photo of Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park

Volunteers Needed for Historic Sites

M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks is seeking volunteers to serve as docents and trail guides at two of its historic sites—Oakley Cabin in Olney and the Underground Railroad Experience Trail in Sandy Spring. The volunteer program provides interesting, educational opportunities for history enthusiasts to learn about the rich history of Montgomery County, while providing a valuable service to the community. Underground Railroad volunteer conductors lead hikes through a wooded, natural surface trail in Sandy Spring, MD and teach visitors about the Underground Railroad experience in Montgomery County and the Quaker heritage of Sandy Spring. Oakley Cabin docents share with visitors the history and culture of former tenants who lived there during the 19th century and other African American communities in the local area.

Free training sessions are provided to participants, and students are eligible for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours.

  • For Underground Railroad Experience Trail guides: Saturdays, May 31 & June 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Parkside Headquarters, 9500 Brunett Avenue, Silver Spring and Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park, 16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring. Minimum volunteer age 16 years.
  • For Oakley Cabin docents: Saturdays, May 31 & June 14, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Parkside Headquarters, 9500 Brunett Avenue, Silver Spring and Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park, 3610 Brookeville Road in Olney. Minimum volunteer age is 16 years.

All volunteer opportunities require at least a 6-shift commitment throughout the season. Volunteers must complete an application and background screening. Potential volunteers are encouraged to submit applications online at by May 15 and prior to training sessions. The Department of Parks provides all the materials needed for volunteer positions. Volunteers are outfitted with uniforms consisting of t-shirts and hats.

“Volunteers are so important to our historic sites,” said Department of Parks Museum Manager Shirl Spicer. “Thanks to our dedicated volunteer staff, we are able to provide free guided trail hikes and cabin tours on Saturdays, April to November.”

Volunteers in the program gain valuable experience learning to become skilled interpreters for diverse audiences, while learning about the rich African American heritage of Montgomery County. Participants also enjoy behind-the-scene group field trips to other historic sites in the region such as Button Farm Living History Center, Hampton Plantation, Riversdale House Museum and Colonial Williamsburg.

For more information on these volunteer opportunities, upcoming training sessions and the historic and cultural resources in Montgomery Parks, contact Lisa MacLeman at 301.650.4373 or via email:

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