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 – 1 hour of basic visitor services training is required for all Visitor Host positions plus additional site-specific orientation and training.
    • Volunteer Docent Training – 8-10 hours of basic interpretive skills training is required for all Volunteer Docent positions. These trainings are optional for Camp Hosts and some other Visitor Services volunteer positions and are provided in-person at various park locations by Park Interpreter Staff.
    • Trail Watch Training – 3 hours of in-person or virtual Trail Watch Academy training including scenario practice as well as First Aid/CPR training within 4 months of placement.
    • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Training – 8 hours of in-person training provided by Life Safety at no cost to the volunteer; required for all Trail Watch and Camp Host volunteers within 4 months of placement.​​
    • ​Create a profile in our volunteer software - required for all short and long-term volunteer positions.
    • Sign up for a desired opportunity or sign up for needed training. Trainings will typically be offered multiple times throughout the year.​​
    • Sign the associated Waiver Form electronically (and resubmitted annually).
    • Live Scan - complete a one-time only 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 – 1 hour of online training required every two years by the State of California and Santa Clara County for all long-term volunteers that serve 6 months or longer; can be viewed virtually from any computer or smart device.
    • OEIA Form – The Outside Employment/Incompatible Activities form must be completed annually by all unpaid interns and long-term volunteers.
    • Vaccination Verification Form - Must be provided via DocuSign prior to appointment to any long-term volunteer position and includes verification of the original vaccination series only (does not include boosters).  Volunteers may request an exemption to this requirement based on legitimate religious belief or medical condition.  Acceptable proof of vaccination 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. 
    • Create a profile in our volunteer software
    • Sign up for the desired opportunity
    • Sign the Waiver Form electronically

    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 Long Term volunteers or anyone working indoors will be required to show proof of the initial vaccination series 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.

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