Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities exist year-round. Whether you only have a weekend, a week, or a whole month to spare, please fill out the application below and snail-mail it in to start the process...

Click Here for the Volunteer Application Packet

Click Here for the Volunteer Handbook

Click Here for a What-to-Bring List if you're coming to volunteer

Click Here for "The Guidelines" - the camp rules we live by

Now Seeking: Farm Manager, Cooks, Construction Helpers, Community Members! - Call to inquire further: (828) 265-2267

Volunteer Orientation Day 2014

Year - round volunteer opportunities are many and varied at Turtle Island. Some folks come for only a day, or just a weekend, 2 weeks  or two months– schedules pending. Each volunteer works on an individual basis. Some volunteer specialize in one area, some experiment with many different roles – depending on climate and season. There is no official start and stop date, and some volunteers come from very far distances. Volunteers who live and work nearby come repeatedly depending on events and needs at Turtle Island that also works into their schedules. Our diverse team of volunteers is what keeps Turtle Island alive. Fill out your application and send in today! We will promptly be in touch.

Turtle Island's overwhelming and steadfast success is due largely in part to the countless souls who have donated their time, and come out for over two decades to "plug-in". Now in our 5th year as an federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we have developed an official Volunteer Application Process, to place interested persons in roles that enrich many lives. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, please click the link above to download our Volunteer Application Packet. For any specific questions please contact the Turtle Island volunteer coordinator at: volunteer@turtleislandpreserve.com


Eustace and a volunteer work on the sawmillWhether you have a long weekend, a month, a summer off or a day or two to spare every few months, once you have completed the application process there is a world of opportunity for volunteers to come out and get a hands-on, behind-the scenes experience with the Turtle Island Community. Many volunteers have been lending a hand over the years. From dish-washing to wood-chopping, from chainsawing to carpentry, there are always tasks needing done and many hands make light work. We thank you in advance for all your help, interest and assistance. 



Testimonials from past volunteers:


Volunteer Shane and his wife Marney at the Strawbale HouseMy name is Shane Freeman from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I came to Turtle Island in July 2014 and stayed for a month, fulfilling not only academic requirements for my degree in Environmental Studies, but also fulfilling an aspiration I had harbored ever since I read The Last American Man; to come out and see how well I’d do acclimating to life in Appalachia. 

Even though I only stayed a month, I learned enough to last several lifetimes.  Interns and volunteers are warned against the perils of romanticizing the experience…Turtle Island is not a reality show, it’s not The Last American Man.  It’s real life, every day, all the time.  My time there was filled with hard work and challenges the likes of which I had never dreamed of.  I suffered from homesickness, frustration, and interminably damp socks (Turtle Island must rank among one of the most humid places in the Northern Hemisphere.)  But in the end I learned enough to fill several  testimonials.

I gained a new reverence for all of the strands of the web of life that run through all of creation, and became attuned to the most minute of their vibrations.  I learned to appreciate adversity and challenge, gaining awareness of their ability to sharpen my wits and knowledge.   And I was able to acquire a better, more thorough relationship with inner calm, with my breath.  I crossed paths of different cultures (thanks mostly to Taylor Hovis) and became friends with the winds blowing through the poplars and pines. 

I think there’s not a fiber of my body that will forget my time on the Island.   Infinite thanks to Eustace, Mary, Desere, Brain, Gabe, Bear, April and Jeff, and any others my aging brain may have forgotten. 


Peace and love and all good things to you and yours.

-Shane C. Freeman