volunteers gardening at mystic seaport museum

Junior Volunteer Program

We provide opportunities for young people between the ages of 13 and 18 to volunteer!

Ready for school to be out?  Sure, the first few weeks of summer are great.  But what happens when the thrill wears off?  Beat the Summer Boredom Blues by becoming a Junior Volunteer at Mystic Seaport Museum! At the Museum, you’re never too young to make an impact on your community! If you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself, make new friends, or earn required volunteer hours, then this is the place to start.

Information on Junior Volunteer Opportunities for Summer 2023 are below. Applications are due by May 15th. If you have any questions, please contact mary.koehler@mysticseaport.org or call 860.572.5378.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Junior Volunteers work in four areas of the Museum: our Boathouse, Our Education department in our Summer Day Camp program, our Interpretation Department, and our Visitor Services Department (See more detailed description of each department below)

  • Engage with and help our visitors by welcoming them, answering questions, and assisting our staff with hands-on activities
  • Have the opportunity to schedule shifts between 9:30am and 5:30pm, seven days per week from June through August
  • Have the option of signing themselves in and out (with parental consent)
  • Receive a discount at our food outlets and museum store
  • Applicants need to be 13 by June 1st and have transportation to and from the Museum
  • Applicants must commit to attending a two-hour orientation and working at least 14 shifts between June and August
  • All JVs are required to be fully vaccinated per the CDC’s definition (this includes a booster [3rd] dose). JVs will not be permitted to volunteer until we have proof of vaccination.

We open our application process on February 18.  Applications are due by May 15th  but we have a limited number of spots, and they fill quickly.  We recommend that interested students fill out an application early. 

In an effort to make our application process as transparent as possible, here is an approximate timeline of the steps between submitting your application and receiving an offer to join our team:

Step one:  Submit your application. You can find one here.

  • Once our office receives your application, you can expect to hear from us in two to three business days to set up a phone interview.
  • Step two:  A short phone interview.  This will last approximately 15 minutes.  We will ask you questions about why you are interested in volunteering at the Museum and you can ask us any questions you or your adults have.
  • Step three:  Notification.  You can expect to receive notification from our office within one week of your phone interview letting you know whether or not you’ve been extended an invitation to join our JV Team.
  • Step four:  Fill out all relevant paperwork.  The deadline to submit paperwork is May 15th, 2023. 
  • Step five:  Attend an orientation.  This is mandatory for all JVs and at least one of their adults.  At the orientation, you will receive your volunteer T-shirt and name badge, meet the JV Supervisors, tour the space you will be volunteering in, meet the other JVs on your team, and have an opportunity to ask questions. Orientation will be held on June 4th at 9:00 am.  You will receive more information as the date gets closer.

Good luck in the application process!

Most of our JVs are at that tricky age – they are too old to be interested in attending summer camps, but not old enough to work.  Our JV program is a great way to keep your teens busy over the summer (for free!) and an excellent way for them to learn responsibility and practical life skills in a safe environment. 

We work with teens of all backgrounds and personality types but, due to the outward-facing nature of our JV positions, the majority of them include lots of interaction with the public.  This is a great opportunity to learn important life skills under the guidance of our staff members!  Candidates should be comfortable taking the initiative to engage our visitors, finding answers to questions they don’t know, and spending their day outside.  The application process is set up as an opportunity for teens to gain real-world experience, so we are looking for individuals who are consistent and timely in their communication.

Here is the logistical information:

  • A mandatory two hour orientation will be held on Sunday, June 4 at 9 a.m. You and your JV(s) only need to attend one. The first thirty minutes will include parents and be followed by a Q & A.  We want to make sure you feel comfortable releasing your teens to us for a summer full of fun and personal growth! 
  • Drop-off and pick-up: To remove the necessity of parking and escorting your JV into their department, parents and guardians may allow JVs to sign themselves in and out each day.  One consent form covers the entire summer season.  If you are more comfortable bringing them on campus you may feel free to do so; we having parking lots at both the north and south end of our campus.
  • JVs are not required to work all eleven weeks of the summer. However, we ask all JVs to commit to at least 14 shifts between June and August, and preferred candidates are those who are available for at least two days per week.  Daily working hours and season dates vary by department; you can find more information in the JV Department Opportunities section below:
    • MSM Boathouse
    • Education Department (Children’s Summer Camps)
    • Interpretation Department
    • Visitor Services Department
  • Dress code: All JVs are required to wear T-shirts and name badges (provided by the Museum).  Khaki pants/shorts are preferred, but any bottoms without holes, stains, or logos are acceptable. 
  • Masking: Our mask policy is informed by CDC guidance and local transmission and infection rates.  We will share whatever the current masking policy is at orientation.
  • Does your JV have younger siblings you’re looking to keep busy and stimulated? You can find information on our summer day camps for kids aged 4 to 16 here.

Thank you for considering Mystic Seaport as a destination for your teens this summer.  Many of our JVs return year over year, and it is our privilege to see them grow and bloom.  We find that for many of them, the leadership and confidence-building opportunities we offer are what bring them to the Seaport initially, but the relationships they build while they’re here are what make them want to come back.  Please contact our Volunteer Services office with any questions via e-mail (contact email to mary.koehler@mysticseaport.org).  We look forward to working with you and your teen!

Do you have more questions? Download the Junior Volunteer handbook here!

Applications for 2023 are now closed, please check back in the fall for information on our 2024 program
JV Department Opportunities