  • Season: April-May & Sept-Nov
  • Location: Homer Lake & Lake of the Woods Forest Preserves
  • Contact: Stacey Clementz

Frog Follies

  • Season: April-May & Sept
  • Location: Homer Lake & Lake of the Woods Forest Preserves
  • Contact: Stacey Clementz

Seed Safari

  • Season: April-May & Sept-Nov
  • Location: Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
  • Contact: Katie Snyder

Botany Basics

  • Season: April-May & Sept-Nov
  • Location: Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
  • Contact: Katie Snyder

Join Our Volunteer Team!

Contact the District’s Volunteer Coordinator to get started (volunteer@ccfpd.org | phone: (217) 586-3360)

Or fill out our online volunteer application.

We look forward to meeting you!

Museum & Education Volunteer Handbook

Download our handbook for more information about these volunteer opportunities. 

Department Facilities
Museum of the Grand Prairie
bgarvey@ccfpd.org
(217) 586-2612

Homer Lake Interpretive Center
hlcenter@ccfpd.org
(217) 896-2455