Cumberland Island Service Weekend

cumberland island service weekend

Cumberland Island Service Weekend
Hosted by Diane Kaufman, Nell Fry and Alicia Jordan

Join the Georgia Conservancy, REI and Keeping It Wild for a fun-filled weekend of conservation, service work and learning with the National Park Service on Cumberland Island.

Cumberland Island is one of Georgia’s greatest natural treasures and it holds an important place at the Conservancy. In 1972, through the advocacy of the Georgia Conservancy and other conservation-focused organizations and citizens, Cumberland was established as a National Seashore, providing for the protection of the island’s upland maritime forests, saltwater marsh and 17 miles of beach.

The preservation of the Cumberland Island National Seashore remains a focus of the Georgia Conservancy. Every year, we take dozens of volunteers to the island to perform service work at Cumberland’s historic structures, remote backcountry trails and deserted beaches. Learn more about the Cumberland Island Trail Restoration Project.

This service weekend is also the inspiration of our Cumberland Island Trail Restoration Project, an 8-month long trail restoration, GPS mapping and trail signage endeavour being led by the Georgia Conservancy's Laura Buckmaster. The work that this project is currently undertaking will inform which trails we tackle during the service weekend.

In addition to meeting the needs of the Cumberland Island Trail Restoration Project, groups will assist with park priority projects such as beach cleanup and care and maintenance of existing NPS structures. Participants can expect to spend a majority of their time on the island participating in service projects and could be exposed to all types of outdoor conditions, as the event will be held rain or shine.

Price breakdown

Prices include all accommodations listed below unless otherwise listed

Camping: campers will stay at Hunt Camp in proximity to the Plum Orchard Mansion. Although Hunt Camp is close to Plum Orchard, there is no guarantee that Plum Orchard will be open for tours.

  • $125 per person

Volunteer Dorms: participants choosing to stay indoors will stay at the volunteer dorms close to the Dungeness Ruins on the island’s south end. *If you do not have a roommate, we will match you with a roommate of the same gender.

  • $145 per person in double occupancy room.



Dates: January 15 – 17, 2016 (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend)
*Some of our trips take place on a Friday, so please be aware that you may have to rearrange your work schedule if it begins earlier in the day.


  • Service Tools from the Atlanta Community Tool Bank
  • Brief presentation on Cumberland Island by the NPS
  • ALL meals
  • Transportation to and from Atlanta
  • Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese hors d'oeuvres
  • Café Campesino Coffee
Capacity: 70 Participants *if registering after a trip is full, you will be placed on a waiting list.
Staff/Guides: Ben Fowler, Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Manager, and Bryan Schroeder, Georgia Conservancy Senior Director of Stewardship and Outreach
Hosts: Diane Kaufman and Nell Fry
Duration: 3 Days, 2 Nights - Friday through Sunday
Skills/Knowledge Takeaways: Cumberland Island history, environmental education, camping and hiking instruction.
Challenge level/difficulty/fitness required: This trip is open to beginner campers and hikers. Participants are expected to be able to perform moderate levels of physical activities such as hiking and tool wielding. No more than 2 children under the age of 12 per adult guardian.
Carpooling/Shuttle (option yes, no): YES, participants may choose to take a shuttle provided by the Georgia Conservancy. The Georgia Conservancy WILL provide a shuttle from Atlanta to St. Mary’s, GA for the Cumberland Island Service Weekend. However, we are not responsible for organizing carpooling, but if enough participants express interest we will facilitate communication between parties. The reality is carpooling and shuttling are better options because they save money, promote the human connection, and truly lessen the automotive impact on the environment.
Reservation and Cancellation Policy: Within 30 days before the start of the trip, you can cancel your reservation for a refund minus a $10 processing fee. After 30 days, you can receive a refund minus a $10 transaction fee, only if we can find someone to take your place. 2 days before a trip we can no longer offer a refund for cancelations.
What to expect after you register for a trip: Upon completion of your registration you will receive a series of emails, including:
  • Confirmation of registration: this email is sent by our Membership Director and serves as your payment receipt for the trip and lets you know you’re on the list!
  • Welcome to Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Trips: this email will be sent by Bryan Schroeder or Ben Fowler (The Stewardship Trips Team) welcoming you to the specific trip and we may ask you for a few details concerning yourself and your party if registering for multiple people (ex. names of individuals, rental gear needs, dietary restrictions, etc.)
  • 2 weeks away: A reminder to start getting excited for your upcoming adventure and will include any remaining details or specifics concerning the trip if not explained before (ex. waivers, medical forms, gear checklist, ferry schedule, service work choices, ect.)
  • 1 week away: We are all set and looking forward to seeing you! We may provide updates on any minor trip changes, or if a service trip for example we will provide lists of elected service work or sleeping locations.
Click here to see photos from the 2015 Cumberland Island Service Weekend


Throughout our nearly 50-year history, we have relied on our members for support. It is thanks to this support that we have accomplished goals such as protecting Sweetwater Creek State Park, Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Cumberland Island National Seashore, and thousands of acres of private forests, fields and wetlands, efforts that have helped shape Georgia as we know it. Become a member of the Georgia Conservancy today!

Contact Stewardship Coordinator, Ben Fowler, at or (404) 876-2900 ext. 111 anytime for questions or details concerning trips or planning your own adventures around Georgia.