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Become A

PAL Partner

Join the fun! Discover the excitement: volunteer on our Education team. Become a Lena Meijer Children’s Garden PAL Partner this spring, summer, or fall!

PAL Partners have fun and engage with their peers, staff, and guests, while carrying out a variety of responsibilities:

  • Assist with Discovery Carts and other engaging outdoor activities—among them, monitoring toy boats in the Great Lakes Garden, assisting with clay sculptures using artists’ tools, host painting kanji characters with water, reading to guests alongside sculptures, and showing which animal tracks match to which pelts.
  • Gather materials for and monitor special presentations by artists, musicians, scientists, and story-time presenters.
  • Straighten and maintain the Rock Quarry, Tree House Village, Beaver Lodge, Log Cabin and Story-Telling Hut and assorted materials.
  • Work with Children’s Garden staff to provide fun and memorable experiences for all guests.

Application Process:

  1. To be eligible, applicants must be at least 14 years old OR entering ninth to 12th grade in the fall.
  2. Only one application is required for spring, summer and fall volunteering. Fill out the application by downloading it from our website: MeijerGardens.org/involved/volunteer
  3. Include three letters of recommendation (teacher, volunteer or work experience) and a paragraph written by you explaining why you want to be a PAL Partner. Make sure your application is complete and turned in by the deadlines listed below.
  4. After we review your complete application, you will be contacted by email for an interview. Interviews will take place after school. You will be notified of program acceptance by email,
    the same week. Applicants are required to attend an orientation and training.

Spring Deadline

Monday, February 5, by 5 pm

Spring:

PAL Partners volunteer a total of seven shifts in the spring two half-day weekend shifts per month, beginning in March, and one half-day special event shift in March, April, or May. Interviews will be held the week of February 12, and those accepted must attend an orientation and training

Summer Deadline

Monday, May 20, by 5 pm

Summer:

PAL Partners volunteer a total of 13 shifts in the summer, beginning June 12, and one half-day weekend or one Tuesday evening shift per month for June, July, and August.  (Exceptions can be made for family vacations.) Interviews will be held the week of May 28, and those accepted must attend an orientation and training. 

Fall Deadline

Monday, August 5, by 5 pm

Fall:

PAL Partners volunteer a total of seven shifts in the fall, beginning in September, and  one half-day special event shift September, October, or November. Interviews will be held the week of August 13, and those accepted must attend an orientation and training. 

Work in all 10 themed areas of the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, gain valuable experience, make new friends, fulfill school requirements, add to your resume, and have fun!

Pal (Play activity leader) partner application 2024

REQUIREMENTS:

1. To be eligible, applicants must be at least 14 years old OR entering 9th to 12th grade in the fall.
2. Fill out the application. Only one application is required for spring, summer, and fall volunteering.
3. Include three letters of recommendation—teacher, volunteer, or work experience—and a paragraph written by you explaining why you want to be a PAL Partner. Make sure your application is complete and turned in by the deadlines listed.
4. After we review your complete application, you will be contacted for an interview. Interviews will take place after school. You will be notified of program acceptance via email or phone the same week.

Seasonal Program Descriptions:

SPRING

Application Deadline: Monday, February 5, by 5 pm

Six-week program during March, April, and May. PAL Partners work two half-day weekend shifts per month. Interviews will be held the week of February 12. Those accepted must attend an orientation the evening of February 20 and a mid-day training on Saturday, March 9.

SUMMER

Application Deadline: Monday, May 20, by 5 pm

Ten-week program during June, July and August. PAL Partners work one half-day shift per week beginning June 9 and one half-day weekend or one Tuesday evening shift per month. (Exceptions can be made for family vacations.) Interviews will be held the week of May 27. Those accepted must attend orientation and evening training on June 4.

FALL

Application Deadline: Monday, August 5, by 5 pm

Eight-week program during September, October, November and December. PAL Partners work two half-day weekend shifts per month and one half-day special event shift. Interviews will be held the week of August 12. Those accepted must attend an evening orientation on August 20 and a mid-morning training on August 24.

STUDENT INFORMATION

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

DESCRIPTIVE PARAGRAPH

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Please list the names of three people you have asked to submit a letter of recommendation in support of your application.
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 6 files.

*These references should not come from family members. You may ask teachers, coaches, neighbors, employers, religious leaders, et cetera. Please upload your letters of recommendation into the file uploader above.

If you have trouble using the file uploader, submit them by email to LaStar Alicea at [email protected] or mail them to the address listed below:

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park; LMCG PAL Partner Program
Attention: LaStar Alicea at LMCG
1000 East Beltline NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525

Parent/Guardian Emergency Contact Information

SIGNATURE

By entering our names below I acknowledge that I, myself, and my parent/guardian understand all the requirements of the PAL Partner Program.
Clear Signature
Clear Signature

After we receive your complete application, applicants being considered will be contacted for an interview. After the interview process, you will be notified of program acceptance by email the same week.

HOURS

Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
Monday 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday 9 am - 9 pm
Wednesday 9 am - 5 pm
Thursday 9 am - 5 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE

CONTACT US

area closures

Please note: The Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory will be closed for maintenance on Monday, June 10 through Wednesday, June 12.  Thank you for your understanding.

Spring Break Hours

Extended Hours

Enjoy extended spring break hours until 9 pm on April 1-5.

Extended Member Early Hours

Each Sunday from 9-11 am during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and Saturday, April 6, from 8-9 am. 

HOURS

Sunday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE