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How-to Volunteer
How-to Volunteer

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the volunteer program.

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How do I sign-up to volunteer with CPW?

  • Find a volunteer opportunity here, then follow the steps below.

  • Explore the featured opportunities, search for projects by park, or check out the map view.

    • If you see an opportunity that interests you, click on it.

    • If you are unsure of which opportunities interest you, click on the first featured opportunity "Not finding a volunteer opportunity that's right for you?

  • Click the green "Register" button on the following screen

  • In the new window, click "Create A Profile"

  • Fill out the application to the best of your abilities

  • On the final screen, the system asks for a count of how many people you are registering (“Number Attending”) for that project.

    Depending on if you are registering for yourself, your family or a group you are part of you will need to fill in “Number Attending”, “Adults”, and “Youths” as needed:

    Families and small groups please read: we prefer each person register for an account/project separately because each person needs to sign their own electronic volunteer waiver. For larger groups, please ask the staff member managing your project about signing the group waiver.

    • Individual Adult - Enter 1 for the “Number Attending”, 1 for “Adults”, and 0 for “Youths”

    • Individual Youth (17 & under) - Enter 1 for the “Number Attending”, 0 for “Adults”, and 1 for “Youths”

    • Group - Enter the total number of people for the “Number Attending”, the number of adults for “Adults”, and the number of youths (17 and under) for “Youths”

How soon can I volunteer?

Someone from the volunteer program will contact you typically within a week. Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about the process.

I haven't heard back from you. When will you respond?

Typically the volunteer program team will respond to requests within a week. During busy seasons (spring and summer), it might take us up to two weeks to respond. Thank you for your patience.

Where can I volunteer?

You can volunteer at any of our state parks, wildlife areas, or hatcheries. Opportunities are also available at schools and public events. Find a volunteer opportunity.

What are the benefits?

We appreciate as much time as volunteers are able to contribute, and encourage you to commit to more than one day of service to become partners in our mission.

While your experience may vary by park, wildlife area, hatchery, or program, there are common benefits to volunteering regardless of your location or role:

  • Support the mission of perpetuating the wildlife resources of the state, providing a quality state parks system, and providing enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado's natural resources.

  • Have fun while giving back to outdoor spaces, your community, and neighbors.

  • Learn new skills, build your resume, and cultivate your network.

  • Volunteering is good for your physical and mental health.

  • You are eligible for a free state park pass after contributing 48 hours of time within a consecutive 12-month period.

  • To thank you for your service, volunteers may be given a recognition gift for 10, 100, and 500 annual hours.

How much time will I need to volunteer?

This depends on the park, wildlife area, or hatchery in which you will be volunteering and what your project is. Time commitments can range from a single afternoon to several days a week for several months.

Please contact us if you have questions about a specific location or project.

Do I need to live in Colorado to become a volunteer?

Nope! If you’re interested in coming to Colorado to volunteer, we’d love to have you. Please browse our opportunities to find a project and sign up.

What qualifications do I need?

There are some programs and specific positions where prior experience comes in handy, but for most volunteer positions we'll provide the training.

For example:

  • Camp Hosts - Camp hosts need to be able to commit to a minimum of six weeks of uninterrupted service.

  • Citizen Science - Reliable transportation to get to the wildlife or habitat monitoring areas is needed.

  • Naturalists and Educators -Experience with speaking in front of groups or going on hikes is helpful.

If you want to know more about the requirements for a specific project or program, please contact us.

I'm bilingual. Does CPW have bilingual volunteer opportunities?

Absolutely! Volunteers with bilingual language skills are a good fit for working with the public, especially as a camp host, with angler and hunter education, and with festivals.

Contact us to help you find a bilingual volunteer opportunity.

What disqualifies me from volunteering?

All volunteers may have a background investigation conducted depending on their volunteer assignment to help ensure the safety of our patrons, visitors, staff, and fellow volunteers. An application may be denied on the basis of this background check or for inconsistencies between the application and the background check results. A background check may be conducted periodically while volunteers are active in the volunteer program.

Can I talk to a current volunteer?

Sure! Please contact us and we will be happy to ask a current volunteer to share their experiences with you.

How do I sign-up my whole school group/team or scout troop?

School groups/teams and scout troops can sign up to volunteer for designated group projects by reaching out to the statewide volunteer office with the number of people and hours your group wants to volunteer. During the project, groups can fill out a separate group volunteer agreement form designed to speed up registration and help enter hours.

Contact the volunteer program at to learn about available group/team/troop projects and to request the group sign-up form.

For more information on what group projects are like, see the group volunteer projects page.

What could my group do to volunteer?

We have a variety of projects that are perfect for groups, including but not limited to trail restoration, park and state wildlife area clean ups, invasive plant control, and campsite maintenance.

Prior to the project we do ask groups to fill out a form where we require a rough estimate of the number of volunteers and how many hours the group wishes to volunteer for, but this is not a commitment and we understand that sometimes circumstances change last minute.

Find a group volunteer opportunity or contact us to learn more about group opportunities.

I'm not 18 yet. Are there programs for me?

We’re happy you’re excited to volunteer with CPW! We have some opportunities for youth, such as trail stewardship days that allow people of all ages, including families with children over 12, to get outside, get your boots dirty, and let you leave the trail better than you found it.

Other projects can be available for youth, and some of our positions are only for folks over 18. We recommend getting in touch with us, and we’ll help you connect with a staff member to see what they may have for you.

Can my children volunteer with me?

It depends on the project.

  • Most of the time, your children are welcome to volunteer with you, but we do have a few projects that require volunteers to be 18 years or older.

  • If you want to know if a specific volunteer project in your area is appropriate for children, please contact us.

  • If you want to bring your children along to your assigned volunteer project, and you’re unsure if your project allows youths, ask your project staff supervisor as they will know best.

  • In order to log volunteer hours for your children, you will have to create a separate volunteer profile for them and sign a waiver on their behalf. On the sign-up form you will come to a question that asks if you want to work with specific CPW staff or volunteers: Here you should list your name and state that you are the parent. Once we receive their application, we will be able to register them for the same projects you are registered for. They will then be able to volunteer and record their hours.

I want to volunteer as a camp host. How do I do that?

Sign up for the camp host - parks, hatcheries, and wildlife areas statewide opportunity or for a site specific camp host opportunity. In the comments, specify what parks or sites you are interested in and include as many details as you can (i.e., full hookups needed for your camper or other preferences).

If I volunteer, can I hug bear cubs?

If you are interested in getting involved with Colorado’s wildlife, please specify this in your volunteer application. We won’t be hugging any baby bears, but the wildlife will appreciate your help!

I think I want to be a ranger! Can I ride along with a ranger for a day?

Learn more about becoming a park ranger here. If you'd like to do a ride along, please contact Howard Horton at to learn how.

I'm interested in working for CPW. How can I find more information about careers?

Visit the careers page to learn more about job and career opportunities with CPW.