Washington State Parks invite you to become a park host

Photo courtesy Washington State Parks

Washington State Parks invites interested individuals to apply for its park host program — one of its most popular volunteer opportunities.

“Hosts help State Parks achieve our mission, to connect all Washingtonians to their diverse natural and cultural heritage and to provide memorable recreational and educational experiences,” the agency said in a recent newsletter.

Hosts assist park staff in campground and park operations and assist visitors by providing park information, answering questions, and explaining rules. Hosts are provided a designated host campsite and available utilities during their volunteer service. “As a host, you will be joining a supportive community of volunteers and staff who serve the public and our public lands,” the newsletter announcement said.

Hosts must be at least 18 years old and are required to pass a criminal background check.  Hosts must provide their own RV, camping unit or boat; lodging is not provided.

Hosts should enjoy working with the public, have the desire to accept new challenges and possess the willingness to learn about Washington State parks.

Assignments typically require a 30-day commitment. This may be extended up to 90 days at the park manager’s discretion. Hosts are required to perform a minimum of 28 hours of service a week and are expected to work five days a week with two days off.

As a host, you will represent Washington State Parks by greeting visitors and helping set the tone for a pleasant stay. Hosts assist park staff and perform a range of duties that vary depending on the park and location of the host assignment.

Hosts in campgrounds greet campers, answer questions, and perform light maintenance particular to the park. This may include litter pick-up, raking campsites, or lawn mowing. Hosts may assist with other projects based on park needs and the skills and interest of the host.

Hosts at retreat centers

Retreat centers are rustic lodges and cabins, which are used for school field trips and group retreats. Retreat center hosts assist visitors with check in, logistics and use of facilities. Hosts may also perform light maintenance duties around the facility.

Hosts at interpretive centers

Hosts at interpretive centers, museums and lighthouses may assist park staff with interpretive programs, give tours, work in gift shops, and open and close facilities.

Hosts at marine parks

Marine park hosts assist boaters as they enter moorage area, inform visitors about park facilities, alert boaters of weather conditions and let visitors know about unique areas to explore. Unlike other host assignments, hosts at marine parks are required to stay for a minimum of one to two weeks, depending on the location.

To apply to become a park host, download, complete and return the forms below (applications will not be processed until all forms are received). Refer to the host application process for more details.

Park Host Application 

P-009 Request for Criminal Disclosure & History  (A separate P-009 form is required for each individual that will be staying at the host site, regardless if they will be performing host duties. Each must be signed by hand.)

Complete the 2024 Host Agreement. This is for approved hosts or to be included with above documents.

Submit completed forms via email or by mail:

WA State Parks Volunteer Program
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650