Volunteer Your Time - Cape Elizabeth Land Trust

Volunteer Your Time

Photo by Stacey Cramp

Volunteer Your Time

Welcome, Volunteer!

Each year, CELT receives over 2,500 hours of volunteer support. As a community supported organization, we depend upon volunteers to help manage our properties, to plan and staff our special events, and many more essential tasks. Below you will find our current volunteer opportunities. Please e-mail us at info@capelandtrust.org or call our offices at 207-767-6054 for more information. To Volunteer, fill out our form today!

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

  • Office Administration Support
  • Trail Building and Trail Maintenance
  • Education Volunteers
  • Special Events Planning
  • Property Mapping and Monitoring
  • Conservation Planning
  • Editorial Support for our Publications and Website

See below for specific opportunities and volunteer job descriptions.

CELT Education Volunteer Opportunities

Join CELT’S Education Team!

The programs that CELT offers to local students have a rich tradition of being led by various adult volunteers in the community. We are looking for new generation of leaders to join this effort: volunteers who are excited to work with kids, enjoy exploring the outdoors, and want to give back to their community. Volunteers lead hands-on, experiential and fun field trips and programs for 1st, 3rd and 4th grade students. Training and good times will be provided!

Why be a walk leader?

Photo by Martha Agan
  1. Be present for amazing nature experiences: previous walk leaders have caught baby painted turtles, found salamanders, and seen incredible wildflower displays!
  2. Meet neighbors in your community who share your interest and enjoy an end-of-year celebration of your work.
  3. Hear the “oohs” and “whoas” and “that’s so cool!” of kids and know that you are facilitating those experiences.
  4. Inspire the youth of today to love and respect the natural world by helping them have fun while exploring it.

Description of Field Trips

First Grade:
One winter (generally February) and one spring (generally May) trip. An hour-long program at Great Pond. We meet at the beginning of the trail across from Kettle Cove Creamery, then walk out to Great Pond and back. There is one trip leader per class (18 students), as well as the teacher and one or two adult chaperones. With this grade, our focus each season is primarily sensory exploration of the habitat as we proceed along the trail, and exploration of the ways that wildlife use food, shelter and water to survive.

Photo by Martha Agan

Third Grade:
One spring trip. This is an hour and forty-five-minute field trip in Robinson Woods (RW) II. We meet at the RW parking lot next to the Belfield Rd. outlet, then walk out down the Pond Trail to the bridge and waterfall and walk back. There are two trip leaders per class (about 22 students), as well as the teacher and several adult chaperones.

Our objectives for this field trip are to help students understand that all living things have a life cycle that consists of being born, growing, reproducing and dying; and to emphasize that all living things have unique physical or behavioral characteristics to help them survive in their habitat. These characteristics can be influenced by the environment.

Fourth Grade:
This is the most involved of the field trips we offer, and the longest-running; it was started 12 years ago by enthusiastic and devoted Pond Cove parents. It consists of one fall (generally October), one winter (generally February) and one spring (generally May) trip, all along the same trail at Robinson Woods. The fall and spring trips are an hour and a half. The winter trip is an hour. We meet at the RW parking lot kiosk and walk a loop of the Wildflower and Outer Loop trails. There are two trip leaders per class (so about 10 students per leader), as well as the teacher and one or two adult chaperones. The three overall goals of these field trips are to experience the seasonal changes along the same stretch of trail; explore the relevant adaptations of wildlife to those changes; and help the students gain the appreciation and understanding necessary to discuss the RW woodland ecosystem with familiarity.

Comparing an adult dragonfly (left) with a newly-molted adult (right). Photo by Sarah Adams

Time Commitment

We ask that volunteers commit to an academic year of time (September to May), but are always willing to work with individuals to help them get the volunteer experience that fits their time and needs. Broken down, the time commitment looks like:

  • Filling out necessary background check forms to allow you as a volunteer to work with Pond Cove Elementary studentse.
  • A pre-trip leader hike for the field trip you are leading. These last about 1.5 hours, and are scheduled the week before the field trips take place. For example, for field trips taking place the third week of October, the leader training hike would take place the second week of October.
  • Ideally leading two trips per grade, per season. For example, if you were only leading first grade trips, this would mean two trips in winter and two trips in the spring. If you also shadowed an experienced leader each time, this would mean about 5 hours of field trip time throughout the year.
  • Reserving one trip time during your field trip week (usually Friday) as a bad weather make-up.
  • Communicating with other leaders via email or phone as schedules change
  • Post walk recap/debrief with CELT staff and/or Committee Chair, either through email or group Google doc.

The typical time commitment for a volunteer who leads 4th grade walks is about 15 hours between September and May.

Previous volunteers say…

“It is so rewarding to see a kid’s eyes open wide when they see a snake or salamander for the first time or hold frog eggs and better understand the relationships that connect us all.” –Lisa Gent, 10+ year volunteer

“I get so much pleasure out of the children discovering something special in the woods, and then sharing it with their classmates. The wonder and excitement that you as a leader/teacher in the woods is infectious…the kids get so excited to see what we as adults often consider ‘ordinary.’” –Suzanne McGinn, 10+ year volunteer

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