Volunteer With Us

Teaching Drum Outdoor School is a nonprofit organization run by volunteer staff and volunteers. Volunteer staff fulfill vital and ongoing roles that support the School (wilderness guide, carpenter, office personnel, editor, etc…). To find out about our open positions, visit our open positions’ page here.

A volunteer is someone who wants to experience living at Teaching Drum’s intentional community where the volunteer staff reside to participate in seasonal harvests, learn primitive skills, or just to be closer to nature. Some volunteers schedule their stay so they can assist with certain projects such as the Wild Rice harvest, or Sucker fishing. 

Volunteers receive the same accommodations as volunteer staff and also have the opportunity to learn native crafts and wilderness survival skills that interest them. Because we are a nonprofit school, we ask volunteers to contribute $18/day per person (children 6 and under stay for free). This is to help offset the costs associated with food, shelter, utilities, internet, and other expenses. At certain times of the year, such as the Wild Rice harvest, we forgo the $18/day fee and offer room and board (or campsite) in exchange for help with the harvest. 

Please be aware that many of our activities are dependent upon the seasons, weather, plants, animals and other creatures, and they may not happen during your stay no matter how carefully you plan.

View our calendar of activities and harvests here.

To Reserve a Time to Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering with us, email us at Volunteer (at) teachingdrum (dot) org. We’ll send you a Volunteer Packet to read through along with a short application to fill out and return. 

Please note: In order to schedule a date to stay with us, you must complete the volunteer application process, which includes: reading the the volunteer packet, emailing the requested information, and a 15 minute phone conversation with one of our volunteer coordinators to help answer any questions. You will only be able to reserve a time to visit when this process is complete. For this reason, it is best to make your request at least 2 weeks before you wish to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are children welcome?
Yes. We have a growing children’s culture; all ages are welcome whether you are single or coupled.

How long do people usually stay?
It depends on the project and the volunteer’s goals, but usually one week to a month with the potential to stay longer (depending on the needs of the community and the volunteer). We highly suggest that people plan to stay for at least one week because it takes time to get accustomed to a new routine and get to know the community.

How much does it cost?
We ask for an $18/day contribution (per person, children 6 and under can stay for free). This covers food and shelter as well as all the little things that add up such as electricity, firewood, and internet just to name a few.

What is the schedule like day-to-day?
The schedule varies day-to-day. Volunteers who do well here are those who want to experience living in an intentional community and are willing to plug in where needed (cooking the evening meal, helping to stack wood, etc…). There is also plenty of time to relax, explore the woods, and learn skills that you are interested in. All visitors and volunteers are assigned a community member that they can check in with if they should have any questions.

What are the amenities?
We offer rustic living accommodations. Most living quarters have electricity and all are heated by wood stoves. Wireless internet is available in most places on the school campus. There is an outhouse, an indoor facility, and of course – the great outdoors.

Volunteers can bring their own tent or tarp and live outdoors if they’d like. Anyone interested in this option should let us know before coming to make sure it doesn’t conflict with any of our courses or programs.

What kind of food is provided?
We offer a Paleo diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, free range eggs, and meat (deer and other mammals as well as Sucker and Cisco fish harvested by the school), and wild rice.

Does the school allow pets?
We have a no pet policy. We’ve learned that when dogs or other domestic animals are around, it has an effect on the wild animal population and we tend not to see so many of them.

Does the school allow smoking or drinking?
We have a no alcohol, no smoking, and no recreational drug policy. We’re an intentional healing community that seeks to provide a safe place for everyone, free from substances that some may have had to overcome addiction.