Calendar of Events
Share Event: Facebook

Dinosaur Valley State Park | Texas Outdoor Family Volunteer Recruiting and Training | DFW Area |

6:00p Fri, November 16, 2018 to 2:00p Sun, November 18, 2018
Robert Owen
(512) 389-8791

Do you love camping and state parks? Texas Outdoor Family (TOF) needs your help to share that love with new users!

What is Texas Outdoor Family: TOF was created in 2008 to re-connect visitors to the hobby of camping and all things fun about State Parks. TOF does this through hosting overnight workshops where all of the camping essentials, like those pictured below, are provided to be used for the duration of the weekend! TOF also hosts activities for families to get a taste traditional outdoor fun, like fishing, kayaking, biking, geocaching, and more! 

Example of the gear provided with each reservation!

Why Do We Need Your Help: The program has grown significantly over the years! In Fiscal Year (FY) 14 it became obvious that demand for the TOF program exceeded our small staff's capacity. In that year, a new type to TOF programming was designed called "TOF's Community Partnerships." This helped find assistance from eligible community partners to help their audiences experience parks. These partners were asked to host their own "learn to camp" events in State Parks, utilizing TOF's camping gear. These partners then sent a leader to participate in TOF's Outdoor Leadership Training. This training was formed around TOF's best practices that have been established through the years. 

These partners have been terrific and last year we set a new TOF participation record! With 200 workshops spanning Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 we'll be sure to break that record again! We would like to help our partners and staff find a few extra set of hands to help divide the labor of a weekend workshop. Some of those 200 workshops will include our traditional programs alongside two TOF rangers in the place of partner leaders. 

 Graph showing growth of TOF program participation, from 475 in FY09 to 1,159 in FY17

Potential Volunteer Duties: We will not ask you to host an entire workshop on your own. Instead we would love to have a pool of volunteers who we could call on to help things run more smoothly, especially for our partners who are still getting comfortable with their duties. What does helping an event run more smoothly look like? Any of the following duties:

- Helping Prepare Camping Gear for Distribution                        - Be a Lookout for Safety Concerns

- Helping Collect and Store the Camping Gear                             - Delivery Weather and Agenda Reminders to Participants

- Helping People Use a GPS Unit while Geocaching                    - Help a Struggling Campfire

- Distribute Bait or Help Anglers Unhook their First Fish            - Dry Tents on the Next Sunny Day After a Rainy Weekend

- Cook your Favorite Outdoor Meal as a Demonstration              - Plenty More!

Example Workshop: This "recruitment and training" session at Dinosaur Valley State Park will run in conjunction with a TOF public workshop. You will get to see a TOF workshop in action and notice all the places that a volunteer could be helpful. A TOF ranger will be dedicated to the volunteer training effort to facilitate and explain the workshop from a ranger/leader perspective helping you to feel comfortable and included.

Accommodations at this Workshop: Prospective volunteers at this event will be asked to share a few campsites to lessen our impact on the operating workshop. For this reason, we ask that your Junior Rangers will be left at home. They will be invited to your future events, if they have another adult to manage them while you are occupied offering your volunteer help. Please bring your own camping gear, personal items and food for the two overnights.  Our car camping sites will be "water and electric", so if the November dates scare you, bring the extension cords and heated blankets.

Other Notes:  Volunteers are subject to a criminal background check. Volunteers will also be asked to complete a short (30 minutes +/-), online Youth Protection Program hosted by the Boy Scouts of America. This will help protect participants and volunteers through training in ethical supervision of youth standards. More details will follow with your November 5th confirmation.

How To Sign Up: Visit this link and enter your info. Crowd size is limited. We will confirm your invitation by November 5th and re-open the invite to more folks then, if room remains.