Are you interested in being a Conner Prairie volunteer? Conner Prairie is looking for enthusiastic youth ages 10-18 to join its Youth Volunteer Program for the 2024 season. If you’re passionate about Conner Prairie, love speaking to people, and enjoy the rewards of old-fashioned sweat and effort, you may make the perfect Conner Prairie Volunteer! The 2024 Youth Volunteer Application Season is now open. Applications are due January 5, 2024.
Be a Conner Prairie Volunteer! Apply Now for the Youth Volunteer Program (Ages 10-18)
Conner Prairie, Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute Affiliate, inspires guests to ask questions about Indiana and the world around them. The 800+ acre property offers families a place to come together and connect with history, science, nature, art, and most importantly, one another. Conner Prairie is a place where the doors are always open to a diversity of voices and limitless experiences. The Conner Prairie Youth Volunteer Program teaches youth about history in a hands-on immersion environment, making learning painless, personal, and fun. Young people of all backgrounds, ages 10-18, are welcome to apply.
Youth Volunteer Program
Learning is the primary focus of Conner Prairie’s Youth Volunteer Program. The program aims to give talented young people the opportunity to grow through Conner Prairie’s enriching environment. The Youth Volunteer Program teaches youth ages 10-18 history and skills in a hands-on, immersive, and fun environment.
Youth volunteer in both historic costumes and modern clothes in areas of the museum’s historic grounds including Prairietown, Lenape Indian Camp, Animal Encounters, Civil War Journey, Treetop Outpost, Welcome Center, the textiles department, and more. Youth also volunteer at special events that Conner Prairie stages throughout the year. Youth volunteer opportunities may include:
- Playing historical games and leading hands-on activities in modern-day uniform or costume
- Portraying a costumed character from the past
- Working behind the scenes
- Assisting in special events
- Helping care for heritage animal breeds
Youth volunteers enjoy learning about history and science, leading people and activities, public speaking, and hard work. Youth are required to volunteer for one full year and achieve a minimum of 120 hours.
Apply to be a Conner Prairie Volunteer
The Youth Volunteer Program application process is a competitive one, typically with hundreds of youth competing for just 115 spots. The comprehensive application includes several pages and an essay that must be completed. The selection process happens in two rounds. First, applications are due on January 5, 2024. On January 10, 2024, applicants will be notified if they will be moving forward in the selection process. Top applicants will be invited in for an interview. On February 24, 2024, applicants will be notified on whether or not they are accepted into the program.
Applications for 2024 youth volunteers can be found online on the Conner Prairie website. All applications are due January 5, 2024.
Prospective Youth Volunteer Information Meeting
If this is your first time applying for a position in the Conner Prairie Youth Volunteer Program, you should plan to attend the Prospective Youth Volunteer Information Meeting on November 28, 2023 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Attendees will be given an overview of the Youth Volunteer Program. Attendance is encouraged but not required.
The information meeting is designed for both applicants and their guardians. There will be an hour-long formal meeting, and another hour to mingle with staff and some of our current youth volunteers. The meeting will take place in the Welcome Center upstairs in the Overlook Room. No need to RSVP, but should inclement weather occur, please call the reception desk (317-776-6000) to be sure the meeting is still proceeding.
Youth Volunteer Program Fun Facts:
- 115 youth in program
- Average age of youth: 13.9
- Youngest Youth: 10
- Oldest Youth: 18
- Minimum Hours donated per year: 120
- Most Hours ever donated by a youth in a single year: 1066
- About ⅓ of the youth are homeschooled
- Over ¼ of the youth participate on our Youth Spinning Team
- Shortest commute to Conner Prairie: ¼ mile (across the street)
- Longest commute to Conner Prairie: 7,106 miles (Bahrain)
- Favorite program as voted on by the youth: Headless Horseman
Feel free to contact Sarah Morin or Bill Freil with any questions about the Conner Prairie volunteer opportunities or about the Youth Volunteer Program application process (317.776.6000 ext. 259 or YouthVolunteers@connerprairie.org).
Volunteering is a wonderful way for children to learn responsibility, hard work, and how to give back to their communities. There are lots of ways to volunteer for children and with children. Whether it be ongoing as a Conner Prairie volunteer or a one-time volunteer shift at a food bank, immersing children in a setting and observing situations they are unfamiliar with will broaden their perspectives and outlook on the world. So many life lessons can only be taught through experiencing service to others. Here are other opportunities to volunteer with kids in Indy.