Park Watch Program

Gettysburg National Military Park encompasses roughly 6,000 acres that surrounds the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The park also administers Eisenhower National Historic Site, a 690-acre site containing the home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The parks have an annual visitation of approximately 1 million people.

Job Title

Time Commitment Required
At least 40 hours per year.

Park Watch Patrol volunteers achieve park resource and visitor protection through an active program of patrolling park lands and boundaries and performing surveillance work to detect any evidence of illegal and suspicious activities. The volunteer primarily serves as "eyes and ears", reporting observations of suspicious behavior to the on-duty Ranger. Volunteers are especially needed to assist with traffic and crowd control at special events and incidents, which will require standing for long periods of time. Volunteers may provide information on the park and its resources during informal visitor contacts. This position is of a sensitive nature and the incumbent holds a high degree of public trust while completing the duties described.

Be able to communicate via email.
Be able to stand/ sit/ walk for periods of time.
Have your own transportation.
Applicants will be subject to background checks.
Have the ability to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours a year.

Volunteers are not considered to be Federal employees for any purposes other than tort claims and injury compensation. Volunteer service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other benefit. However, volunteer service is creditable work experience.

All selected applicants will be required to attend an eight-hour training session and will also ride along with protection division staff and experienced Park Watch volunteers. Training class will be on March 16, 2024 from 8 am to 5 pm (location TBD).

The National Park Service is an Equal Opportunity employer. Selection for this position will be made solely on the basis of merit, fitness, and qualifications without regard to race, sex, color, creed, age, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying handicap conditions, or any other non-merit factors.

If you feel like this could be a good fit for you, please email us at e-mail us. Our next new volunteer training will be Saturday March 16, 2024 from 8 am to 5 pm.


Visitor Services Program

To volunteer at Gettysburg National Military Park is, in a small way, to partake of this nation’s precious legacy. Citizens, students, families and others who travel to this place from all over the world seek to understand something more of it than what they once knew. Those who wish to volunteer at Gettysburg should do so from a desire to share the special nature of this sacred space, to aid in its preservation for future generations.

Goal of position: To provide information, orientation, and assistance to park visitors, thereby facilitating a greater visitor enjoyment, use and concern for the park and its resources.

Skills/ Knowledge Required: Potential Visitor Service volunteers should enjoy working with the public, and must have knowledge of or willingness to learn about park historical and natural resources. They should possess an ability to communicate effectively with people of all ages and backgrounds. They should be able to remain calm and courteous during busy and occasionally stressful conditions.

Benefits: Volunteers will learn about many aspects of the park’s historical and natural resources. They will also get to hone their public contact and communication skills while working with park visitors. Uniform shirts and hats are provided.

While Gettysburg National Military Park's main Information Desk appears to be the sole point of contact for our visitors looking to acquire the information they need, such is far from true. Volunteers provide valuable information and assistance to walk-ins, families, bus groups and educational groups in a wide variety of settings, from roving outdoor settings to fielding phone calls. Here, clarity of speech and the enthusiasm to greet numbers of visitors posing the same question are well appreciated. Multiple-language skills (Spanish, German, etc.,) while not required, would certainly prove beneficial.

Roles for Volunteers
A park volunteer holds the door open for a park visitor.
A park volunteer holds the door open for a park visitor.

NPS Photo

Plaza Volunteer/Roving Ambassador – Out and about the Visitor Center Complex: greeting and orienting new visitors to Gettysburg, assisting visitors in navigating the complex.
A park volunteer answers visitor questions at the information desk.
A park volunteer answers visitor questions at the information desk.

NPS Photo

Information Desk – A little more in-depth than the Plaza Volunteer/Roving Ambassador: answer specific questions as to what there is to see and do, the times of programs, etc.

There are a limited number of these positions.
A park volunteer describes an artifact in the museum.
A park volunteer describes an artifact in the museum.

NPS Photo

Museum Rove – Volunteers posted in the museum assist in answering visitor’s questions, on occasion engaging them in exhibit-based discussion when appropriate. They also serve as an extra pair of eyes, noting the condition of cases and displays, communicating any needed information on such to a Park Ranger.
A park volunteer assists a visitor in the Resource Room.
A park volunteer assists a visitor in the Resource Room.

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Resource Room Aide – On occasion, visitors may wish to delve further into their own personal connections with the Civil War & the Battle of Gettysburg. To facilitate this journey, volunteers are posted in the Resource Room to assist with their discoveries, utilizing Ancestry.com, Fold3, the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System, and other such tools.
A park volunteer stands ready to help visitors in the Soldiers' National Cemetery.
A park volunteer stands ready to help visitors in the Soldiers' National Cemetery.

NPS Photo

Soldiers’ National Cemetery – The Soldiers’ National Cemetery is the final resting place of over 6,000 dead; 3,512 from the battle of Gettysburg, others from conflicts as late as Vietnam. Volunteering in the National Cemetery can, on occasion be a complex and delicate matter – for while Cemetery Hill is a portion of the battlefield where President Lincoln spoke, it is still a cemetery; where grieving, in some form, is sometimes yet encountered. This requires decorum, sensitivity, and understanding.
West End Guide Station – Volunteers seasonally occupy the West End Guide Station along US Route 30, west of town, during the warmer months, to assist battlefield visitors, often greeting them prior to their initial contact at the Museum & Visitor Center.
Work Location: The primary volunteer opportunity is located in the Museum and Visitor Center building located at 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg Pennsylvania 17325.

Work Schedule: A usual volunteer shift is traditionally 4 hours a week. As the park’s information desk is staffed 7 days per week, exclusive of designated holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving & New Years’ Day,) volunteer availability must fall within these times. The park experiences heavy visitation during the summer months, in addition to predictable surges on holiday weekends, as well as during the annual spring and fall field-trip bus-tour seasons. It is during these times the park derives its strongest assistance from its most reliable volunteers.

Questions? Email the park.
Scout Ranger Patch

Scout Ranger Patch Program

The National Park Service and Boy Scouts of America have teamed up to get our scouts and their troops involved in park stewardship! Being a Scout Ranger allows you to discover your national parks. Whether you are visiting a natural park like Yosemite National Park, or a historical site like Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Pennsylvania, we hope you will learn something about the national park and yourself!

By being a Scout Ranger you will be able to:

  • Learn about the mission of the National Park Service
  • Help protect the nation's natural, cultural, and historic resources
  • Explore your national park

And of course, you can earn a certificate or patch. Check it out! For more information, visit the Scout Ranger Program website to learn more.

To coordinate your scout project at Gettysburg, contact Chris Gwinn at 717-338-4427.

Last updated: January 19, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325

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