Volunteer to be a Guide

Field Studies Guide Video image

Volunteers share what being a Field Study Guide means to them.

Field Study Experiences


Make a difference, have fun, and explore the Arboretum. Become a Field Study Guide and lead small groups of students from Boston Public Schools in outdoor explorations of plants and the natural world.

We are now recruiting for Fall 2019. Please complete and submit a volunteer application. We look forward to speaking with you about volunteering!

Staff Contact

To learn more or to ask questions, please call Nancy Sableski, Manager of Children’s Education, at 617.384.5239 or by email.


The Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, MA
Directions to the Arnold Arboretum


  • Attend 4 training days in fall and spring
  • Lead a group once a week in fall and spring
  • Participate in evaluation of program.

Required skills & abilities

Second grade students participate in Old Plants

Second grade students participate in Old Plants

  • Guides must be capable of understanding and conveying basic botanical principles in English to children. They must apply open-ended, inquiry-based teaching methods and must be able to manage a group of 6 to 12 children while engaging them on their level.
  • Guides must be able to move freely in the landscape, which has some hills and unpaved paths, and must be able to be outdoors for two hours in mild-to-moderate weather conditions with a group of children.
  • A college background is helpful but not necessary. Experience working with children is preferable. Extensive horticultural knowledge is not required.

Time commitment

We ask Field Study Guides to make a two-year, four season commitment. This means agreeing to guide a group of children one morning a week (9:00am–1:00pm) in fall and spring for two years. Prior to the start of each season, guides attend four training classes (10:00am–1:00pm) at the Arboretum to learn the field study programs and the basics of botany, and to become familiar with the Arboretum landscape.