Volunteer With Smallwood State Park

Message from the Manager of the Southern Maryland Recreational Complex (SMRC) Ranger Pat Bright, Jr.

Smallwood State Park docent.

Thank you for your interest in Volunteering with the Maryland Park Service! The Southern Maryland Recreational Complex (SMRC) is comprised of nearly 20,000 acres, spanning three counties. It includes a State Forest, a Wildlife Sanctuary, six State Parks, two State Wildlands, and numerous Natural Resource Management Areas. We boast some of the Free State’s very finest jewels, and an invaluable corps of volunteers strings these gems together.

Our facilities simply could not run without the selfless contributions provided by our volunteers and “Friends” groups. Wherever you wish to volunteer in the SMRC, we welcome you, as do our vital affiliates: the Friends of Cedarville State Forest, the Friends of Calvert Cliffs State Park, the Friends of Smallwood State Park, and the Friends of Chapman State Park. Together with our small staff, these groups perform park operations, patrols, historic interpretation, special events management, park maintenance, trail work, beach cleanups, environmental education programs, fishing derbies, and much, much more.

Volunteer Opportunities

Historic Docent

General William Smallwood's restored home is open to the public for tours on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. from April through October. The house is fully staffed by volunteers. Volunteers lead simple tours of the home in Colonial period costume. Training is provided. Clothing can be loaned to docents and recommendations for home sewn or purchased clothing can be provided as requested. All you need is an interest in history and a desire to work with the public.

Parking Assistant

Several times a year, Smallwood State Park is host to large Bass fishing tournaments. These times the park fills very quickly which makes proper parking a necessity. This opportunity involves an early morning start, usually 4 a.m., but allows you opportunities to meet many other fishermen, both local and professional.

Trail Monitor

Do you like to hike? Are you looking for a peaceful place to enjoy nature? Smallwood State Park has about 2 miles of trail that wind through woodland areas, our historic area, and down through a wetland area. They offer many opportunities for the public to see Wood Ducks, Bald Eagles, Woodpeckers, Deer, Turkey, Beaver, and many other animals. A volunteer is needed to help us monitor our trails for any problems that may arise. A trail monitor simply walks the trails and reports any concerns or problems they may come across.

Volunteer Researchers

We are looking for volunteers who are interested in research of the history of the site, the General's life and Maryland in the 18th century. The information will be used to enhance the knowledge of interested parties and to enhance the programs provided to the public.

‘Maintain Smallwood’ Volunteer at Smallwood State Park

Have a knack for working with your hands and would like to see Smallwood State Park at its best? Then become a 'Maintain Smallwood' Volunteer! Just like your home, there is always something that needs a spring cleaning or a little fixer up-er here at the park. If you have the time, experience, and desire please help with the general maintenance of Smallwood State Park.

Be a Camp Host and Stake Your Claim to Free Camping at Smallwood State Park

That's right! Volunteer as a camp host and it's all yours! Camp hosts are needed throughout the camping season from April through October. You get an electric campsite with great nature views provided by the campground at Smallwood State Park. All you have to do is commit a minimum of one month to camping and bring your own gear. Camp hosts are asked to spend 20 hours a week helping campers, selling firewood, and keeping camping facilities and cabins tidy in exchange for their FREE campsite. Priority consideration is given to anyone who can stay longer. The park staff will provide all the training you need! So pitch in as a park volunteer and pitch your tent (or camping trailer, etc.)! Sign up for your campsite now!

Do you like to say "Cheese?" Be a park photographer at Smallwood State Park

"Say Cheese!" Smallwood State Park is seeking photographers to get a snapshot of a day in the park. If you're most comfortable behind the lens, this may be the opportunity for you! As a park photographer you will focus on people, landmarks, and special events and your photos may be used on the web, in publications, and for other media. Before you begin to point and shoot you need to attend a short training session given by park staff regarding essential paperwork, expectations, and how to capture the best shots.

Friends of Smallwood State Park at Smallwood State Park

Join the Friends of Smallwood State Park and become a volunteer. The Friend's mission is to assist the park staff in maintaining the park, campground, trails and picnic areas. They hold monthly work days throughout the year, usually meeting on Saturday mornings. The Friends are an integral part of Smallwood's operation. They also participate in ongoing projects with the park staff and help out with special events. There are many opportunities and activities for volunteers to participate in. Here is your chance to make your mark. Come and join the Friends of Smallwood State Park!

Give back to your parks! Become a Volunteer Ranger at Smallwood State Park

Help protect Maryland's natural resources and be the "eyes and ears" of the park by being a Volunteer Ranger! The Volunteer Ranger program is for people ages 18 and above who want to assist the Department's regular work force in state parks with operations, programs and public service. Some duties include walking trails, picking up trash, assisting with parking direction and special events and welcoming park visitors by answering questions and giving directions. As ambassadors of the state parks, Volunteer Rangers serve a vital role to the public. Thousands of visitors to Maryland's state parks look to Volunteer Rangers for guidance and help. Interested persons should start volunteering through other opportunities at the park and after accruing 40 hours of volunteer service, may become eligible for Volunteer Ranger training and certification. After receiving certification and an official uniform, the Volunteer Ranger commits 100 hours of service to the Maryland Park Service per year to maintain their Volunteer Ranger status.

Inspire future generations at the Sweden Point Discovery Center at Smallwood State Park

Do you love the outdoors and working with kids? Our Discovery Center provides you with indoor and outdoor classrooms perfect for sharing facts and fun! Located on the marina side, the Discovery Center is a popular destination for the young and young at heart. On the job training is provided. Note: All volunteers must be fingerprinted prior to staffing the Discovery Center.

Internship at Smallwood State Park

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is excited to offer students the opportunity to fulfill internship requirements or gain valuable experience at Smallwood State Park. We are looking for motivated students and individuals with diverse backgrounds to assist in a variety of unpaid internships. This program offers the opportunity to build your résumé with rewarding experiences in the field. The opportunities include:

  • Interpretation
  • Office Management
  • Concession Management
  • IT/Website Management
  • Maintenance
  • Special Event Coordination/Marketing
  • Natural Resource/Trail Management
  • Grant Researcher/Writer
  • Park Ranger/Operations
  • Sports Management

Detailed descriptions of the above responsibilities are available on request. Interested applicants should send a résumé, cover letter describing preferred internship, and three character references to Ranger Cantin. Also, the applicant is required to complete online registration at https://ec.volunteernow.com/custom/1289/ For more information or to submit the above listed documents please contact Ranger Bob Cantin at (301) 743-7613.

Landscaping at Smallwood State Park

Do you like to garden? Like toiling in the dirt? Smallwood State Park is in need of willing volunteers to help maintain the landscaping around the park. Jobs include weeding, watering, planting, re-planting, weed-wacking, and other random landscaping work. Past landscaping and gardening experience a plus. If you are interested, please contact Ranger Bob Cantin at 301-743-7613 or bcantin@dnr.state.md.us. You must be 16 or older to volunteer for this position, unless you are accompanied by an adult.

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Smallwood State Park

If you are interested in being a state park volunteer, but are unable to commit to the any of the current opportunities or can't find an opportunity the meets your interests, you can still sign up and register. Doing so will ensure that the Volunteer Coordinator is aware of your interest and will contact you to explore future possibilities. Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Maryland State Parks.
Ranger Bob Cantin
(301) 743-7613

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