SCC Parks Volunteer Program Frequently Asked Questions

    No. All volunteers, whether associated with a group or not, must register in Samaritan individually and sign the appropriate waivers. Within the registration process, you will be given the option to affiliate yourself with a group from a drop-down list or create a new one. You will also have the option to report service hours as being associated with a group activity, if the opportunity allows self-reporting.

    We have a variety of opportunities. Our Short-Term opportunities include but are not limited to weeding parties, monthly trail days, park beautification days and large events. We can accommodate proposed projects from large corporate events, small corporate events, and Eagle Scout Projects. Our Long-Term opportunities include Trail Watch, Visitor Center Hosts, Interpretive Docents, Land Stewards, Camp Hosts, Archives and Collections, Natural Resource Monitor, and Volunteer Office Assistant.

    A Long-Term opportunity is any opportunity that requires a volunteer to commit to a 6 month or longer term with the County. Short-Term opportunities are normally a single day event that we may do annually. 

    • Visitor Host Training – 3 hours of Informal Interpretation training is required for all Visitor Center Host positions Visitor Host Training – 3 hours of Informal Interpretation training is required for all Visitor Center Host positions
    • Interpretive Docent Training – 12 hours of Informal/Formal Interpretation training is required for all Interpretive Docent positions. These trainings are optional for Camp and Site Hosts and some other Visitor Services volunteer positions.
    • Trail Watch Training – 4 hours of training for patrolling our trails with scenario practice.
    • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Training – 6.5 hours of training provided by American Red Cross at no cost to the volunteer​​
    • ​Create a profile in our volunteer software
    • Sign up for a desired opportunity or sign up for needed training. Trainings will be offered 2-4 times throughout the year.​​
    • Sign the associated Waiver Form electronically.
    • Live Scan - complete a criminal background check with the Sheriff’s Department for SCC Parks. Parks will pay for the application. (If you have recently done a background, we still need to do our own).
    • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training – in 2018 this requirement was implemented Santa Clara County-wide. It is an online training that is accessible from any computer (including personal computers, tablets, and Smart Phones) with Internet Explorer, where a volunteer may access the appropriate training material from anywhere.
    • OEIA Form – The Santa Clara County Parks Department is being asked to implement and extend the County’s policy on Outside Employment/Incompatible Activities to all unpaid interns and volunteers.
    • Vaccination Verification Form - This form via docusign will need to be completed prior to starting volunteer work, and will require a potential volunteer to state whether they are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or have submitted a request for an exemption. Proof of vaccination will need to be uploaded as well.  Acceptable proof includes a copy/photo of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, documentation of COVID-19 vaccination from a health care provider, or a digital record/QR code of your vaccination status from the state of California. The image should include full name, date of birth, vaccine dates and vaccine type.
    • Create a profile in our volunteer software
    • Sign up for the desired opportunity
    • Sign the Waiver Form electronically
    • Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon arriving at the volunteer event (photo of vaccination card, vaccination card, documentation of vaccination from a health care provider, or state-issued QR code)

    Age requirements vary for each opportunity. Please check out the individual opportunity for specifics.

    All minor volunteers must complete a Volunteer Release and Waiver that is also signed by their legal parent or guardian. Minors are encouraged to participate in many of our volunteer events and projects except for long-term volunteer commitments such as Trail Watch or Visitor Center Hosts due to the Live Scan requirement (minors may not be Live Scanned.) We highly recommend minors participate in our annual events such as Park Beautification Days, Creek Clean Up events, large public special events and the like.

    Minors 13 and under are required to have a legal parent, guardian, or chaperone present with them always while volunteering in County Parks. The minor will need to have on file a Waiver Form signed by a legal parent or guardian. 

    Minors 14 and over are encouraged to create their own profile in Samaritan to have a place where they can track their service hours to use for school and/or job requirements. Minors under the age of 13 must first have their parent contact the volunteer program office before creating an online account in Samaritan due to requirements within the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

    Some events are family friendly and others have more specific requirements. If not stated on the individual opportunity you can contact the Volunteer Program office to inquire at [email protected] or (408) 918-4930.

    All volunteers 12 years of age or older are required to show proof of vaccination prior to service, or submit and be approved for a medical or religious exemption. In addition, all County staff are required to be fully vaccinated subjected to limited exceptions. This is to protect County personnel, the community members with whom they interact, and all residents of the county. All activities have also been evaluated for risk and appropriateness in the current pandemic and will be held socially distanced and outdoors whenever possible.

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