Volunteering with La Plata Youth Services offers you the opportunity to make a difference in your community by positively affecting the lives of at-risk youth. LPYS serves youth in Durango, Bayfield, and Ignacio, as well as surrounding rural areas in La Plata County. We are a small organization, which allows us to be flexible with each individual that walks through our doors. If you have an interest or prior experience working with youth or youth “at-risk”, we may have a place for you!



Homework Club

La Plata Youth Services motivates students in La Plata County and surrounding schools to assist in achieving their academic potential. Each student will receive one-on-one instruction in each of their academic subjects.  This program will continue in the summer for youth who need constant practice.

  • Our tutoring program is aimed at helping students fully comprehend the things they learn.
  • We provide the tools to help each student learn helpful study skills and test taking strategies while fostering a healthy academic routine.
  • Volunteer tutors may only tutor in subjects they feel comfortable with.
  •  Volunteers will be supported, coordinated and scheduled by the Community Outreach Coordinator.

 Useful Public Service Supervision

  • La Plata Youth Services often works with youth who need to do some Useful Public Service out in the community as part of their contract with LPYS.
  • Many UPS opportunities require that the youth involved bring adult supervision. Volunteers can chaperone youth to Useful Public Service (UPS) events.

 Support Advocates

  • Some of our clients need a mentor/support advocate because they do not meet the requirements for other programs in the county.
  • This would be the most intense volunteer position at LPYS and require the most time commitment as well as responsibility for the student.
  • You would be committed to mentoring/advocating one or two youth who have academic troubles such as truancy/chronic absenteeism

 Restorative Justice:

Community Members/Facilitators

  • “Restorative Justice is a process whereby the parties with a  stake in the particular offense come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offense and its implications for the future” – Tony Marshall, Advocate, restorativejustice.org
  •  LPYS facilitates Restorative Justice Circles with our trained mediators and volunteers for our youth and community organizations who are willing to participate as a part of their reconciliation as victims and offenders.
  • LPYS also facilitates non-criminal RJ circles to repair harm in interpersonal conflicts in schools, families, and friend groups.
  • Volunteers may be trained as a facilitator or sit in on RJ circles as a volunteer community member.

 Parenting Classes:


  • LPYS has teamed up with Liza Tregillus who is teaching a Parenting Class.
  • Volunteers are needed to provide childcare during the parenting classes.
  • Currently held on Thursdays at 12 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church.
  • Must be comfortable caring for small children for a period of no longer than 2 hours.
  • Childcare may also be requested for other events.

 Bullying Awareness Group:

Facilitators and Participants

  • Sit in on Bullying Awareness Group (BAG) discussions with youth in a restorative justice setting
  • Help facilitate discussions on bullying issues in the community
  • Bring awareness about harm caused through bullying
  • Learn about Restorative Justice philosophy and practice
  • Simply be a supportive community member lending your thoughts and suggestions to the group



 Experiential Learning & Group Community Service

     Chaperone youth as they participate in 5 or more experiential learning days throughout the summer time. These take place on Tuesdays and one is a week long. We will be learning and supporting youth as they learn many skills as well.

This summer we are focusing on many themes: Ecosystems and Sustainable Agriculture, Hydrology, Equestrian Experiential Learning, goal setting and overcoming obstacles, Self-exploration and Identity, Community, self-expression and art, and Cultural awareness/sensitivity.

Chaperone and participate with youth during one of our many large group community service days. We will be:

  • Gardening
  • Cleaning up litter and graffiti in and around Durango
  • Making and donating artwork for Community Connections
  • Helping Turtle Lake Refuge
  • Helping cook food at Manna Soup Kitchen
  • Working at Weasel Skin Equestrian Center
  • Picking fruit and baking pies for Community Connections
  • Creating and contributing to a mural on our shed and around town with Dumpster Art Project

Hikes and Bikes

    Volunteers may take participating LPYS clients on various hikes and bike rides around town.  Volunteers and youth may pick out any easy or moderate hike you enjoy, or ask us for advice and guidance. Take youth on bike rides around town or run laps at the BMX track. We will provide bikes to youth and volunteers who do not own one. Bikes may also be rented from local bike shops in town. For LPYS to pay for a bike rental, all of our bikes must be already taken.

Available days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Weekends. Tuesdays and Thursdays after 4 are also available to schedule a bike ride.

Planning should be at least one week in advance. Two weeks is better.

Top Rope Climbing and Bouldering

    Join LPYS youth as they climb with an experienced and certified climbing instructor, or go casually with an LPYS staff member for a bouldering session at one    of many locations around Durango.

Help supervise and participate with youth in attendance.

Available Days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and weekends.

Tubing the Animas

    Take participating youth down the Animas River in tubes. We will provide life jackets and tubes for volunteers and youth.

 River Rafting

     Accompany youth and a raft guide on an end of summer three or four day raft trip down one of many rivers in the southwest area starting August 4-7th. We will be rafting a section of the San Juan and will be pulling out at Mexican Hat. All equipment, food, and transportation will be included.

Acquire crucial rafting skills and have fun with participating youth!

For Full Summer Calendar and Program click HERE

Volunteers are integral to the functioning of non-profit organizations (according to United Way estimates, volunteers in Colorado are valued at more than $20 an hour!). WE GREATLY APPRECIATE AND VALUE ALL OF OUR VOLUNTEERS!

If you’re interested, please contact:

Dillon Walls,

Community Outreach Coordinator
(970) 385-4440 Ex: 22

Cell phone: 970-946-1433