Individual Volunteers

General Statement of Duties:

All volunteers are responsible for the implementation of all planned activities, development of recreational programs, arts & crafts, sports activities, and meal/snack preparation, as well as general child mentorship. Volunteers will also assist with project fundraising, community activities and building maintenance. Most importantly, volunteers are responsible for trying their best and keeping an upbeat attitude whenever possible!

Supervision Received:

Volunteers work under the general supervision of the Executive Director and the Youth Programs Director. During orientation and on a daily basis, volunteers may also be supervised by more experienced volunteers.

This is why, before you choose to submit an application, we ask you to think about what voluntary service means to you. We demand a lot from our volunteers; comittment, respect and responsibility. As a volunteer, you will be asked to work long hours, to be flexible, to be open-minded and understanding. We give a lot in return; education and awareness, appreciation and a place to call home. Many volunteers remark on how they feel an instant connection to South Dakota, to Eagle Butte, to the Cheyenne River community. As a result, we frequently have volunteers return for a second, third and even a fourth time!

Example of Duties (duties may include but are not limited to the following):

  • Development and supervision of recreational activities
  • Plan and prepare daily meals and snacks.
  • Supervise daily youth center operations.
  • Interior/Exterior maintenance of building, including janitorial duties.
  • Assist with the planning and supervision of field trips and other special projects.
  • Write articles for the newsletter and local newspaper.
  • Informal youth counseling.
  • First Aid
  • Work where assigned in community.
  • Assist in developing and implementing fundraising activities.
  • Child mentorship and creative participation!!!!

Minimum Qualifications:

The preference of the program is an individual who has experience working with children. We require all volunteers to have patience, compassion, energy, and a deep desire to work with the children and people of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation. We are in need of people who are willing to work long hours under adverse conditions. We want volunteers that are mature enough to know that work as a youth worker is not a vacation, but a full-time job. To work as a volunteer youth worker requires dedication, motivation and commitment. We desire volunteers who will honor the commitment that they make if accepted.

IMPORTANT: Transportation to and from Eagle Butte will be provided by the organization. Volunteers are requested to arrive in Pierre, South Dakota by airplane or bus.

Individual Volunteer Application

A Complete Applicant File Must Include the Following:

  1. Application (Download PDF)
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. Criminal History Background Check – To be accepted as a volunteer with our project, you will be required to have a criminal history background check submitted to our agency. Please contact your local law enforcement agency to find out the procedure for your state. The background check must be sent directly from their agency to the Cheyenne River Youth Project.
  4. A $450 application fee is required for US applicants and $400 for applicants outside of the US. This fee should be mailed with your application. If this is not possible, please call the Youth Programs Director to make other arrangements.
  5. A telephone interview will be arranged once the initial contact has been made.The application process can be quite lengthy but there are ways to expedite the process via e-mail or fax. Please use the following email for Volunteer Applications:

Please contact us with any questions.

Being a volunteer is a wonderful experience, but many volunteers worry about how to support their activities for as long as possible, without breaking the bank. Here are a few suggestions from CRYP to help you organize your finances before you decide to volunteer.

Financing Your Trip

Step One: Check your personal finances

Saving money is definitely a part of planning to volunteer. Volunteering is hard work and sometimes you just need to give yourself that little gift or an ice cream at the local Dairy Queen to reward yourself. CRYP estimates that the average volunteer will spend around $250 per month, if they are careful with their money, on food, hygiene products, travel and keep-sakes or rolls of film – so having a little money saved can help to cover those costs. If you know far enough in advance that you want to volunteer, try to put away just $5 -$10 per week. That should help you get through and ensure that you have a great time!

Step Two: Check what resources are available through your University or Service/Church groups in your area.

Many of our volunteers have financed their trips through applying to University or Service grant programs. Applications usually involve writing a short text to explain your eligibility and sometimes a statement of need. If you can identify a grant source and you need some assistance in filling it out, please contact us.

Step Three: Ask other Volunteers!

CRYP is on Facebook. Join up and ask our other volunteers for advice on how they made their service trips possible. It’s also a great way to ask questions and get an idea of what the job is like from the people who know best.



Individual Volunteers

Many volunteers remark on how they feel an instant connection to South Dakota, to Eagle Butte, to the Cheyenne River community. As a result, we frequently have volunteers return for a second, third and even a fourth time! Learn more about becoming a volunteer.

Group Volunteers

The Cheyenne River Youth Project has a long history of working with volunteer groups from all over the country. Hosting service groups has been an exciting challenge for us and a source of new ideas, creativity and support. Learn more about our group volunteer opportunities.

WWOOF Volunteers

Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers. Learn how CRYP is involved here.


Volunteer Spotlight

Our volunteers not only help us but gain much personally.  Meet our past volunteers.