If you're interested in communing with nature, meeting new people and/or learning search-and-rescue techniques, you may want to look into volunteering with the Olympic National Park. Especially considering those are just some of the benefits of becoming an Olympic National Park Volunteer. And if that's not enough to motivate you to fill out an online application, how about barbecues, free camping and making the world a better place?
You'll also earn the privilege of saying you worked in "three parks in one," since Olympic National Park is renowned for the diversity of its ecosystems, which include glaciers, rain forests and the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the lower 48 states [source: UNESCO].
There are plenty of reasons to volunteer in general as well. It's been said that those who volunteer are more likely to feel high levels of satisfaction. Beyond that, volunteers have reported lower rates of depression and overall better health, both mentally and physically as stated in a study by the Corporation for National & Community Service [source: CityTownInfo].
Like any volunteer opportunity, you should consider your personal interests before deciding where to sign on. But if you volunteer at Olympic National Park, you may just be rewarded by spotting an endangered northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet or bull trout.
And from sea level, the park rises to almost 8,000 feet at Mount Olympus -- all in fewer than 40 miles. Now that's something to write home about.
For more on how to volunteer with Olympic National Park, see the links on the following page.