Volunteering during Winter Lights

Looking for ways to give back this season? Volunteer with us at Winter Lights! Last year, we were grateful to have more than 200 volunteers donate over 4,000 hours during the course of the event. From greeters to fire pit attendants to G-scale train operators, there are a variety of volunteer positions available. Opportunities are available for individuals and groups aged 18 or older.
Volunteers that complete three shifts will receive two complimentary tickets to attend the show or pass on to a friend!*

Volunteer Instructions

All volunteers should visit VolunteerHub to register and sign up for volunteer opportunities. To sign up for events, simply click “sign up” on the shift (or event) that you are interested in. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for 2 shifts or more during the 48 nights of Winter Lights, and there are special benefits for volunteers who work three or more shifts.

Click Here to Register

  • When you sign up,  registered volunteers will receive a confirmation email with the training materials attached. Volunteers should read over the appropriate training materials prior to reporting for their shift.
  • Winter Lights volunteer shifts are scheduled from 5:00-9:30 p.m., 5:30-9:30 p.m. or 5:30-10:00 p.m., seven days a week. We recommend that volunteers give themselves ample time to arrive on campus by 5:30 p.m. You should consider work, commute times and other engagements before signing up for events.
  • Winter Lights will take place rain or shine. In the event of a severe weather warning or other unforeseen condition, we may have to cancel Winter Lights for the evening. Event cancellation will be decided no later than 3:00 p.m. on the date of the event. Cancellation notice will be posted on the homepage of the Arboretum’s website www.ncarboretum.org.  We will attempt to contact volunteers by phone or email regarding cancellation as soon as possible.

Volunteer Positions

  • This volunteer will assist volunteers with check in and obtaining their equipment. Once all volunteers have checked in, this volunteer will act as Host, stationed by the information desk, where they will direct guests who have had their tickets scanned to move upstairs in an expeditious manner. This volunteer will also monitor the admissions area and determine when the Greeter/Floater should begin Floater rounds. This is an indoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • Assist visitors in creating a craft that they can take home with them. Clean area and store supplies at end of shift. This position requires exceptional customer service skills and the ability to be on feet for duration of shift. Must enjoy interacting with guests, especially small children. This is an indoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • Assist staff with general customer service, sales, and restocking at gift shops in the Baker Exhibit Center or Education Center. This position requires great customer service skills, attention to detail and physical activity. This is an indoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • This volunteer will split their time at the Baker entrance and as a Floater. For the first part of the shift, assist guests with event related questions, ticketing and check-in. This position requires great customer service skills and the ability to be on feet for duration of shift. For the second part of the shift, float to each volunteer station so volunteers have the opportunity to take a break. This is an indoor/outdoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • Oversee and trouble shoot the operation of our G-scale model train, greet visitors and answer basic questions about the railroad exhibit. This position requires great customer service skills and the ability to be outside, sitting/standing for duration of shift. Previous experience with G-scale train operation is not required. Mandatory training is provided. This is an outdoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • Tend small fires in warming stations (screened fire pits not used for s’mores) and monitor visitors for safety near fires as needed. This position requires great customer service skills, ability to manage fires safely and the ability to be on feet for duration of shift. This position is not recommended for volunteers with wood smoke sensitivities. Fire pits are located at RCRR Stairs and at the end of the Grand Promenade closest to the Baker Exhibit Center. This is an outdoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • Tend fire in s’mores fire pit, monitor visitors for safety and assist visitors with s’more making as needed. This position requires great customer service skills, ability to manage fires safely and the ability to be on feet for duration of shift. This position is not recommended for volunteers with wood smoke sensitivities. The S’mores Fire Pit is located at the Education Center courtyard and this will be the only s’mores-making fire pit. This is an outdoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • Scan barcodes on tickets as guests enter. This position requires great customer service skills and the ability to multitask. This volunteer must enjoy high energy and fast paced work and have some computer experience (using a scanner and iPad). This volunteer must be able to stand for duration of shift. This is an indoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

  • Greet and direct visitors at designated outdoor stations, provide event information, answer basic logistical questions and act as a liaison to staff and campus police. This position requires great customer service skills and the ability to be on feet for duration of shift. Wayfinders are located at BEC Lawn, Core Gardens, Bonsai Garden and EC Plaza. This is an outdoor position.

    Register Here

    Volunteer Instructions

Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteers learn new skills, meet like-minded people and participate in the Arboretum’s largest fundraiser. Funds raised during Winter Lights help improve programming, exhibits and  gardens and help achieve the Arboretum’s mission of cultivating connections between people, plants and places. In addition to receiving discounts at Bent Creek Bistro and Connections Gallery gift shop, all active volunteers receive special invites to workshops, events and training throughout the year.

We appreciate all the time and talents that our volunteers give, but we also recognize volunteers that give more! Volunteers that complete three shifts will receive two complimentary tickets to attend the show or pass on to a friend! Volunteers with 5 hours or more are invited to the Winter Lights Wrap Up Party on January 8. Volunteers that complete 10 hours or more will also be invited to the Winter Lights preview in 2019. Volunteers with 40 hours or more, will also be invited to the 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. All active volunteers who give a minimum of 50 hours of service a year receive a free parking pass for the extent of their commitment.

Corporate & Group Volunteers

Service organizations, corporate teams, garden clubs, fraternities and sororities…any organized group, up to 20 participants, can provide invaluable assistance during the Winter Lights event.

For more information, email volunteering@ncarboretum.org or call 828-665-2492 ext. 333.