Connect Urban Youth with Outdoors

May 19, 2021

Calling Interested P.E.N. Pals Volunteers

For 31 years, our P.E.N. Pals program (People Exploring Nature) has offered a unique environmental education experience to economically disadvantaged youth: overnight camping in Warner Parks! With Covid precautions in place, campers will now experience adventure-full day camp , and we need your help bringing this magical experience to life for our campers.

Event Dates

A variety of volunteer duties are needed on each of the event dates listed below. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Griscom if you're willing and able to help; you're sure to walk away having been served something special yourself.

Tuesday, June 15th 

Thursday, June 17th 

Thursday, July 8th 

Thursday, July 15th 

Thursday, July 22nd

Volunteer Roles

1) Morning Campus Exploration 8:30-11:30 a.m. (3 hours) 

Help greet campers and assist a naturalist with a group of 10 campers as they explore the nature center  campus. Encourage exploration of the museum, meadow, garden and pond and assist with snack and clean up. 

3 volunteers needed per session.

2) Afternoon River Exploration 12:15-4:00 p.m. (3.75 hours) 

Meet at shelter 5 for the river rotations. Sign-up for one of these rotations and assist staff and other  volunteers in these explorations!  

Kayaking – led by naturalist Jon Dodson. Follow Jon’s lead and help campers learn water safety and  basic kayaking skills. Assist campers with putting on lifejackets properly, entering and exiting the water  and then keeping a close eye on campers while they practice kayaking in the Little Harpeth River.  Assist with disinfecting life-jackets in-between rotations. Note: you WILL get wet at this rotation! 

River Exploration – led by Harpeth River Conservancy staff. Follow HRCs lead and help campers look  for fish, insects and other fun critters as they explore a section of the Little Harpeth River. Note: you  WILL get wet at this rotation! 

Arts and Crafts – led by a WPNC naturalist. Assist campers with a fun arts and crafts activity. Help with  set-up and clean-up (including disinfecting) in-between groups.  

1 volunteer for each rotation needed per session

3) Lodge Lunch Volunteers 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (2.5 hours) 

Love feeding a hungry group of campers? This is the opportunity for you! Arrive at the Lodge and help set-up  and prepare the lunch for the day. Serve kids in a lunch-line setting and then enjoy the fruits of your labor as  well. Clean-up after the campers head to the river and enjoy the quiet afternoon at the Lodge.

3 volunteers needed per session

4) All Day, All The Way Volunteer 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.(9 hours) 

Help with P.E.N. Pals all day long!

Get in Touch

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Griscom with your desired dates/volunteer roles, and thank you in advance for contributing to these invaluable experiences for the youth of Nashville.

Special thanks to Park Partner Swiftwick whose generosity supports P.E.N. Pals and all of our Urban Nature Programs. So too did they recently come out to spiff up the Lodge in time for our campers!

Connect Urban Youth with Outdoors

May 19, 2021

Calling Interested P.E.N. Pals Volunteers

For 31 years, our P.E.N. Pals program (People Exploring Nature) has offered a unique environmental education experience to economically disadvantaged youth: overnight camping in Warner Parks! With Covid precautions in place, campers will now experience adventure-full day camp , and we need your help bringing this magical experience to life for our campers.

Event Dates

A variety of volunteer duties are needed on each of the event dates listed below. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Griscom if you're willing and able to help; you're sure to walk away having been served something special yourself.

Tuesday, June 15th 

Thursday, June 17th 

Thursday, July 8th 

Thursday, July 15th 

Thursday, July 22nd

Volunteer Roles

1) Morning Campus Exploration 8:30-11:30 a.m. (3 hours) 

Help greet campers and assist a naturalist with a group of 10 campers as they explore the nature center  campus. Encourage exploration of the museum, meadow, garden and pond and assist with snack and clean up. 

3 volunteers needed per session.

2) Afternoon River Exploration 12:15-4:00 p.m. (3.75 hours) 

Meet at shelter 5 for the river rotations. Sign-up for one of these rotations and assist staff and other  volunteers in these explorations!  

Kayaking – led by naturalist Jon Dodson. Follow Jon’s lead and help campers learn water safety and  basic kayaking skills. Assist campers with putting on lifejackets properly, entering and exiting the water  and then keeping a close eye on campers while they practice kayaking in the Little Harpeth River.  Assist with disinfecting life-jackets in-between rotations. Note: you WILL get wet at this rotation! 

River Exploration – led by Harpeth River Conservancy staff. Follow HRCs lead and help campers look  for fish, insects and other fun critters as they explore a section of the Little Harpeth River. Note: you  WILL get wet at this rotation! 

Arts and Crafts – led by a WPNC naturalist. Assist campers with a fun arts and crafts activity. Help with  set-up and clean-up (including disinfecting) in-between groups.  

1 volunteer for each rotation needed per session

3) Lodge Lunch Volunteers 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (2.5 hours) 

Love feeding a hungry group of campers? This is the opportunity for you! Arrive at the Lodge and help set-up  and prepare the lunch for the day. Serve kids in a lunch-line setting and then enjoy the fruits of your labor as  well. Clean-up after the campers head to the river and enjoy the quiet afternoon at the Lodge.

3 volunteers needed per session

4) All Day, All The Way Volunteer 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.(9 hours) 

Help with P.E.N. Pals all day long!

Get in Touch

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Griscom with your desired dates/volunteer roles, and thank you in advance for contributing to these invaluable experiences for the youth of Nashville.

Special thanks to Park Partner Swiftwick whose generosity supports P.E.N. Pals and all of our Urban Nature Programs. So too did they recently come out to spiff up the Lodge in time for our campers!

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