Course or Event


Garden Guide Training - Youth Programs


Dates: Mondays, February 13, 27; March 13, 27; April 10, 24 (6-session course)

Time: 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM



Do you have an enthusiasm for the natural world that you'd like to share with others? Are you looking for a fun and exciting learning opportunity? Become a Youth Garden Guide! Youth Garden Guides are specially trained adult volunteers who help us to educate thousands of people each year through school field trips, discovery stations, and family special events. Our enthusiastic and committed volunteers create memorable learning experiences and serve as ambassadors of the Garden's mission.

You don't need to be an expert or have a background in science or teaching! Successful volunteers are willing to learn, open-minded, friendly, and flexible. In-depth training covers the Garden's history and mission, southeastern native plants and habitats, plant-animal interactions, teaching techniques, and field trip program curricula. Previous experience working with or teaching children is a plus!


School field trips are offered mid-March through mid-May and mid-September through mid-November. Most programs are for pre-K through 5th grade and occur in the morning with a typical start time of 10 a.m. Discovery stations and family special events happen year-round on weekends and Fridays.


FREE, pre-registration required.



  • Enjoy spending time with children, especially ages 4 to 10 
  • Must be 18+ years old
  • Have time to volunteer on weekday mornings 
  • Complete 6-session training course and shadow an experienced Guide  or staff at least twice before leading programs 
  • Commit to volunteering a minimum of 36 hours per year (includes a minimum of leading 1 program per month during school field trip seasons) 
  • Able to be outdoors and physically navigate the Garden for up to 1.5 hours 
  • Background check required upon completion of training



  • Be part of a like-minded group of people and make an impact for the Garden's mission 
  • Continue learning through Advanced Training sessions on teaching techniques, outdoor learning tips, a variety of natural science topics, and refreshers on field trip program curricula held in spring and fall 
  • Discounted rate on Garden membership ($40 for individual; $60 for dual; $80 for household) which includes 10% discounts on education program fees and in the Garden Shop, free wildflower seeds, and more 
  • Invitations to special volunteer events throughout the year


For more information, contact Lauren Greene: or 919-962-2887.



The registration period has closed for this event.




Elisha Taylor develops and leads a wide variety of hands-on natural science programs designed to connect children and families to the natural world and the Garden's conservation mission. Offerings include early childhood classes, family workshops, summer camps, school field trips, and special events. In addition, Elisha oversees the Children's Wonder Garden and Peacock Discovery Room. Elisha has 15 years' experience in the field and is a NC Certified Environmental Educator.

Lauren has experience teaching environmental education and science in both informal and formal education settings. Prior to NCBG, Lauren worked as an Elementary Environmental Education Consultant for the Center for Public Engagement with Science with the UNC Institute for the Environment. Prior to that she was a science specialist at Forest View Elementary in Durham and taught earth science and biology at Green Hope High School. She has a Master of Education in Science Education, her NC Environmental Education Certification, and is a Georgia Master Naturalist. Lauren has worked in a variety of environmental education positions, including as the program manager at the Dunwoody Nature Center, camp leader at Duke Gardens, and program director at the Red Wolf Coalition. She lives in Durham where you can find her, her husband, and her dog working and playing in their yard.

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Joslin Classroom I (C106)

100 Old Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

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