Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks

Volunteer Opportunities

Barn owls

Message from Park Manager, Mark Spurrier

Volunteers are a critical aspect of the daily operation of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks. Whether you desire to serve as a camp host, maintenance crew, a Volunteer Ranger, special event, or as a supportive member and advocate through our Friends of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks, there’s a role tailored to your time and talents. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Claudia Padilla, at to talk about opportunities to serve your natural resources, your neighbors and yourselves. Your contribution is priceless.

Like working closely with animals?

Volunteering to assist with our Scales and Tales program might be just the opportunity you were looking for! Assist in the care -- feeding and cleaning -- of our non-releasable raptors and reptiles, and earn the privilege of helping with health checks and programs.

Requirements: love and comfort of working with animals, calm and patience, willingness to get dirty and messy, and understanding of the importance of keeping animals healthy, clean and comfortable. Must be at least 18 years old and able to lift a minimum of 20 lbs. regularly and 50 lbs. occasionally or with help. Volunteers must be willing to commit to regular days and times.

Did you always want to grow up to be a Park Ranger?

Fulfill your dreams and become a volunteer ranger. We are looking for friendly, motivated individuals who are interested in assisting staff park rangers with customer service, nature programs, supporting lost person searches, visitor survey projects and more! This is an ongoing opportunity with a prerequisite of 40 volunteer hours prior to consideration and interview.

Fascinated by the past, and want to share it with others?

At Cunningham Falls, you can choose to interpret the story of our historic iron furnace, Catoctin Furnace (c.1775-1903), for the guests of the park. At Gambrill, you can volunteer to share the history and accomplishments of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Tree Army" -- with park visitors.

Comfort with public speaking and working with groups of people is essential. A positive, cheerful attitude, good speaking voice and passion for sharing the past with others is necessary. Experience with historical interpretation or teaching is a bonus. A knowledge of relevant periods of history is helpful, but not required. Days and times will vary.

Like to get your hands dirty?

Want to look back at the end of the day with a feeling of accomplishment? Volunteer to join one of our trail maintenance and repair crews. Clear trails after storms (or the winter off-season), build water bars, repair trails damaged by storms or usage and otherwise help to keep our network of trails in tip-top shape.

The ability to work outside in all weather conditions on potentially rugged terrain is a must. Familiarity with hand and/or power tools, and/or some experience with trail work, is a bonus but not required.

Maple syrup volunteer

​Group and/or Corporate Volunteering

Is your company or civic group looking for an opportunity to give a day of service in a beautiful outdoor setting? Volunteering together is a great team building exercise and everyone will feel a sense of accomplishment. Tree plantings, trash pickup, and weeding are a few examples of what groups have done for us in the past.

Want to help out at the park, but have limited volunteer time?

Volunteering at one of our Special Events -- the Maple Syrup Festival in the spring or Spirits of the Furnace in the fall -- could be just what you're looking for. From sharing tales of nature and history to helping with kids' crafts, to flipping pancakes or cleaning tables, there is something for everyone.

Should be flexible, patient and cheerful, service-oriented, and committed to helping guests have the best possible experience at the event.

Want to support our parks on an ongoing basis?

Consider joining the Friends of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks, Inc., a support group for Cunningham Falls State Park. Our members consist of local residents, representatives of the surrounding business community, campers and people like you who care about the park and want to be a part of making a difference for its future. The park needs this outside base of volunteers to maintain the high level of service the community has come to expect.

The Friends strive to generate financial support necessary for supplementing the park's budget. All proceeds go directly back into the park.

Rick Canter, President or

Claudia Padilla, Volunteer Coordinator
Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks
14039 Catoctin Hollow Road
Thurmont, MD 21788