Volunteers who want to immerse themselves in the history of our region can find ample opportunities at the District ranging from special events such as the Trail of History and Festival of the Sugar Maples to restoring and interpreting our cultural heritage and ties to the land at the Powers-Walker House and McConnell Farmhouse.
For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 815.338.6223 x 1229 or Volunteers@MCCDistrict.org.
Trail Of History
QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age to volunteer independently is 14; must be a registered District volunteer. Children under age 13 may participate in select positions if accompanied by an adult guardian. Volunteers must be physically capable of carrying out the duties of the position they choose. All positions are outdoors and require that the volunteer be able to walk over uneven ground. Volunteers must be responsible, reliable and available at the times required by the position.
EXPERIENCE: No prior experience is necessary – orientation and training meetings for new volunteers begin in August.
TIME COMMITMENT: This special event is held each year during the third full weekend of October. The minimum time commitment is a four-hour shift, plus evening training meetings.
LOCATION: Glacial Park Conservation Area, Ringwood
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Check for orientation and training updates…
Don’t just visit, be a part of Trail of History – VOLUNTEER! This annual “living history” reenactment attracts thousands of visitors. Volunteers make their own period-appropriate attire and portray life as it was from 1670–1850 in the Northwest Territory. There are also “non-costumed” event-support positions for volunteers who wish to work behind the scenes.
Powers-Walker House at Glacial Park, McConnell Farmhouse in Richmond
QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age 18; must be a registered District volunteer. Volunteers must be physically capable of carrying out their duties. They must be responsible, reliable and available at the times required by the position.
EXPERIENCE: An interest in local history and the ability to work in a team setting is necessary.
SCHEDULE: Primarily weekends and evenings
LOCATION: Historic sites and events
Volunteers host “living history” events and open houses to help the public gain a better understanding of the early settlers’ connection to the land. Wearing 19th Century attire, volunteers demonstrate early settlement crafts and everyday living skills from the 1850’s at events, such as the Ice Cream Social of 1858 and the Harvest Gathering of 1858. This group also works to restore and revitalize these historic District houses, and welcomes volunteers with carpentry and interior decoration skills.
The Métis Village has been part of the Trail of History since 1996, where they interpret and demonstrate various aspects of Métis life, including trapping, trading, children’s games, cattail matt making, wigwam life, plant use and making a dugout canoe. This dedicated group of volunteers meets year-round to work on costumes and skills, and to plan for Trail of History. If you’re interested in learning more about Métis Village volunteer opportunities, contact Andy Talley at (815) 479-5779 or ATalley@MCCDistrict.org.
QUALIFICATIONS: Individuals and families are welcome. Children must be supervised by their parent or guardian. A registered District volunteer; physically capable of carrying out the duties of the position they choose; responsible; reliable and available at the times required by the position.
EXPERIENCE: Training is provided
SCHEDULE: Special events and bimonthly meetings
LOCATION: Prairieview Education Center and special event locations
The Festival of the Sugar Maples
QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age 14; must be a registered District volunteer. Volunteers must be physically capable of working outdoors in late winter weather conditions and walking at least one mile over uneven ground. They must be responsible, reliable and available at the times required by the position.
EXPERIENCE: No prior experience is necessary, although enthusiasm for teaching and public speaking skills are necessary for tour guides. New volunteers attend a Saturday morning training workshop.
TIME COMMITMENT: This event is held each year in March. The minimum time commitment is one weekend or weekday shift, plus a Saturday morning training meeting.
LOCATION: Coral Woods Conservation Area, Marengo
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Volunteer Coordinator to learn more about volunteering at this event.
When the maple sap begins to run at the end of winter, this event holds a special magic for many volunteers who enjoy sharing their knowledge of the ties to the land through the traditions of making maple syrup. Each year, staff and volunteers tap maple trees and make syrup at Coral Woods in preparation for this popular annual outdoor educational event. During the first two weekends of March, volunteers lead tours of the half-mile Sugar Maple Loop to teach visitors about the history and process of making maple syrup. On weekdays, school groups enjoy a field trip to the festival. At the end of tours, the visiting public and students are offered a taste of pure Coral maple syrup at the Sugar House.