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Applications for volunteering at Mount Vernon are currently closed. They will reopen in spring 2025.

Applications will be reviewed and potential volunteers will be onboarded based on current estate needs and volunteer interests expressed.

Selected volunteers must commit to attending orientation, flexible training sessions, and a minimum of 25 hours within the calendar year.

The purpose of the volunteer program is to assist the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in achieving its mission to preserve and protect the home and heritage of George Washington.

Founded in 1992 by volunteer Jack Evans, the Mount Vernon volunteers have grown over 30 years. Today, they comprise approximately 225 active volunteers contributing their time and expertise to almost all of Mount Vernon’s departments.

Mount Vernon volunteers must be 16 or older and contribute at least 25 hours per year to remain active volunteers.

Mount Vernon volunteers enjoy many benefits including discounts at the Food Court, Mount Vernon Inn, and The Shops. Additionally, volunteers have the opportunity to attend special tours and presentations. Most importantly, volunteering at Mount Vernon allows you to cultivate new friendships, develop in-depth knowledge about General Washington and our nation’s founding—and have fun!

Archaeology Lab

Since 1987, volunteers have worked alongside Mount Vernon's archaeologists, researching and restoring the estate. Today, volunteers assist in the archaeological laboratory with artifact processing, including (but not limited to) washing artifacts collected in the field and sorting and bagging artifacts for study and storage.

Volunteers work closely with archaeology staff, assisting in adding information to the digital collection, gaining hands-on experience with artifacts found on the estate, and gaining a greater understanding of the history and material culture of Mount Vernon.  

Volunteers should have the ability to take careful direction, have attention to detail, stand for some periods of time, lift and carry items up to 10 pounds, and enjoy working in a group setting.

Currently, there are no volunteer opportunities for archaeology fieldwork.

Reception Desk

Volunteers staff the front desk of the Ann Pamela Cunningham (APC) Administration Building and George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon.

Located adjacent to the historic area, the administration building serves as a reception space for VIP guests and meetings. Volunteers often assist Mount Vernon departments with mailings and small projects. Volunteers should feel comfortable with computers, checking email and answering phones.

Located across the street from the main estate, the Washington Library serves as a resource for scholars, students, and anyone interested in George Washington and the founding era. Duties include assisting staff librarians with various projects, assisting with the collection and cataloging of visual resources, answering phones, and welcoming guests. Volunteers should have some experience with Microsoft Office and using email.

Events

Mount Vernon hosts a variety of private and public events all year. Volunteers serve as critical support for all our events.

Volunteers assist with event preparation, including packet prep and off-site shopping, greet guests, hand out programs and materials, serve as way-finders, and assist with guests’ questions during events. Volunteers also support registration at our book talks and lectures.

Many positions also include volunteers dressed in period attire as they demonstrate 18th-century games, dancing, and farm activities, providing engaging and educational information to guests.

Flag Flying

Volunteers fly approximately 1,800 flags each year to commemorate various significant events. These flags are sold in our Shops and provided to VIP guests visiting the estate.

Guest Services

Mount Vernon is open 365 days a year and hosts a million-plus visitors. This would not be possible without the assistance of volunteers.

Volunteers ensure the spirit of Washington’s hospitality is extended to guests who come through the estate's main gate. The volunteer's role is visitor engagement and assistance; volunteers help orient guests to the estate, help plan their visit, provide guests with audio devices, and assist the Guest Services staff.

Horticulture

Volunteers work under the direction of Mount Vernon Horticulture staff carrying out production greenhouse tasks such as transplanting, weeding, seed collecting and cleaning, washing posts, and other general tasks. They also assist with the annual plant sale and preparation for horticulture workshops.

Volunteers provide important assistance in removing invasive plants throughout the estate and hand weeding flower beds, planting annuals, harvesting, pruning, and trimming.

Volunteers should have experience and/or interest in ornamental and vegetable gardening, knowledge of basic pruning practices, and ability to perform physical work outdoors in all types of weather.

Interpretation Support

Located in specific areas within the historic core, volunteers welcome and engage guests throughout the estate. Volunteers invite guests to hear performances by character interpretation staff, assist Mount Vernon's official fifer with daily programs, demonstrate 18th-century games, and welcome and direct guests around the estate. Volunteers also work with Historic Trades staff with textile demonstrations and spinning; this position has a limited capacity.

Volunteers must attend additional training and keep up their knowledge of the founding era. They must have strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail, exude Washington hospitality, and enjoy working with others. This position requires a mix of standing, sitting, and working in all types of outdoor weather. Some positions require period clothing to be worn.

Sewing Circle

The Volunteer Sewing Circle meets once a week to work on garment mending and alterations, hemming and other finishing work, accessory making, ironing, and more. 

Volunteers should already have at least basic sewing skills and be interested in refining those skills.  The circle is not a good fit for those new to sewing or with very little experience. The willingness to bring projects to completion, which can mean working on projects at home, is desirable.

Volunteers are encouraged to attend the weekly circles as often as possible; they should have their own basic sewing kit: sewing scissors, pins, various needles, thimble, measuring tape, and seam ripper.  Thread and other tools and supplies will be provided for specific projects.

Each sewing circle typically includes informal 18th-century clothing from a modern costuming perspective and historical sewing techniques. Sprinkled in are stories of the clothing worn by those here at Mount Vernon and elsewhere in the 18th century. 

Transportation & Driving

Mount Vernon’s volunteer drivers are ambassadors of Washington hospitality. Volunteer drivers assist in transporting Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association Council Vice Regents and other very important visitors between Mount Vernon, transportation hubs, and specified locations. On occasion, they also assist staff with specific transportation needs.

Volunteers should possess a valid and current driver’s license, complete the driver’s orientation program and agree to a background check, be familiar with the location of major transportation hubs in the greater metropolitan area and be comfortable driving into neighboring jurisdictions.

Estate Beautification

With thousands of guests visiting the estate each month, the George Washington Memorial Parkway, our parking lots, and the bus lane see tremendous amounts of car and foot traffic. Unfortunately, it also produces a significant amount of litter. Mount Vernon volunteers regularly patrol the perimeter of our gates and collect trash throughout the year.

Each spring, Mount Vernon volunteers participate in the annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, one of the largest trash cleanups in the region. Mount Vernon volunteers spend a day pulling trash and debris from the river shore along the seawall, placing it in bags, and sending it away for proper disposal. Volunteers play a huge role in keeping George Washington’s Mount Vernon litter-free and beautiful.

2023 Volunteer Annual Report