Interested in sharing your skills and knowledge with the next generation of nature enthusiasts?
The YNC is always looking for passionate naturalists, artists, and other volunteers to help us introduce young people and their families to the awesome world outside. If you have something you’d like to share with our club, reach out to our Coordinator and we’ll discuss how to get you involved. Or, check out the list of current volunteer needs below.
Our past volunteers have included: fishermen, scientists, graduate students, park interpreters, museum staff, artists, musicians, parents, grandparents, retired persons, community members, college or university students…etc.
Current Volunteer Opportunities
YNC Chapters and their families go out at least once per month to explore a neat natural space in Nova Scotia, with the occasional indoor workshop, and our trips are always more engaging when we have a subject expert join us.
– One-time commitment of an afternoon (2-3 hours)
– Lead a nature walk for one of our Chapters, on any topic related to nature
Examples: lead a bird walk, wildflower walk, walk to look for animal tracks in the snow, sky-watching session to learn about astronomy, teach about a particular animal, teach wildlife photography, lead a nature poetry session, teach us how to build nest boxes, how to ID mushrooms, etc…
Education Theory Researcher
Review the YNC “Resources” page and suggest some updates to keep our readers on the cutting edge of nature-based education and natural history knowledge
The YNC sells felted acorns, among other things, at the occasional farmers market or other special event, and we often give them as gifts to our sponsors. We always need more! Host a crafting night with your friends and family to make more acorns, or any other crafty item you enjoy making!
Person a YNC booth at a farmers market or other local event to help us spread the word about the club’s activities and sell some of our felted acorns, Species at Risk Trading Cards, youth-made Art Cards, and more.
Besides the above short term options we also have longer term volunteer roles available, such as:
Seasonal Field Trip Assistant
Be an extra set of eyes and hands on our monthly trips and help engage families in immersive hands-on nature learning
Become a YNC Chapter Leader in your community! Contact us for information on how to start up a YNC Chapter.
– Seasonal commitment of one monthly trip/session (2-3 hours) for 10 months of the year
– Can be tailored to any age group and schedule
– Chapter leaders must have up-to-date criminal record, vulnerable sector, and child abuse checks as well as first aid certifications, which the YNC can reimburse
The YNC Board of Directors is the governing body of the Young Naturalists Club and functions in an advisory style. It supports and ensures the Club’s mission and philosophies are maintained, provides leadership and oversight of the Club’s activities, oversees financial operations, and ensures bylaws are followed. The Board also develops policies and governance documents (such as strategic plans, volunteer policies, risk management policies, etc…)
– Yearly commitment of a few days/year (attendance at our annual AGM in addition to 2-3 Board meetings/year, commitment to work on 1 project/year (such as a new or updated policy), commitment to volunteer at one event/year (such as the annual Celebration of Nature)
– Fill a Board role, such as Treasurer, Secretary, or Parent representative
Current Board vacancies (for the 2020-2021 program year) include:
- Vice President:
The Vice President supports the President in administrative and strategic tasks and acts in their stead when the President is absent. Duties may include overseeing agendas and chairing Board meetings, reviewing minutes, assisting with strategic projects and liaising with YNC staff, assisting with the yearly President’s Report, and participating in the AGM. The Vice President also assists with Board member recruitment as needed.
In addition to attending all Board meetings, the Secretary’s duties include: Accurate record keeping and distribution of the minutes of board meetings including the AGM and maintaining safe storage of the organization’s minutes.
- Representatives from natural history organizations (2 or more positions):
Members of our sister natural history societies may participate in strategic operations of the Board as well as volunteer as subject experts or guest presenters on YNC field trips. Representatives from natural history organizations are expected to attend the YNC AGM, in addition to preparing one presentation or leading one guided field trip for any YNC Chapter in their field of expertise, and/or working with the YNC Coordinator or chapters leads to find experts in their field for chapters to draw upon for presentations and field trips, and promoting the YNC within their organization.
- Parent Representative (2 or more positions):
The organization benefits greatly from having the perspective of parents on the board. Parents who currently have children in a YNC program, or have in the past, can contribute their skills and experience to the board.
- Communications Officer:
The Communications Officer works with YNC staff and the Board Treasurer to analyze communications trends, prepare yearly reports, and conduct strategic communications planning. They participate in the AGM and may meet with staff outside of Board meetings to prepare reports.
- Fundraising Officer:
The Fundraising Officer works with YNC staff and the Board President or Vice President to analyze funding trends and conduct strategic fundraising planning.
Over the 2020-2021 program year, Board members will work together to:
- Update and ratify the Risk Management policy;
- Update and ratify the organization Communications Plan;
- Assess the results of new fundraising approaches, social media activities, and partnerships undertaken over 2019-2020 and plan for the current program year accordingly;
- Help plan the 2021 Celebration of Nature youth program.
YNC Board Members must:
- Commit to the minimum participation requirements of their role;
- Ensure they avoid conflicts of interest including operating in the best interest of the organization, not in self-interest or the interest of a stakeholder group, during their term with the YNC;
- Respect confidentiality policies that pertain to membership and board discussions;
- Act with honesty and have the willingness to face difficult situations and make considered judgements;
- Bring personal and professional skills, experience, and knowledge to the organization;
- Serve as spokesperson for the organization;
- Act as a signing officer for YNC documents if part of their role (President, Vice President);
- Carry out due diligence as outlined in the YNC Risk Management Policy;
- Attempt to attend the AGM board meeting in June each year in Halifax.;
- Participate in email communication throughout the year with fellow board members and the YNC Coordinator;
- Commit to work on 1 strategic project per year (i.e., the creation of a new policy, a research project, etc.);
- Volunteer during at least 1 event a year (i.e., attend a booth at an event, lead a presentation or guided field trip for any YNC Chapter, assist with the annual Celebration of Nature).
Interested candidates should reach out to YNC President, Karen McKendry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Benefits of Volunteering with the YNC
- Spending time in nature
- Sharing your expertise with a new generation of nature-nuts!
- Learning about the natural history of Nova Scotia
- Being physically active
- Building lasting relationships
- Expanding professional network and develop marketable skills
- Exploring natural areas around your community
- Empowering and support the development of youth in your community!
Apply to become a volunteer! Contact the YNC at: email@example.com
or phone the provincial coordinator at (902) 412-2726