|Volunteers give the State Park System invaluable assistance. Many of the programs and services regularly provided by the Department of Parks and Recreation would not be possible without the help and dedication of volunteers.
|Volunteer participation continues to be a major asset and benefit, not only to the Park and the Riverside community, but also to the volunteers themselves. The experience provides an opportunity to utilize one's talents and develop new skills in such areas as communications, public relations, historical interpretation, research, and restoration of artifacts. As a volunteer, there are opportunities to learn about the Citrus Park, its resources and about the State Park System.
|Through new knowledge and insight, volunteers carry the State Parks’ mission into the community as 'Ambassadors of Goodwill.' Volunteering can provide career exploration, work experience and future references for job or college. It is not the intent of the Volunteers in Park (VIP) Program that volunteers replace or supplant paid employees. New volunteers are always welcome to participate in the VIP Program.
- To help supplement and extend the activities of the Park Rangers
- To contribute to the comfort and pleasure of the visitors
- To provide a link between the Park and the community
- To work together in mutually supportive relationships for better service
|Qualifications and Commitment
- Make a commitment to contribute a minimum of 16 hours per month plus Special Events.
- Be reliable and able to donate time and effort in the performance of services to the State Park System
- Previous experience as a park volunteer is not necessary
- Individuals must be able to do the work assigned
- Documented aliens may serve as VIPs
- Minors (Individuals under 18 years of age) may be VIPs, provided they have written parental or guardian consent and volunteer with their parent or guardian. Appropriate labor laws governing the work of minor will be followed. Organized groups may serve as volunteers
- State Parks reserve the right to not accept an applicant who does not meet the qualifications
- Demonstrate adequate verbal communication skills
- Be in good physical condition, demonstrating the ability to stand for long periods of time and to climb stairs easily
- Demonstrate the ability to relate well with the public and maintain a pleasant and controlled temperament even under difficult conditions
- Demonstrate the willingness and ability to learn and retain information through assigned reading materials. Prior experience in public speaking is desirable though not required
- Background check and completion of various State Parks forms
|Orientation and Training
|After an application is received and interviews completed, volunteers are fingerprinted and a background check is processed. Then orientation classes, approximately 8 hours long, are held. They include a brief history of the park, park policies, guidelines and volunteer information. After the initial training, volunteers work with an experienced volunteer for several months. Other training occurs throughout the year. All volunteers work under the direct supervision of a park ranger
|Volunteers to the State Department of Parks and Recreation are non-paid state employees and are covered by worker's compensation insurance. The following forms must be completed and on file before the effective date beginning volunteer service:
- DPR 208 Volunteer Service Agreement
- STD 689 Oath of Allegiance
- STD 610 Medical Questionnaire
- Volunteers must be easily identified. A uniform must be worn when "on duty"
- The uniform consists of a tan uniform shirt and tan pants. Volunteers purchase their own shirt from a local uniform store and pants. Appropriate park patches are provided so volunteers can sew them on. Volunteers wear flat, closed-toed comfortable shoes with socks
- A nametag, provided by the Park, is worn on the right side above the pocket
|Service Records and Recognition
|Volunteers keep track of their hours that are used for 'Recognition' and all volunteer hours are sent to the State Parks Department in Sacramento. With a minimum number of qualifying hours, the State Park System recognizes volunteer service hours throughout the state with passes for admission to State Parks
|Volunteer assignments overlap and it is not uncommon for volunteers to become involved with several types of work depending upon interest and talents
- Docent Tour Guides - The docent's main responsibility is conducting tours through the park. Training assists the volunteers in developing and utilizing a working knowledge of Citrus. Tours are assigned at the monthly meetings with tour groups varying in size from one person to sometimes over forty visitors and may involve school groups and groups having special needs and interest. Volunteers may also work in interpretive research, assist with the Summer Concerts and many Public Events on second Sundays
- Artifact Cataloging Personnel - Persons assigned to the cataloging artifacts work under the direction of a Park Interpreter to catalog and maintain a current inventory of Citrus Park's artifact collection. This could involve the preparation of gift documents, assigning numbers to donated artifacts, photographing and organizing photo records of artifacts. The position requires some specialized training and some of the projects require a certain amount of perseverance since the work can involve detailed procedures or large numbers of artifacts
- Giftshop - The docents work in the Visitor Center and Giftshop when it is open. They answer questions, ring up sales and assist in the keeping the gift shop stocked