Program Background

Volunteers play a critical role in the success of Lake Sidney Lanier, contributing needed assistance to our staff. Without their support we wouldn't be able to effectively manage many of the tasks needed around the lake. Every year volunteers work hard to improve the park’s aesthetics with cleanup efforts, assist with wildlife management and help out in countless other ways. If it were not for the dedication of volunteers at Lake Lanier, the project would not function as smoothly as it currently does.

On-Site/Long Term Opportunities

There are many long-term volunteer opportunities that are available on a seasonal basis for the public to pitch in at Lake Sidney Lanier. Often times these individuals stay for long durations on a pre-determined full-hookup campsite for free in return for their work. During the winter season (October - February) positions are available in the volunteer village and campgrounds (Park Host). During the summer recreation season (March - September) positions are available in the Volunteer Village, campgrounds (Park Host) and beach area Day-Use Parks (Park Host).

Positions in the volunteer village have varying time schedules as job duties change based on the needs of surrounding parks, campgrounds and other projects around the lake. Positions at our beach area day-use parks and campgrounds have more fixed time schedules based on the needs of each park. Each location has at least two host sites, or have sites at a nearby facility (West Bank volunteers will have sites in Sawnee Campground). During the winter, day-use park host sites are reduced to 1 filled site or closed completely, depending on need. During the summer, one or both host sites are filled. Campground host sites operate in the same manner as day-use park sites. Duties during the summer include assisting visitors with day-use fees, monitoring the park for vandalism and rule compliance, maintaining a life jacket loaner station and conducting water safety programs. 

Positions for volunteers are limited to couples, with at least 1 person fully retired and able to work the 20 hours/week as required by the volunteer agreement.  All volunteers are trained on-site to perform the needs of the duties assigned to them, by the Ranger and/or an experienced volunteer. Training can include basic gatehouse operations, opening/closing park procedures, work on a pre-determined rotation schedule and perform park inspections regularly.

Off-Site Opportunities

People residing in or whom regularly visit the Lake Lanier area may sign up as off-site volunteers. Off-site volunteer work can be much more flexible, as there is no minimum service hours requirement. Volunteers can perform seasonal or one-time work as needed, such as working water safety events, inspecting bird boxes, park clean-up, photography/videography, etc. There is also no couple requirement for offsite volunteers, though certain tasks such as office work or day-use park host require specific hours, and thus may be unavailable depending on your work ability.

Volunteer Village

The purpose of the Volunteer Village is to provide a central location and staging area for volunteers who desire to camp at Lake Sidney Lanier. Individuals who support the Volunteer Village will work a minimum of 20 hours a campsite per week on various assignments in exchange for free camping privileges at the Village. Volunteers will be selected according to their qualifications, skills, and experience as they relate to various volunteer projects.

Volunteers will be required to exhibit or develop a positive and helpful attitude towards visitors, the ability to perform specific tasks, the aptitude to understand and follow instructions, flexibility to work in various settings, the ability to work with a wide range of cultures, an understanding of the mission/purpose of the Corps of Engineers and the Lake Sidney Lanier Project, a thorough understanding of water safety/boating laws applicable to Lake Sidney Lanier, a working knowledge of public facilities available at Lake Sidney Lanier, and a working knowledge of county, state, and federal agencies associated with Lake Sidney Lanier.

Village Description

The Volunteer Village Complex has 14 campsites. Each campsite has a water and sewage hookup as well as 50 amp electrical service. A meeting pavilion and storage facility is located in the center of the complex. The area has telephone service which the volunteers can connect to at their expense. The village is located adjacent to Buford Dam Park and is approximately 15 minutes from shopping centers and restaurants.


While performing various services, volunteers will be required to wear a volunteer uniform. The uniform will consist of a red or tan short or long sleeve cotton shirt with volunteer patch on the left arm, khaki pants, a red baseball hat with volunteer patch, and a volunteer name tag. The patches, baseball hat and name tag will be provided by the Corps. Shirts and pants must be provided by the volunteer. Clothing is expected to be kept clean and in good repair so as to provide a positive image to our visitors.

Program Coordination

The Volunteer Program is coordinated by an Army Corps Park Ranger. The ranger is responsible for the development and implementation of the program, training of volunteers, work assignments, scheduling and meeting reporting requirements. Additionally, separate park rangers and/or admin staff may oversee volunteer work assignments, depending on the duties that need fulfilled.

Volunteer Agreement Termination

All volunteers must abide by all state, local and federal policies. The Corps of Engineers or the volunteer may cancel the volunteer agreement at any time by written notice; in either case no reason for termination needs to be submitted.
For more information about the volunteer program at Lake Sidney Lanier, please contact us at (770) 945-9531.

Volunteer Examples

  • Boat Patrol / Shoreline Inspections with Park Rangers

  • Community Relations / Marketing

  • Environmental Support

  • Tours

  • Water Safety Instruction

  • Shoreline / Park Maintenance

  • Construction