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Capital Area Master Naturalists

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What Counts?

The following is from the CAMN Operating Handbook:

To preserve the goals and direction of the TMN program, prevent conflict, and ensure that all or most volunteers are aware of each activity, CAMN requires committee approval to be obtained for all volunteer service.

Approval Process

New activities must be submitted for approval in writing using this form for AT, this form for VS,  or emailing preapprovals@CAMN.org. The activity will be submitted to the committee for approval. Please include the following information:

  • Location
  • Date/time
  • Sponsoring organization (if appropriate)
  • Contact information (At least one person to contact for further information, directions to site, etc.)
  • Description of the activity
  • Special considerations such as equipment, water, restroom availability, etc.
  • The activity must have 3 approvals from committee members to be approved by CAMN. On rare occasions, the Chair may elect to bring the activity to the attention of the Board for a decision. This may delay approval, so that prior approval is not possible.

Criteria for approval are:

  • the activity must further the mission of CAMN
  • the activity must use the volunteer’s specialized knowledge or provide useful experience in a naturalist field.

If prior approval is not possible, a CAMN member may decide to participate in that activity with the knowledge that the activity is not guaranteed to be approved. Such activity may be submitted for approval at a later date.

Work on projects outside of Texas will not be approved as volunteer service.

Committee Work

Service on CAMN committees, as well as on the TMN State Advisory Committee, and the Volunteer Representatives Council, counts hour for hour as CAMN volunteer service. However, volunteers are encouraged to diversify their activities and allow the large workload of running this organization to be spread thinly and evenly among members.

Travel time

CAMN members are encouraged to concentrate their volunteer service hours on projects within their community. Currently travel time is limited to 1.5 hours per volunteer activity.  Under certain unusual circumstances, longer travel time may be allowed on a case by case basis, but this requires prior approval and is rarely granted.

Travel time is never allowed for Advanced Training.

Reporting Volunteer hours

All hours are to be reported through the Volunteer Management System (VMS) portal, run by the state office and Texas Parks and Wildlife. See VMS for more info.

Other Guidelines

CAMN Chapter meetings may be logged as .5 hours Volunteer Service using the code CB: Chapter Meetings in addition to the 1 hour allowed of AT if there is a speaker.  (revised 6/23)

Volunteers may receive unsolicited gifts or small amounts of money (as for travel expenses) for CAMN volunteer activities, but may not request remuneration either for themselves, or for CAMN. Members may not receive CAMN service hours if they are being compensated as part of their regular employment or as a paid consultant.

Volunteers may elect to volunteer for multiple organizations. However, when volunteers must accrue hours for a certification, rank designation, etc. (such as a Certified Master Gardener), time must be counted for one organization or the other, or split among the organizations. This is to maintain the integrity of each organization when we use these volunteer hours as “match” money in applying for grants.


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