C&O Canal Trust Volunteer and Program Coordinator

TITLE: Volunteer and Program Coordinator
REPORTS TO: Director of Programs and Partnerships
LOCATION: C&O Canal National Historical Park headquarters Hagerstown, MD
DURATION: Permanent Employee
HOURS: Full-time


The C&O Canal Trust seeks an enthusiastic, people-oriented Volunteer and Program Coordinator to manage daily operations of our volunteer program and Canal Quarters overnight interpretive program. We need a candidate with strong interpersonal skills, great attention to detail, self-driving work ethic, and ability to excel both in the office and the field.

The Volunteer and Program Coordinator reports to the Director of Programs and Partnerships, works closely with National Park Service and C&O Canal Trust employees, and supervises the work of volunteers. As a small—but quickly growing!—nonprofit, all staff are required to assist with general organization-wide duties and at major events. Moderate weekend and evening work will be required, but compensatory time off is available. This position is responsible for responding to Canal Quarters hotline calls during evening and weekend hours.


The Volunteer and Program Coordinator will coordinate daily operations of the Canal Pride volunteer program and Canal Quarters interpretive program. Duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Manage Canal Pride Volunteer Program
    • Lead spring volunteer event season (Canal Pride Days)
      • Determine scope of annual events in cooperation with Director of Programs and National Park Service.
      • Plan logistics of volunteer projects including supplies, project methods, necessary staffing/supervision, vehicles, safety, etc.
      • Recruit, motivate, and support volunteers, both individuals and groups, with a focus on diverse audiences, youth, and young professionals. Ensure that volunteers and partners have a positive experience and are satisfied by the outcomes of program events.
      • Recruit, train, and motivate Volunteer Project Leaders and volunteer photographers.
      • Solicit donations of materials, supplies, and refreshments.
      • Maintain event planning documents, schedules, and volunteer database.
      • Coordinate the participation of Elected Officials and other VIPs.
      • Manage events on day-of, including packing supplies, event set-up, volunteer coordination, and event clean-up. This entails manual labor.
      • Track donations, volunteer hours, and supply budgets and produce reports.
    • Coordinate Corporate Stewardship Program
      • Develop event packages for corporations upon request, including projects, refreshments, logistics, and fees.
      • Determine scope of events in cooperation with Director of Programs and NPS.
      • Lead Corporate Volunteer Days.
    • Grow Volunteer Project Leaders Corp
      • Recruit, train, and motivate Volunteer Project Leader corps.
      • Schedule Volunteer Project Leaders for Canal Pride and Corporate Stewardship events.
      • Empower and grow Volunteer Project Leaders to run small scale events independently.
      • Develop recognition program for Volunteer Project Leaders.
      • Ensure safety and policy compliance.
    • Coordinate or assist with other volunteer-supported programs and events.
  • Coordinate the daily operations of Canal Quarters program
    • Manage Volunteer Quartermaster Corps:
      • Maintain adequate volunteer force to ensure excellence for each Lockhouse.
      • Train new recruits, foster teamwork and set up communication systems among each Lockhouse’s Quartermasters.
      • Support Quartermasters in their duties, respond to requests and advise on issues. Develop and maintain regular communications with the Quartermaster corps.
      • Improve and implement Quartermaster recognition plan, including organizing annual recognition events.
      • Assist Quartermasters in developing and hosting Open House events.
      • Ensure safety and policy compliance.
    • Respond to visitor requests and program inquiries, handle registrations as needed.
      • Respond to visitor requests, inquiries, and registrations during office hours.
      • Respond to Canal Quarters After-Hours Hotline emergencies as needed; trouble-shoot issues and coordinate with volunteer Quartermasters and service providers as needed.
    • Assist with maintenance of Canal Quarters Lockhouses
      • Maintain Canal Quarters maintenance log.
      • Complete small maintenance projects through volunteer or contracted labor.
      • Coordinate with service providers for maintenance issues and routine services.
      • Coordinate Lockhouse preparations for Potomac River flood events.


1-2 years’ experience managing a volunteer program, community-focused historic preservation or museum program, or other related role requiring significant work with the public. Experience which includes planning events preferred, and experience working with the National Park Service is a plus.

Additional required skills include:

  • The ability to balance multiple projects and priorities simultaneously and follow through on commitments under deadlines;
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills, both verbal and written;
  • Self-starting leader, with strong collaboration skills;
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to excel at details while ensuring big picture success;
  • Good writing skills and a commitment to quality work;
  • Strong computer literacy with specific experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google office suite;
  • As this position involves extensive travel along the 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal, an excellent driving record is required and access to a personal vehicle is necessary. Mileage reimbursements are offered;
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and independently manage minor household preservation and maintenance tasks. A comfort level with physical work, working with tools, and working outside is necessary for success;
  • A willingness to jump in and help out the team; and
  • An enthusiastic commitment to the C&O Canal Trust’s mission.


This position is full-time. Expected starting salary is $30,000. The position is based in the Canal Trust office in Hagerstown, MD, but significant time will be spent working in the Park, particularly in the Montgomery County sections. This position is expected to work some evenings and weekends with compensatory time off. This position is expected to respond to emergency hotline calls on evenings and weekends as needed.

Benefits include 100 percent employer covered health insurance premiums; vacation, sick, and personal leave; committed colleagues; fun working environment; the C&O Canal Trust’s Simple IRA retirement program (up to 3 percent employer matched); and a surprising number of sunny days in the Park!

The C&O Canal Trust is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.


Entry level


Submit resume, cover letter, and three professional references to Director of Programs and Partnerships Becky Curtis at Curtis@CanalTrust.org by October 31st for consideration.

Download a PDF of the job description here.