BECOME A KEEPER OF THE LIGHT
There are many ways in which individuals can volunteer to help the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse. We have many enthusiastic and friendly individuals who give a little, to a lot of their time volunteering for FOWIL. Many who volunteer, volunteer their particular work skills and experiences to benefiting the mission of the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse. Below, are listed just a few of the ways in which individuals can volunteer with the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse. If you are interested in any of the opportunities described below, email FOWIL at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you.
“Light Runner” Crew
As an island lighthouse, transportation to and from the island is a very important part of our organization. We have a team of volunteers who crew and pilot our custom-made boat to and from the island. The crew is crucial in all our island activities from transporting the 40 to 50 plus tours to the island in season, transporting the Woodchucks and contractors, and moving supplies. The crew person or “stern man” assists the Captain with the operation of the boat and helps passengers on and off. Training is provided. Our season is July and August. If you have previous boating experience and enjoy being on the water, then crewing may be a volunteer opportunity for you.
If you enjoy history and talking with people of all ages, becoming a docent is another way to volunteer. Docents meet tour participants (a maximum of 14 people) at Vine’s Landing, and ride with their tour group to and from the island, and lighthouse while sharing stories about the island. Docents educate their group about the rich history of Wood Island lighthouse and FOWILs mission, along with answering the many questions that excited visitors have. Docents also look out for the safety of our visitors and ensure that they make timely progress to keep on our boat schedule. Docents will become familiar with the lighthouse’s history through materials provided by FOWIL and through shadowing an experienced docent.
Tower Guides are physical active docents whose primary responsibility is to lead tour groups of up to 6 people into the lantern room of the lighthouse. Climbing the spiral staircase to the view at from the top of the tower is the highlight of our tours. The Tower Guide shares information about the tower, lantern room, the light, and the view from the top of the tower, while ensuring that everyone safely climbs the tower stairs. Between tour groups, the Tower Guide may also take additional individuals who have traveled to the island by their own boats, up the tower.
From shirts, hats, and fleece vests to booklets, note-cards, and tote bags, FOWIL offers a variety of items that we sell to the general public. Volunteers assist in selling these items at FOWIL events and tour days.
Spring / Fall Work Days
A work day is traditionally held in the Spring and/or Fall to both prepare the lighthouse for start and end of the summer tour season. The Spring workday typically involves cleaning the lighthouse and grounds, as well as repairing any damage that may have occurred to the boat ramp, boardwalk, and grounds during the winter months. Setting up the multiple displays inside the lighthouse, also takes place. On the Fall workday, the lighthouse is closed up and prepared for the winter months. Quite often one or two special projects may take place as well on these days. These are usually half to full workdays, so participants will often pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the island. Check the events page for upcoming work days.
“Wood Chucks” & “Wood Chicks”
The “Wood Chucks” are a group of individuals that perform weekly summer maintenance on the grounds around Wood Island Lighthouse. Projects may include mowing the grass, planting and weeding the flowerbeds, trimming bushes alongside the boardwalk, cleaning the boat ramp, repairing the boardwalk and painting. The Wood Chucks meet at Vines Landing on Tuesday mornings, and work for 2 or 3 hours before returning to the mainland around noon.
The history group researches the long and rich history of Wood Island Lighthouse. Their extensive work is transformed into informational displays, booklets, posted information on this website, special events, and passed on from researcher to tour guides and guests.
The tour reservation telephone line and automated reservation system is managed by a few dedicated volunteers. These volunteers respond to telephone and email contacts, monitor the reservations system and prepare rosters for tours. Questions from visitors are answered or referred to others as necessary.
FOWIL has had a long traditional of putting on special fundraising events that have been enjoyed by many people over the years. These have included several art auctions and “haunting” events. These special events take significant volunteer participation to accomplish, and include a variety of tasks for volunteers to assist in.