Be the Heart of Compass Project



Volunteer_DixonTo fulfill our mission to use boat building and rowing to provide positive direction to youth, Compass Project relies on committed, energetic volunteers to serve as positive adult role models for our program participants. The boat shop is a minds-on, hands-on environment where we encourage individuals to share their unique experiences, skills and talents in a mentorship capacity. If you value experiential learning, playing a meaningful role in a young person’s development, and the importance of teamwork, Compass Project is the place for you.

As a volunteer, you have numerous opportunities for engagement; we want to capture your interests and good will to help those who are at risk. As students build a boat, the boat builds their skills and self esteem. Your involvement and support enable us to do this great work with kids — you are our strength.

One Volunteer’s Story

One day a couple of years ago I was looking for a boat building organization to donate my 1954 homemade 13’ wooden runabout, Eliza Mae. To say that she was no longer in safe boating condition would be an understatement. The staff at the Compass Project was kind enough to take a look at my boat to evaluate whether they wanted to take on the project, in other words, to take my boat off my hands! Yes! They would take Eliza Mae!

Six months after that meeting I found myself with the time to volunteer and decided what better place than the Compass Project. It turns out to have been a rewarding decision. Building boats is indeed a great way to engage alternative learners and the Compass Project staff does an excellent job providing a respectful and positive opportunity for students to learn in an experiential setting. And what beautiful boats the students build!

And now a year later I find myself volunteering with a Compass Project class re -building Eliza Mae! Once again, I am impressed with the Compass Project staff. It may seem obvious, in retrospect, that rebuilding my donated boat would be the perfect match for my volunteer time. However, it is precisely the thoughtful decision making by the staff that has created the opportunity. And what a joy it is to work and learn with the students to rebuild the Eliza Mae. Watching each student make his or her unique contribution as they grow and learn is a pleasure indeed.

– Roy Chatterjee, Volunteer


Group Volunteers

Work directly with a youth boat building group. Assist instructors with boat building classes and work with a single student or small group of students on a specific project. We ask that group volunteers commit to the duration of a specific program. To read one volunteer’s amazing shop story, click here.

Shop Volunteers

Help with prep for boat building classes, boat maintenance, tool maintenance, and general projects around the shop. Shop volunteers check in and work with guidance from staff. Ideal shop volunteers have some experience in a shop environment and are able to work fairly independently.

On-Water Volunteers

In the fall and spring, we take our programming out onto Casco Bay where students learn about dories and skiffs in action. We teach boating safety, rowing commands and techniques, use of charts and navigation, and, most importantly, teamwork. If you are comfortable being on the water and are interested in joining us, we’ll find a place aboard for you.

Special Event Volunteers

Help with the preparation and running of Compass Project community, fundraising, and promotional events throughout the year.

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