Volunteer Help Needed at PATC Headquarters

Great Volunteer Jobs at the Heart of the Club!

Volunteers at Cabin and Sales DesksRewarding volunteer positions are available at PATC headquarters in Vienna. These club members perform work that is critical to book and map sales, cabin rentals, and public engagement. These volunteers work closely with the club’s paid staff.  Their work frees staff members to focus on their primary duties and makes the club efficient and cost effective. 

About the Work: These are office jobs. They require familiarity with personal computers, telephones, and credit card processing as well as knowledge of the club and its activities. For those who qualify, these positions can be interesting, challenging, and rewarding.  All are located at PATC headquarters in Vienna, Virginia. They cannot be performed remotely. Most volunteers work once a week, though regular weekly shifts may not be available to new volunteers.  There is often an opportunity to work more often.

For more information or to volunteer: Contact the person listed for the job you are interested in. If you are unsure or are interested in other work at headquarters, contact Robert Christianson, staff director at rchristianson@patc.net. Also, read more thoughts on the jobs.

Available jobs:  Cabins DeskInfo/Sales Desk | Marketing Support | Archives Scanning

  • Image of cabin bookCabins Desk: These volunteers respond to inquiries from the public (mainly by telephone) about the club’s cabins.  The volunteers answer questions, make cabin rentals, prepare key packages for mailing, and process returned cabin keys.   Volunteers must have rented PATC cabins in the past—the more the better. Volunteers need a familiarity with computers, the ability to learn the cabin rental system and how to make and mail a key package, and the ability to follow and enforce cabin rules. The work shifts are five days a week Monday through Friday.  The hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. with about a half hour at each end. Volunteers are often called upon to stop by the Post Office on their way home. They usually work one day a week. Volunteers receive training and direction from the club’s Cabin Coordinator.

    For more information and to volunteer, contact Martha Reynolds, Cabin Coordinator, at cabincoordinator@patc.net, or 703/242-0315, x 108

  • Information and Sales Desk:  These volunteers are the first club members that visitors meet when they call or visit the club. The volunteers sell books, maps, and club-branded merchandise.  They answer general questions about the club and the trails it maintains.  Volunteers should have familiarity with computers and the ability and desire to learn how to use of the telephone system, credit card payment system, and the postage meter.  They should also have experience hiking on local trails.  They should know, or be willing to learn, basic information about the PATC, the Appalachian Trail, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. This work is in two hour shifts six times a week (11:30 – 1:30 weekdays and 6 - 8 Wednesday evenings).  Volunteers usually work one time each week. Volunteers receive direction and training from the club’s Publications Marketing and Sales Coordinator.

    For more information and to volunteer, contact Diane Yang, Publications Marketing and Sales Coordinator, at Dyang@patc.net or 703/242-0315, x 103

  • Marketing Support (fulfillment): These volunteers can work on a flexible schedule to fulfill sales orders of books, maps, and other merchandise. They assemble trail guide book sets and prepare other materials for sales.

    For more information and to volunteer, contact Diane Yang, Publications Marketing and Sales Coordinator, at Dyang@patc.net or 703/242-0315, x 103

  • Archives Scanning: The club's fascinating and invaluable archives contain documents that go back to the beginning. These records are being digitized for preservation and wider dissemination. Volunteers are needed to scan these documents.  While this job might appear at first glance to be boring, it is far from it.  Since you are not paid, you can stop and read.  You accomplish important work and are entertained at the same time.  Volunteers can set their own schedule constrained only by the office hours and availability of the scanner. 

    For more information and to volunteer, contact Tom Johnson, Archivist at johnts25@gmail.com.

Thoughts on Working at PATC Headquarters

Scheduling the Work:
Most work is scheduled by volunteer coordinators. Steve McLaughlin, chair of Cabins Reservations for cabins desk work; Bill Ryan, chair of Information/Sales schedules information desk work.  Fulfillment work is scheduled by Diane Yang, the staff Publications Marketing and Sales Coordinator. Archive scanning should be coordinated through Archivist Tom Johnson. Other miscellaneous jobs should be coordinated through Robert Christianson, Staff Director.

What is great about these jobs? They provide the satisfaction of making important contributions to the work of the club and working with other club members and the professional staff members. This is the place to learn important lessons about how the club operates.

This work has the good points of real jobs without the drawbacks. You have an "office" with friends and coffee breaks, but you only work once a week and, if you can't come in, we can work that out.