Texas State Parks Ambassador Program Accepting Applications for South, East Texas Cohorts
Aug. 16, 2023
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AUSTIN—The Texas State Parks Ambassador Program is accepting applications for the newest class of ambassadors in South and East Texas state parks. Applications close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 27.
“It has been such a joy to see the friendships that form through this program,” said Samantha Toback, Texas State Parks Ambassador Program coordinator. “Going from being a group of strangers attending the Ambassador Leadership Training to supporting each other’s park projects and camping together even after their term ends shows the power of connecting like-minded individuals for a common cause. The ambassadors who serve Texas State Parks establish an important foundation to becoming future conservationists.”
Ambassadors are a diverse group of conservation-minded volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 who provide service and outreach for the state parks for which they’ve been matched. The program aims to foster a new generation of outdoor stewards who will continue the conservation of Texas’ wild things and wild places for years to come.
While ambassadors do not need previous outdoor experience or a desire for a career in natural resources, the Texas State Parks Ambassador Program has led 41 previous ambassadors into careers with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Since Jan. 1, state park ambassadors have provided 832 hours of volunteer service at 35 parks across the state.
“The ambassador program really allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and become a better leader,” said Travis Aguilar, 2022 Choke Canyon State Park ambassador.
Those interested in joining the program must fill out an application online and indicate the parks they would like to be paired with. Top candidates will be selected for an interview and will be required to attend Ambassador Leadership Training before beginning their six-month ambassadorship. Ambassadors will complete 40 hours of hands-on service, community outreach and social media projects for their parks during those six months.
At the leadership training, new ambassadors will be introduced to park interpretation and outdoor education programming like Project Wild. They will also receive tips on how to be a successful ambassador and participate in activities like kayaking, backpacking, mountain biking and more.
The leadership training is scheduled in November at Stephen F. Austin State Park.
The six-month term for new ambassadors will begin Dec. 1, 2023, and run through May 31, 2024. Those interested in applying must be between the ages of 18-30 and have a high school diploma.
Applications for Central and West Texas cohorts will be accepted starting in December, and submissions for Panhandle and North Texas parks will open in March 2024.