TRMF Volunteering: At a Glance
The TRMF Volunteer Program began in 1998 when Jean Neshiem spearheaded the effort to create a volunteer program in Medora.
Since its beginning, the program has continued to grow -- now taking in over 1,000 applications to fill just over 600 volunteer opportunities. From 44 volunteers in 1999 to where the volunteer program is today, the Energy, Enthusiasm, and Experience our volunteers display is phenomenal!
Volunteers come from across the country, each serving as a wonderful ambassador for Medora.
Our volunteers accomplish much, as they log over 25,000 hours of hard work, with huge smiles, while having more than a little fun!
About Medora, North Dakota
Located in the rugged and beautiful Badlands of western North Dakota, Medora built its rich history through legends such as Theodore Roosevelt, the Marquis de Mores, his wife Medora, the farmers and ranchers who have lived there, and Harold Schafer, who started the restoration of Medora in the 1960's.
Medora is home to a variety of unique experiences, indoors and out. Here are a few visitor favorites.
Medora Musical - the Greatest Show in the West!
Pitchfork Steak Fondue - steaks skewered on a pitchfork and fried "cowboy style" overlooking the scenic Badlands. Each summer over 46,000 folks enjoy dinner with a view, plus lemonade & dessert served up by always smiling volunteers!
Bully Pulpit Golf Course - built in 2004 in the midst of the Badlands, "Bully" has been named "One of America’s Top 100 Public Courses" by Golf Digest.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park - thousands of visitors enjoy the scenery and abundant wildlife as they drive, hike or bike this pristine wilderness, on roads or the nationally recognized Maah Daah Hey trail. Come see why the NY Times listed it as one of the places to see in 2016.
We are asked many times, "With so many applicants, how do you make selections?"
It is the hardest thing that I have to do and I/we work diligently to be as fair and consistent as possible. I’ve put together a neat little “checklist” entitled “What Does a Great Medora Volunteer Look Like?” (see below)
These qualities, found in a mix of new or “veteran” volunteers from diverse geographical locations, are key factors for your success as a volunteer.
Additionally, we try to look at the following:
We also need to consider the preferences of each individual/couple for particular weeks and/or seasons, their prior year(s) of service and the quality of their past volunteer efforts.
Two other specific things are very helpful in increasing your chances of being selected; flexibility and availability.Flexibility: paraphrasing Pres. John Kennedy, “Ask not what TRMF can do for you, but what you can do for TRMF” shows itself in your willingness to try varied experiences, e.g. - End of Season instead of In-Season, put your preferences in different times of the same season. (Many of you have taken the risk to try out a different season and found it to be equally rewarding, and in many cases even better!)
Availablility: Hint: Checking the “No Preferences”/WWWYNM box on the application is a good thing
Finally, we suggest exploring the different seasons offered (Pre-Season, Early Birds, In Season, End of Season).
Over the past couple of years the offerings have greatly expanded in number, scope and variety -- a little of something for everyone! I’ve included a brief description of each and the number of spots available for each session. (**A reminder that In Season applications are consistently 2-3 times the number of spots available**) Please take a look even if you’re a veteran Medora volunteer. Many of the options have changed or been modified!
So, What Qualities Does a Great Medora Volunteer Have?
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a top-notch Medora volunteer? Take a few minutes and consider the qualities that we consider most important.
A passion for and an interest in Medora, the Badlands, and taking care of guests
A team player; works well with others, both staff and volunteers
Commitment to benefit organization is greater than self-benefit
Self-directed and motivated
Enjoys taking care of Medora’s guests and visitors
Is a financial supporter of TRMF (an Annual Member or more); modeling Harold’s spirit of generosity, making Medora available for generations to come
Willingly attends and actively participates in orientation and training sessions
Knows and desires to fulfill the Vision, Mission and Values of TRMF
Completes duties as assigned and/or as needed
Asks for help when needed and ready to help others
Eager to learn and willing to adapt to change
Has a positive, uplifting attitude; a problem solver; someone who rarely complains or whines
We call it: "E3 Volunteering"
Energy, Enthusiasm, and Experience create what the TRMF Volunteer Program calls E3 Volunteering.
Volunteers participating in the E3 program are asked to do what they do best: making everything they touch through their service better.
Our volunteers bring a fresh breath of energy and passion to Medora, helping to insure that our guests will have the stay of a lifetime. When volunteers utilize their life experience as they work in any of TRMF's venues, they enhance their own self-worth, the TRMF Volunteer Program, and our guest's vacation.
If you think you have what it takes to be an E3 Volunteer, take a look at our Volunteering Opportunities below to see what may work for you!
TRMF has six different volunteer seasons (experience categories):
Click each category to learn more about them
Pre-Season I, II & III: Three 5-day weeks beginning May
Early Birds I & II: Two 5-7 day weeks toward the end of May
In-Season: Fifteen 7-day weeks beginning Early June - Early September
End-of-Season: Two or more 11 and 14 day "weeks" beginning August -September
Fall Work Weeks: One 5-day week(s) beginning mid September
Tee Timers: Two or Three 7-10 day week(s) beginning September
If this sounds like you, go ahead and Apply Now.
Housing, Meals, and More
TRMF provides housing, meals, and even the opportunity for some discounts and great entertainment while volunteering in Medora. Learn more details here.
Transportation: You will need to provide your own transportation to and from your various job locations.
The Medora Musical, Pitchfork Steak Fondue, Bully Pulpit Golf Course, and Medora Campground positions are not within walking distance of downtown Medora. Every pair/couple needs to have one vehicle since each pair has a separate schedule (carpooling with friends from the same area is not feasible.)
If you have questions about the 2018 volunteer program, please feel free to browse the volunteer program pages linked to below (lots of info and FAQs can be found), or contact Denis.
Summer-season: 701.623.4444 ext. 8820