2016 Volunteer Vacations in Minnesota

Sign up now, these fill up fast! Volunteering during your vacation allows you to learn new skills while addressing human needs or social challenges. If you’re a native Minnesotan living here, like me, you may be surprised by how many cool opportunities there are right in your own “back yard”!

 

White Earth Reservation
The White Earth Reservation is located in Becker, Clearwater, and Mahnomen counties in north-central Minnesota. Created in 1867 by a treaty between the United States and the Mississippi Band of Chippewa Indians, it is one of seven Chippewa reservations in Minnesota. Called “Chippewa” in the United States and “Ojibwe/Ojibway” in Canada, the White Earth tribe prefers to call themselves “Anishinabe” meaning “the people”. There are approximately 20,000 tribal members registered with the White Earth reservation. Although the White Earth Anishinabe no longer live as their ancestors did, they have kept alive their tribal heritage. Almost every aspect of their present-day life has been strongly influenced by the past. In partnership with White Earth Land Recovery Project/Native Harvest, GCN works with the local community. Most projects focus on maintaining the Anishinabe culture, language, and way of life. Possible projects include cultural projects with the youth group, refurbishing of community buildings and harvesting crops in the community gardens. In partnership with Sacred Spirits, the GCN team assists with the seasonal ricing camp in August and neighboring community powwow preparation. More info.
White Earth Reservation

Some projects include gardening, building porches, painting murals, and harvesting raspberries and wild rice. (www.globalcitizens.org)

Some projects include gardening, building porches, painting murals, and harvesting raspberries and wild rice. (www.globalcitizens.org)

Spring Superior National Forest, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
05/18/2016 – 05/25/2016  Volunteers will help maintain portions of the Kekekabic Trail (the “Kek”) within the Superior National Forest’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. The work will entail using a variety of hand tools to clear downed trees and brush along the Kek’s western third. The crew will canoe into a Wilderness campsite that will serve as our base camp, commute each day by canoe/hiking, and then canoe out on the last day. Project Rating:Strenuous Paddling 5 Miles into Basecamp (Paddling 1 Mile Per Day & Day Hiking Up to 4 Miles Per Day). This trip will be hosted and crew led by the North Country Trail Association. Pricing and sign-up through American Hiking Society.
Address: 1393 Highway 169

Summer Superior National Forest, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
07/30/2016 – 08/05/2016  Volunteers will assist in restoring the popular “Lady Chain” canoe portage route out of entry point #38 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, on the Tofte Ranger District. Volunteers will brush portage trails on the circular route starting at Alton Lake through Beth, Ella and Grace Lakes. Any additional time will be spent replacing a failing 60′ wooden boardwalk on the portage between Beth to Ella. Volunteers will use nippers, Pulaski’s, bow saws, rock bars, and hammers for the project. Volunteers should be prepared to carry ~ 40 lbs. of gear. Volunteers will base camp for the duration of the project on Beth Lake which is reached after crossing two lakes and two portages (Sawbill and Alton). Volunteers will travel to the worksite each day via canoe. The group will be self sustained for the week bringing in all necessary gear, tools, and food. This is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to experience the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness first hand, while enhancing the visitor experience on portage trails! Project Rating:Difficult Paddling Up to 2 Hours to Worksite (Day Hiking Up to .5 Miles Per Day) This trip will be hosted and crew led by the US Forest Service. Sign-up, prices, and info at American Hiking Society.
Sawbill Campground
Moose Watch Expeditions
Moosewatch Expeditions are an incredible opportunity for you to be a part of the wolf-moose research project. Each expedition involves a week-long trek though the boreal forests of Isle Royale. More info.
Team 1: May 7 – 15 Access via Voyageur II, from Grand Portage, MN to Malone Bay, returning to Grand Portage, MN from Daisy Farm campground.
Team 2: May 16 – 23 Access via Isle Royale Queen, from Copper Harbor, MI to Rock Harbor, return to Copper Harbor, MI, from Rock Harbor.
Team 3: May 28 – June 5 Access via Voyageur II, from Grand Portage, MN to Windigo, returning to Grand Portage, MN from Windigo.
Team 4: August 5 – 13 Access via Ranger III, from Houghton, MI to Mott Island, returning to Houghton, MI from Mott Island.
Cost details and info at http://isleroyalewolf.org/participate/participate/exp_detls.html
Isle Royale

photo: http://isleroyalewolf.org/overview/overview/moose.html

photo: http://isleroyalewolf.org/overview/overview/moose.html

Living at a Lighthouse
Although the housing varies from island to island, all quarters at the light stations have: propane space heater, propane cook stove, propane refrigerator, twin beds, kitchen utensils, dishes, brooms, buckets, and an assortment of tables and chairs. See volunteer stories and more. Be a lightkeeper- spend several weeks or a full summer giving lighthouse tours and assisting park visitors. More info.

Grand Portage Volunteer in Parks Program
The mission of the Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program at Grand Portage National Monument is to provide individuals opportunities to commemorate, preserve, and communicate the stories associated with Grand Portage Ojibwe and North West Company interactions through the years 1731-1802 to the present. Volunteers are important team members of the park staff and are encouraged to participate in all training, meetings and special events. Current opportunities include: Living History Interpreter and Winter Heritage Center Volunteer (must be Cook County Local)

Staff in colorful period dress are ready to assist visitors in Grand Portage's Ojibwe Village. NPS Photo / Beth Drost

Staff in colorful period dress are ready to assist visitors in Grand Portage’s Ojibwe Village. NPS Photo / Beth Drost

Visitor Center Host Norway Beach Recreation Area
5/23/2016 – 9/9/2016 Contact: Mary Nordeen 218-335-8658 Suitability: Adults Difficulty: Not Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=15515
Chippewa National Forest (Address: 200 Ash Ave NW, Norway Beach Recreation Area, Cass Lake, MN 56633)

Visitor Center Host Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center
5/23/2016 – 9/9/2016 Suitability: Adults Difficulty: Not Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=15516
Chippewa National Forest (Address: 1235 Division St, Cut Foot Sioux Rec Area, Deer River, MN 56636)

Visitor Center Hosts, Discovery Center
5/9/2016 – 10/1/2016
Contact: Mary Nordeen 218-335-8658 Suitability: Adults, Seniors Difficulty: Not Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=13897
Chippewa National Forest (Address: 49554 State Highway 38 / Marcell, MN 56657, Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center, Marcell, MN 56657)

National Outings Training Trip – Lodge-Based Dayhiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 to Saturday, August 20, 2016 Leader: Phil Snyder – 920-731-1445 jsnyder2@new.rr.com Want to lead the trips in Sierra magazine? Then this training is for you! Grow your leadership skills by leading your peers on the Superior Hiking Trail, hugging the ridgeline high above Lake Superior along Minnesota’s North Shore – the Midwest’s premier hiking trail. Our challenging day hikes are highlighted by panoramic lake views, pristine inland lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. At our comfortable lodge, we’ll enjoy good food, nightly naturalist-led programs and activities and discussions on trip leading. Develop your trip planning skills by designing your own “mock” outing in the four months prior to this trip. More info.
Cranberry Road, Finland, MN 55603, USA

Scenic Northwoods Backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota
Sep 18–24, 2016 The trip begins the morning of Sunday, September 18 in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where we meet for introductions and orientation. After checking and weighing packs and personal gear, we will distribute food and group gear. Then we will shuttle a short distance to the trailhead. Over the next five days we hike the North Shore section of Superior Hiking Trail, which roughly follows Lake Superior. Each day is filled with varied scenery and opportunities to see wildlife. There are scenic backcountry vistas with waterfalls, canyons, and lakes. On one day, our backpack will take us along a Lake Superior beach. We cover 6 to 11 miles on moderate terrain each day. More Info. Includes Most meals, great food, and camraderie, Shuttles to and from trailheads, All permit and camping fees.
Grand Marais, MN

Isolated Island Wilderness: Backpacking Isle Royale National Park
Sep 5–11, 2016 Backpack the renowned Greenstone Ridge Trai; Capture camera-clicking views across remote, beautiful Isle Royale National Park; Share this unique island wilderness with moose, wolf, fox, and loon. Includes: Boat transportation between Grand Portage, Minnesota, and Isle Royale; Pre-trip lodging and dinner at historic Nanibouijou Lodge; Highly rated meals. More info.
Grand Marais, MN

Lake Superior Service, Isle Royale National Park
Saturday, July 30, 2016 to Saturday, August 06, 2016 Discover America’s least visited park while assisting with trail maintenance. We’ll work and hike among wolves, moose, and loons on this lush and remote island. More info.
Houghton

Remote Lakeside Camping and Portage Trail Maintenance
Aug 6th – Aug 13th 2016 More info.
Sep 11th – Sep 17th 2016 Live, work, and play in the BWCA! More info.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Kiwishiwi RD, Superior NF

WildnernessVolunteers

Live, work, and play in the BWCA!

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
Trail maintenance, invasive removal, campsite rehab. More info.

Campground Host
5/15/2016 – 9/7/2016 Contact: David Worshek 218-229-8819
Suitability: Adults, Seniors, Family Difficulty: Average Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=15493
Superior National Forest (Address: Laurentian ranger District , Pfeiffer Lake campground, Aurora, MN 55705)

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
5/31/2016 – 8/19/2016 Ryan Blaisdell 218-663-8603 Suitability: Adults, Teens Difficulty: Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=14086
Superior National Forest (Address: Gunflint and Tofte Ranger Districts Grand Marais and Tofte, MN 55604)

Campground Host
5/11/2016 – 9/7/2016 Contact: Patti Hines 218-835-3113 Suitability: Adults, Seniors, Family Difficulty: Not Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=10471
Chippewa National Forest (Address: West Winnie Campground, West Winnie Campground, Blackduck, MN 56630)

Campground Volunteer
5/11/2016 – 9/7/2016 Contact: Patti Hines 218-835-3113 Suitability: Adults, Seniors, Family Difficulty: Not Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=12233
Chippewa National Forest (Address: Blackduck Ranger District, Knutson Dam, Blackduck, MN 56630

Wilderness Volunteer
6/1/2016 – 8/14/2016 Contact: Mark Toot 218-666-0033 Suitability: Adults Difficulty: Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=12855
Superior National Forest (Address: La Croix Ranger District, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Cook, MN 55723

Volunteer Map Editor
4/17/2013 – 12/31/2016 Contact: Elizabeth McCartney 573-308-3696 Suitability: Adults, Teens, Seniors, Groups, Family Difficulty: Average Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=13583
The National Map Corps (Address: (1400 Independence Road, Rolla, MO, 65401) Saint Paul, MN 55101
Ethno-botanical Garden & Visitor Center Volunteer
5/8/2017 – 9/5/2017 Contact: Chris Amidon 218-283-6636 Suitability: Adults, Seniors Difficulty: Average Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=12666
Voyageurs National Park (Address: 360 Highway 11 East International Falls, MN 56649)
Visitor Center Volunteer
5/8/2017 – 9/30/2017 Contact: Chris Amidon 218-283-6636 Suitability: Adults, Seniors Difficulty: Not Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=9199
Voyageurs National Park (Address: 360 Highway 11 East International Falls, MN 56649)

Interpretation Volunteer-Living History
5/30/2017 – 9/4/2017 Contact: Elizabeth Drost 218-475-0123 Suitability: Adults, Seniors, Groups, Family Difficulty: Strenuous Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=10828
Grand Portage National Monument (Address: 170 Mile Creek Road, PO Box 426, Grand Portage, MN 55605)

Maintenance Assistant
5/2/2016 – 10/22/2016 Contact: Janice Bengtson 218/847 2641 Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge (Address: 35704 County Hwy 26 Rochert , MN 56578) Suitability: Adults, Seniors Difficulty: Average Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=9824
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge (Address: 35704 County Hwy 26 Rochert, MN 56578)

 

Refuge Visitor Center Host, Interpreter
5/2/2016 – 10/22/2016 Contact: Janice Bengtson 218/847 2641 Suitability: Adults, Seniors Difficulty: Not Difficult Direct Link: https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=9825
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge (Address: 35704 County Hwy 26 Rochert, MN 56578)