Volunteer Residency Program

Resident Volunteers

Get off the Grid and into the Work as a Resident Volunteer

Founded in 1924, The Rowe Center is a camp and conference center located in beautiful Western Massachusetts. Nestled in among  maples, oaks, and hemlocks, the Center hosts workshops that provide people with the opportunity to explore diverse, far-reaching subjects and  five summer youth camps that bring young people together in consciously-created community. Our mission is to help people thrive at all stages of life. With a staff of nine, we could not do all we do without the assistance of resident volunteers.

Resident volunteers  assist us in supporting our programs and caring for our 20 buildings, on 52 acres of land, surrounded on three sides by 1,400 acres of town forest. Volunteers participate in a self-directed program  that includes personal study, community projects, workshop opportunities, and the experience of living in community. The residency can last anywhere from six weeks to a year, anytime from Labor Day until late June. The work is labor intensive – it might involve, housekeeping tasks, kitchen duty, conference set-up, grounds work, office work, shoveling snow. Hard work done together can be personally fulfilling.  

Volunteers work a 33-hour work week in one of our three departments – office, facilities, or kitchen – and accommodations are shared with 2-3 other volunteers. There is an application process and a required one week trial period that can help you and us discern if this is the right fit.

To apply to be a part of our volunteer team, please email cara@rowecenter.org. If interested in our cooking internship, please scroll to the bottom of this page. 

(If you aren’t able to participate for the full six weeks or are available only in the summer, we also have a volunteer program.)

Rowe’s Cooking Internship

At Rowe, food is about nourishment of body and soul. We offer the freshest, healthiest, most attractive gourmet mostly vegetarian food you can imagine. Our chefs consistently amaze everyone with their delicious culinary artistry, as well as their willingness to cater to special diets.

This program gives interns an opportunity to work with and learn under our wonderful chefs. This program has all the features of the basic work-study program with the exception that you will not be able to attend conferences as you’ll be cooking for them.

The focus of this internship is vegetarian cooking (some meat and fish is cooked at Rowe) and bread making. Prior cooking experience is not necessary; however applicants must have a serious desire to cook, a willingness to take direction, and be in good physical condition. Cooking for groups is physically taxing. You must be able to lift heavy pans and be on your feet for long stretches. Because of the focus of this program, we require a minimum of a 3 month commitment.

Cooking for our programs is hard work, but also wonderful training. This is an experiential program in which you will learn by doing. How much you learn depends on you. The application process for this program is the same as for the standard program, although you are asked to include a letter explaining what cooking means to you and why you feel called to this program.

If you would like to apply, please email paulette@rowecenter.org with a letter explaining what cooking means to you and why you feel called to this program.

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