Grand Canyon Volunteer

Grand Canyon Volunteer Vacation Requires Hard Work and Dedication

It seems, everyone is getting into the act. Even cruise ships and hotels offer guests the opportunity to volunteer. Holland America has offered the “Cruise with Purpose” where passengers boarded research vessels to collect water samples to try to predict the success of Alaska’s salmon run season. Ritz-Carlton arranges “Give Back Getaways” volunteer activities at locations across the globe. Guests can travel to a Mayan pueblo to help renovate a school, or cook and clean in a children’s shelter in Indonesia.

This year, the American Conservation Experience (ACE) officially launched a Volunteer Vacation at the Grand Canyon National Park. The program is open to adults of any age and any background. Volunteers sign up for 11 day team projects which started June 3, 2013, with sessions running through August.

Grand Canyon Volunteer

The exact nature of the service depends on the current requirements of the park but can include repairs to fencing, removal of invasive species, and light trail work.  Volunteers will be expected to work 8 hours of each day, generally between 7:30am and 3:30pm. This will still allow plenty of time to explore the park, participate in Grand Canyon tours, take photographs, hike, or just relax and take in the amazing views of the Canyon.

In 2012, the volunteer program only took place on Catalina Island, an island off the coast of California. But because of the program’s tremendous success, the nonprofit decided to expand the program this year to the Grand Canyon National Park.

Volunteers have the chance to experience a totally different Grand Canyon vacation. It is a vacation, but work is still expected which is what makes the experience is so unique but also enjoyable. The 11-day volunteer vacation runs at $600 which includes camping accommodations on the Grand Canyon South Rim campground and meals.

Related:  Grand Canyon National Park Set to Reopen Trails and Campground on April 15, 2024

According to Tom Wilson, director of the Volunteer Vacations program at American Conservation Experience, volunteers should expect a fulfilling and positive experience. The work can be challenging at times, but overcoming those, leads to a sense of accomplishment, he adds. Wilson also states that in addition to the achievement, a camaraderie forms within the volunteer groups.

The volunteer experience is an occasion to meet people from all parts of the country and even the world.  The organization hopes to see more volunteers from the U.S. enjoy this unique and worthwhile experience.

With so many “voluntourism” opportunities out there, how’s a traveler to choose?  What do you think about Volunteer Vacations? Would you go on one?