The Friends of The National Conservation Training Center has a lot of ambitious programs planned. As the Center gets closer to reopening, we are actively seeking volunteers to try to get these programs “shovel-ready” once the campus reopens.

There are opportunities for everyone! 

Outdoor projects include tree plantings, native plant landscaping, and supporting the Annual Deer Hunt. Naturalist guided kayak trips on the Potomac are available for members. We are currently looking for archery instructors and people to supervise the climbing wall (email Jennifer Gedert at for more information). Friends also hope to facilitate other recreational options for NCTC students, such as bike rides on the C&O Canal towpath, led by volunteers.

The Friends would like to have members trained to give tours of both the NCTC campus and the treasures of the Fish and Wildlife Service Archives. These tours would be available for NCTC students and the public.  We also hope to be able to offer tours of local historic sites for NCTC students, arranged and perhaps guided by volunteers.

Getting children involved with nature is high on our priority list. We are working on a program to acquire equipment to bring the Eagle cam live stream into Jefferson County classrooms.  Plans are also in the works for elementary school field trips to NCTC, with a joint emphasis on nature and wellness. The “Back Pack Project” for elementary school students offers collections of natural and historical objects to be shared. Volunteers are needed to bring these items to students and discuss them. An online children’s weekly nature contest is in the works. Volunteers are needed to contribute ideas and content for this project.

We are working to have a closer relationship with Shepherd University, and volunteers are needed to develop this topic and make contact with people at SU.

There is also always a need for fundraising ideas and efforts. We support the Conservation Film Festival Student Film award, we pay for the speakers at the community lecture series, and we support the maintenance and repair of the Eagle Cam. Funds will be needed for school buses for the children’s tours at NCTC. We also help support Peter Schriemer’s wonderful film series on the Refuges. These films about individual refuges encourage families to get out and enjoy nature. Volunteers are needed to look for grants to further this series.

The whole community is invited to watch our lecture series, with leading naturalists, authors and films. Friends members will be notified of the lectures by email.

Contact us about volunteering at

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