Thank you for your interest in EXPLOREcorps and The North Carolina Arboretum! This page provides details on the EXPLOREcorps program, which offers summer volunteer and engagement opportunities for high school students, specifically in the Youth programs of the Arboretum.


EXPLOREcorps is a volunteer engagement program open to high school-aged participants (rising grades 9-12).  EXPLOREcorps members are volunteers with an interest in the outdoors and conservation education, teaching children, caring for live animals, implementing community/citizen science, and learning about techniques and skills involved in field biology and outdoor recreation.  The main task of EXPLOREcorps will be volunteering at Discovery Camps. 

Please note, a $250 registration, training and materials fee per applicant is due upon acceptance to the program or a minimum of 2 weeks prior to volunteering. Scholarship funds are also available to those who meet financial-based criteria. For more information on scholarships email Jonathan Marchal, Director of Education, at

For more complete information and a program overview, click the link below:

EXPLOREcorps Overview PDF

More Information

  • EXPLOREcorps members are asked to volunteer for a minimum of two weeks at The Arboretum’s Discovery Camps. Discovery Camps are weeklong (Monday-Friday) environmental day camps for students, K-8th grade.  The camps aim to cultivate a sense of adventure and wonder in the outdoors, foster an enthusiasm for exploration in the natural world, and promote environmental awareness, stewardship and conservation.

    EXPLOREcorps members assist professional educators in delivering programs and ensuring a positive, rewarding experience for program participants in outdoor settings.  Activities include wildlife hikes, survival shelter building, outdoor games, creek walks, animal handling, and more!

    Camps run from 9am-3pm, and EXPLOREcorps members may be present from 8:30am-3:30pm all five days of the week.  We ask that EXPLOREcorps arrive no earlier than 8:30 and no later than 9am, and picked up at 3:30 at the latest or 3:00 at the earliest (apart from special circumstances which should be communicated as soon as possible)  While two weeks are required to be an active member, members may have opportunities to volunteer additional weeks if the schedule allows.  Members will be able to rank their preference in which weeks they volunteer on the application.

To apply, the EXPLOREcorps application can be found below

Applications are rolling and are due on May 15th, but please be in contact with if an extension is needed!

Along with the application, EXPLOREcorps requires a letter of reference from a teacher or community member not related to the applicant that outlines why the applicant would make an ideal EXPLOREcorps member.  Following submission and review of the application, an Arboretum staff member will reach out to set up a short interview.  If accepted into the program, a leadership and orientation training is required prior to Discovery Camps.

For consideration to be accepted into the EXPLORECorps program the candidate must complete the following application:

EXPLORECorps Application (Google Form Link) – PREFERED

EXPLORECorps Application (PDF)

Applications and letters of reference may be submitted via email to, through the Google form linked above, or via mail to:

The North Carolina Arboretum

C/O Education Registrar

100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way

Asheville, NC 28806

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a limited number of spaces available, so please submit applications as soon as you are able. 

With any questions regarding the EXPLOREcorps program, reach out to Katie Gorman at