Community Volunteer Ambassador - Hot Springs National Park
Stewards Individual Placements provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. The Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA) Program combines the strength of a national leader in conservation service with the National Park Service to train a diverse group of emerging leaders to assist park units in building lasting connections to local communities.
Community Volunteer Ambassadors (CVAs) support Volunteer-in-Parks programs at National Park Service sites nationwide. This ranges from National Park, National Monuments, National Battlefields, National Historic Sites, National Recreation Areas, and more. The Community Volunteer Ambassador Program was developed to support NPS sites in connecting with their local communities through service and to provide young adults with a professional development opportunity within the National Park Service. CVAs provide capacity for NPS sites to establish community partnerships, develop new volunteer opportunities, and build volunteer program resources.
Hot Springs National Park is one of the oldest federally protected natural and cultural sites in the country. Because of its geologically complex and relevant thermal springs, President Andrew Jackson set this land and resource aside in 1832 to provide thermal water to the American public, unimpaired, for perpetuity. Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park (HOSP) in 1921. For decades, HOSP was the smallest and only urban national park in the country. Because of its history before joining the NPS, the national park maintains a close relationship with the city of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities.
HOSP has a rich history of dedicated and passionate volunteer involvement. The park’s volunteer program consists of five main categories: Interpretation and Visitor Services, Campground Hosts, Natural and Cultural Resources, Maintenance, and Artists-in-Residence. During the school year, the Natural Resource Management division manages 10-15 student volunteers from a local high school who perform research and volunteer activities in the park throughout the semester. Additionally, each year, a robust cohort of volunteers assist with various special events such as National Public Lands Day trash clean ups, invasive species removals, BioBlitz, and the Thermal Springs Festival.
This position will play a key role in helping the park’s volunteer coordinator plan and execute various volunteer events while also actively engaging with the Hot Springs community. In order to help us reach a larger audience, specifically the underserved population, having someone who can hone their skills and talents will assist in fostering a greater sense of local stewardship and appreciation for this park through community engagement and active communication.
For the past two years, Hot Springs National Park launched and executed the “Trail Recovery Leaders Program,” where youth leaders (under the age of 25) were selected, trained by park staff, and subsequently led recovery focused volunteer events throughout the park. This program did a great job of inviting the younger community into the park and offered them a chance to get hands-on experience and learn valuable leadership skills. In 2023, the CVA will assist the volunteer coordinator to adapt this program to maintain youth mentorship and training aspects and add empowerment and creativity to best assist the park. The ability to recruit, market, and empower the surrounding community is essential.
- Work closely with the volunteer coordinator to plan and execute special volunteer events
- Work collaboratively across park divisions to execute division-specific events
- Occasionally lead workshops at events and groups on guided hikes
- Assist with administration tasks of the park’s volunteer program, including recruitment of new volunteers and bolstering community volunteer communication strategies
- Plan and lead the Trail Recovery Leaders Program 2.0 (new program name pending)
- Participate in working group meetings with volunteer supervisors on the NPS staff
- Represent the park and the volunteer program at community events throughout the year
- Maintain communications with state and national agencies
- Develop and coordinate event outreach plan
- Assist in the preparation of press materials for volunteer events
- Assist in the creation of event schedules
- Assist with planning and execution of an annual volunteer appreciation event
- Assist with set up and break down of all events
- Work collaboratively with the volunteer coordinator and park leaders to prioritize volunteer projects throughout the year
- Work collaboratively with park staff and division leaders to organize volunteer trainings
- Engage with local schools and colleges to recruit youth leaders and expand the volunteer pool
- Assist in the development of park-wide events: National Public Lands Day, Junior Ranger Day, Bark Ranger Day, Thermal Springs Festival
- Assist in the preparation of marketing and press materials for the VIP program
CVA Minimum Requirements:
- Self motivated
- Strong work ethic
- Enthusiastic & outgoing
- Great interpersonal skills
- Ability to work collaboratively with a team in a dynamic environment
- Passionate about community engagement
- Strong communication skills
- Participate in the CVA National Early Service Training in early April 2023
- Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Be 18-30 years old at time of service (veterans up to 35 years old)
- High School Diploma/GED
- Pass fingerprint-based FBI, state criminal, and a national sex offender checks.
- Experience planning events
- Experience engaging diverse audiences
- Strong organizational skills
- Ability to prioritize
- Effective time management
- Good writing skills
- Proficient public speaker
- Customer service skills
- Bilingual (Spanish) *not necessary, but helpful*
- Be able to provide proof of a driver’s license and complete a MVR check
- Must be over 21 years old or have had license for at least 3 years to be insured in this position
- CVA will receive a weekly stipend of $500 (additional $65/week, if housing is not provided)
- Limited health care/childcare benefits
- The position is eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award $6,495.00 (pre-tax) upon successful completion of the program
- Professional development funds
- Networking opportunities within the National Park Service and partnering organizations
- Public Land Corps Hiring Authority
- Week-long in-person training at NPS site with travel/meal expenses covered.
This position is a unique opportunity for the right applicant to work at the crossroads of many fields within the National Park Service. While the position is housed in the Interpretation Division, we will be working closely all year long with Cultural Resources, Natural Resources, Maintenance, Law Enforcement, the Administration, Volunteers, and the Community. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the park from many angles.
The position requires a degree of schedule flexibility, as many volunteer events will be held on the weekends. The applicant might be asked to work holidays and evenings, depending on what is needed and planned.
Hot Springs National Park is located within the City of Hot Springs. In addition to the opportunities offered within the park, there are many recreational opportunities within 30 minutes of town. Hiking, boating, biking, swimming, museums, and art galleries are all available in and around Hot Springs.
Housing in town is affordable, and ranges from long term to short term rentals, furnished or unfurnished. Several neighborhoods are within walking and biking distance to the park. Many neighborhoods are within a 15-minute commute time by car. Grocery stores are abundant throughout Hot Springs. Public transportation is available, as are opportunities for carpooling and ridesharing with Park staff.
How to Apply
Please visit Community Volunteer Ambassador (cvainternships.org) to review “Member Positions” by region and find instructions on how to apply.
The CVA position will start on Monday, February 6th, 2023, and run for 50 weeks until Friday, January 19th 2024. Applicants will need to apply here: https://form.jotform.com/StewardsIPP/cva-member-application. Application form requires a resume, cover letter, professional references.
Please ensure your cover letter addresses how your experience aligns with the CVA program, your experience working with diverse populations, and position details for this park/position. You may submit one application for multiple positions by selecting all sites you are interested in.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. First review will occur in early November. Final deadline is Friday, December 9th.
For Application Questions:
Please contact Geoff Elliot, Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stewards Individual Placements Program does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
This position is located in Hot Springs, AR. View the Google Map in full screen.