Volunteering

Volunteers at special event

Volunteering at Columbia State Historic Park

Home to one of the best preserved Gold Rush era towns in California, Columbia State Historic Park thrives on volunteer support. Volunteers serve vital roles both on the front line interacting with park visitors as well as behind the scenes in multiple support roles.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

  • Living History Docent

  • Museum/Store Volunteer

  • Special Events Volunteer

Many of the volunteer roles at the park involve the opportunity to become a living history “docent”. Docents are a specialized branch of volunteers that are trained to connect visitors with natural and cultural resources of the park. If you enjoy talking to people from around the world about the history of Columbia and the greater Gold Rush era, becoming a docent is the thing for you. Docents help support the park by working in the historic buildings, the park museum/store, 4th grade school programs, town tours and special events.

At Columbia SHP the docents participate primarily in “living history” interpretation. This form of education brings the parks historic past to life with period correct costumes, props and historically decorated buildings, all of which provide docents a platform to take visitors back in time to the California Gold Rush era.

Consider joining the Columbia State Historic Park team and enjoy the many benefits of becoming a volunteer with California State Parks.

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Become part of the California State Park team
  • Spend time in one of California’s most historic towns.
  • Meet new people
  • Help connect thousands of visitors each year to things you care about
  • Take advantage of opportunities for ongoing education and training
  • Earn year-round park passes to California State Parks
  • 15% discount in the parkstore
  • Receive access to the Docent Mercantile, a special park resources page only for volunteers

 

Volunteer holding a chicken

 

 

 

 

Living History Docent

Becoming a docent at Columbia State Historic Park requires specialized training in public speaking, park history, the Gold Rush era, costuming, living history standards and more. The training course take place over 4 weeks with classes at the park. Once completed, volunteers join the ranks of our living history docents and are able to get involved bringing the parks past to life.

Requirements

  • Comfortable speaking in front of groups.
  • Be comfortable in weather and changing temperatures.
  • Willing to learn and share knowledge of the park resources with visitors.
  • Able to work with children in family settings and in organized groups.
  • Friendly, courteous and possess good communication skills.
  • Positive attitude and willingness to work as a team member with park staff and visitors.
  • Minimum age requirement is 18 years old. If younger there must be parental consent and participation.

Time Commitment

  • Participate in the 4 week training program.
  • Agree to volunteer at least once a month
  • Volunteer 50 volunteer hours annually

 For more information contact Holly Bailey, State Park Interpreter I at 209-768-8087 or email ColumbiaSHP.volunteer@parks.ca.gov.

Docent Training 2022

Docents working in Diggins Town

The next docentt training course begins Saturday, August 27th, 2022. All training will occur on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Those interested will need to be available for all dates and times to complete the course. 

2022 Training Dates

August 27
Septeber 3
September 10
September 24
 

Please contact, Holly Bailey, Columbia SHP Volunteer Coordinator, with any questions you may have. Holly can be reached through email at ColumbiaSHP.volunteer@parks.ca.gov or by phone at (209-768-8087) . 

Park Museum Volunteer

Located at the heart of the town of Columbia, the Columbia State Historic Park Museum houses some of the most unique historical items in the park. The majority of park visitors make their way through the historic exhibits and photos within the museum, itself a historical building. Museum volunteers help to answer questions about the exhibits, provide directions and information for the park, and operate the park store for visitors to take home souvenirs of their visit. All proceeds from the museum store go to the Friends of Columbia non-profit association that support the park.

Requirements

  • Comfortable speaking in front of groups.
  • Willing to learn and share knowledge of the park exhibits with visitors.
  • Friendly, courteous and possess good communication skills.
  • Positive attitude and willingness to work as a team member with park staff and visitors.
  • Able to operate a cash register (it’s easy!)
  • Minimum age requirement is 21 years old.

Time Commitment

  • Attend 1 day training
  • Agree to volunteer at least once a month
  • Volunteer 50 volunteer hours annually

 For more information contact Holly Bailey, State Park Interpreter I at 209-768-8087 or email ColumbiaSHP.volunteer@parks.ca.gov.

Volunteer holding lantern

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Event Volunteer

Columbia State Historic Park hosts multiple special events year round. Ranging from living history reenactments to community celebrations, its common that the park can use some extra helping hands. Special events volunteers support the park by filling volunteer roles that require little to no training. From carrying lanterns to handing out candy, there are always opportunities to help. This allows volunteers to make a smaller commitment to the park while still making a big contribution.

Requirements

  • Friendly, courteous and possess good communication skills.
  • Positive attitude and willingness to work as a team member with park staff and visitors.
  • Minimum age requirement is 18 years old. If younger there must be parental consent and participation.

Time Commitment

  • Agree to volunteer at least 4 times a year.

For more information contact Holly Bailey, State Park Interpreter I at 209-768-8087 or email ColumbiaSHP.volunteer@parks.ca.gov.