Skip to main content

Youth Volunteers


The Sauder Village Youth Volunteer Program (ages 12-16)

Our founder believed that young people learn best about the past and gain an appreciation for those who came before them by “seeing, touching, and doing," which are at the core of the Sauder Village Youth Volunteer Program. The Youth Volunteer Program is helping to create a "love for the past" in a generation of kids that are wired to the present while creating memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

The Youth Volunteer Program offers children ages 12 to 16 an opportunity to volunteer in a seasonal program in the Historic Village. Each season, an average of 80 students participate, who typically represent about 45 different cities across the tri-state region.

Youth Volunteers have become an integral part of the Sauder Village experience, participating in everything from crafts to cooking to churning butter. These young people work alongside our adult staff, learning about the traditions and activities of the past, gaining experience working with the public, communicating with and engaging an audience, and developing positive work habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.

"Volunteering at Sauder Village has been, and continues to be, a wonderful experience.  Before this summer, I enjoyed visiting the historic village, but only was able to on rare occasions. Now, I find myself there at least twice a month, not only learning, but demonstrating to others. I have had a great summer here at Sauder Village and have done everything from weaving a basket, to stitching a broom, to sewing a coaster. Thank you to all those whom I have learned under, you have done a phenomenal job, and I hope to continue learning with you. In all the years to come I will always have a place in my heart for Sauder Village now that I know the secrets of it and have had time to get to know the people who make Sauder Village the special place it is. I am thankful for them!”" — Former Youth Volunteer

 Youth Volunteer Historic Village
Youth Volunteer Historic Village

Youth Volunteer Expectations 

Youth partaking in this program are accepting the same amount of responsibility they would have at a job. Showing up on time, checking in and out, staying off cell phones, and taking a timely lunch break are all examples of this.


It is expected that Youth will respect their peers, our staff, and the guests at Sauder Village. This includes engaging in conversation, asking how to help, getting to know peers/staff members, etc.

Guest Interactions:
By the end of the season, all students should be comfortable and able to speak to guests without assistance. This also includes paying attention to them by smiling, talking to them, and involving them in your current activity.

Hours Served:
Volunteers are required to serve at least 25 hours per season, which runs from May through October.

Goals of the Youth Volunteer Program:

  • Instill a love of history.
  • Nurture a sense of importance in volunteering.
  • Build pride and confidence by working with the public.
  • Develop basic job skills.
  • Have fun and make lasting memories.

If you are age 12–16 or have a student who would benefit from this special experience, call 419-446-2541 or 800-590-9755, or via e-mail at

Thanks to the generous donations of many businesses and individuals that participate in the Sauder Village Golf Open each year, the Youth Volunteer Program is made possible and available to all children at no charge to their families. To provide your support of this important program impacting youth throughout the region, donate now or call 419-446-2541.


Applications are CLOSED for the 2024 season!