Volunteers are an essential part of the hostelling movement, playing a key role in sharing their own life experiences and passion for travel with hostellers locally and from around the world. Hostelling International volunteers are vital contributors to the future of hostelling by providing innovative ideas, resources, as serving as hostelling ambassadors in their local communities.
Below you will find more information on the activities program and how to get involved as a volunteer.
My new favorite spot in Portland is the balcony next to the top of the Aerial Tram. For eating, I enjoy the Vista Springs Cafe, all of the McMenamin’s Pubs, Cha Cha Cha’s, Stanich’s (in my opinion, the best burger in Portland), Industrial Cafe over on Vaughn and “The Deck” out on the Columbia River. My favorite parks are Overlook Park on Interstate, Forest Park right at the end of Thurman and the park at the top of Council Crest (what a coincidence that it’s on the 4T hike).
One memorable experience I’ve had while volunteering was, while on the 4T hike, one of the people became very worried about the banana slugs on the trail and began gently picking them up and moving them to one side. She only let herself stop when it became obvious there were way too many to move.
I’ll highlight two reasons why I like volunteering at the hostel:
- I get the opportunity to show off my city
-There are always interesting people, always great conversations, and I always learn something.
As far as my favorite places in Portland, I like coffee and food:
Coffee: Barista, Coava
Food: Le Happy (crepes), Produce Row (gravy fries!), Papa Haydn (dessert)
Memorable experience: My very first event, a free concert at the Kennedy School!
I enjoy volunteering at the hostel ‘cuz the travelers appreciate having a local person show them sights and events around Portland that they normally wouldn’t have experienced. And leading the 4T gets me out for some exercise and fresh air!!!
My favorite park is Powell Butte Nature Park on the eastside. It’s close to the city with a very rural feel and great views. Rocky Butte, also on the eastside, has a great 360 degree view of downtown and out toward the Columbia River gorge. The Doug Fir Lounge and Aladdin Theater are great music venues. For food, I enjoy downscale Mexican, such as Muchas Gracias and Don Pedro- both local chains.
It is always entertaining to witness people’s reaction upon encountering the large local slugs on the 4T trail during the fall and winter seasons. Well, I suppose that you could eat them…
I like volunteering at the hostel (itself, a very nice place to stay) because I like to hike, and I like to meet travelers who enjoy sharing space as foreigners together. The traveling experience is usually emphasized by some social interaction that bonds foreign cultures too. Having decided to move to Portland after staying at both the SE and NW Hostels, I was very pleased and wanted to stay connected somehow. I’ve been nowhere else in the United States where there are so many things to see and do than here in Portland. I’ve taken two trips with fellow travelers from the hostel (aside from the weekly 4T hike) to the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls and the Eagle Creek Trail. This allows me to hike at a lesser cost by sharing it, and it allows me to make friends in neat locations, in the wild, so to speak. Belmont’s Horse Brass Pub is my favorite, since it has four dartboards and a fantastic selection of beers. I also like the Next Adventure stores for new and second hand camping gear, and the Portland Kayak Company for inexpensive rentals.
For information on some of my present hikes, see my website that I’m presently working on at http://beyondmegacity.
I like volunteering with the hostel because I get to meet people from different parts of the world, and learn new things about their lives and cultures. It also makes me feel a bit like I am on vacation with them!
Portland is an amazing place with so many things to do and see, it is hard to pick just a few favorites. I suppose some of my favorite spots would be Stumptown Coffee, Powell’s Bookstore, the Farmer’s Market and Saturday Market, and Mt. Tabor Park.
One of my favorite outings with a group from the hostel was with an English couple. We took them on our scheduled 4T hike and had such a good time together we ended up taking them to a Timbers game and then taking them to one of our favorite restaurants, Montage, afterwards. It was a great time and I was happy to be able to give them such a memorable experience here in Portland!
I like volunteering because I simply enjoy walking around Portland and getting to share some history with visitors. Another plus to volunteering is meeting people and hearing about their own towns and countries.
Here in Portland, I enjoy hiking in Forest Park (especially on hot days), walking around the Willamette River Esplanade and then recuperating at Newport Seafood Grill’s happy hour on the patio, and browsing in Powell’s Bookstore.
I enjoy volunteering at the hostel because it is always refreshing to be around travelers. Travelers are always interesting and up for a good laugh. I have many great memories from traveling. Most of them involve never having a plan, which leads to an amazing day. I got to be a sheepherder for a couple of days. I really just had to stand in one spot (in a pretty field) and make a noise every now and again. Easiest money I ever made.
Some of my favorite places in Portland include Laurelthirst Public House (6pm free music almost every night with an entertaining, loyal, and local crowd), the Bye and Bye for great vegan food, the spicy margaritas at Neustra Cocina, and fresh, authentic Mexican food at Por Que No. For a yummy slice of pie I head to Random Order, and for a cup of freshly brewed coffee I like Ristretto Roasters. Nice outdoor spots? Laurelhurst Park and Forest Park.
Some of my favorite spots in Portland? The Horse Brass Pub, Alberta Rose Theater, and Jeld-Wen Field. LET’S GO TIMBERS!
Twelve years ago, I was on a mission to find the area of the country that I felt I could call home; and the lure of the mountains was calling me. My future husband I (we are both from Grand Rapids, MI), scoured the country, heard countless great things about Portland, and headed out here to vacation in 2000. Needless to say, we were hooked (as well as being guests at this very hostel).
I love being a a hostel volunteer because I believe every traveler brings a new perspective; whether they are a domestic or global traveler. I also love to share the excitement of showing off my adopted city, and all the wonderful scenery, culture and uniqueness that it has to offer.
Favorite spots in town…the Japanese Garden, local wineries, Nicholas restaurant (and too many other eateries to mention), Wonder Ballroom, Aladdin Theatre, Forest Park, and my favorite master brewer…my hubby of course!
I enjoy contributing to others’ travel experiences by giving tours of my absolute favorite neighborhood in Portland, Nob Hill. I also get to meet & learn from some really cool hostelers who are as excited about traveling & backpacking as I am!
I enjoy doing many things in Portland but if I had to scale my list down I would include going to any festival happening at the Waterfront or Pioneer Square, taking in the beautiful views from Portland City Grill, reading or studying at a local cafe, enjoying an amazing Tamarind Sour at Pok Pok, shopping for quirky trinkets at Cargo, & going to yoga in the Pearl district.
I love running outside, The Grotto, & live music at McMenamins during the summer.
Here is our current schedule of events. Click on the event name in the calendar to find out more information. Below the calendar are descriptions of our most common activities.
Become a Volunteer
We are always looking for new volunteers to join our volunteer team and show travelers the unique side of Portland.
Are you outgoing? Do you enjoy exploring Portland? Are you interested in leading a group of international travelers on a variety of activities, including walking tours, pub crawls, hikes, outdoor concerts, festivals and more?? We are looking for you! Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com for more information.
Information for Current Volunteers
Below is the unscheduled events calendar. Please take a look at what activities are availabale to lead for the current month.
Contact Tessah with any questions.