Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dig at Wiawaka: Summer Volunteer Opportunities


We are looking for volunteers to help excavate at Wiawaka Holiday House at the southern end of Lake George, New York. We will be documenting the early years of the Holiday House by looking at the materials the visitors and organizers left behind. Wiawaka Holiday House was founded in 1903 to provide affordable vacations for the working women in the factories of Troy and Cohoes, New York.

No previous archaeological experience is necessary; you will learn archaeological techniques hands-on at the site. All equipment will be provided.

Please agree to volunteer for 3 or more days; 18 years of age or older only.

Accommodation and meals are available at Wiawaka Holiday House for a fee.* There is no charge to volunteer.

What can you expect? We will be excavating at areas on-site where evidence of Wiawaka’s early years is expected. Excavation involves the following physical activities: crouching or kneeling on the ground for long periods of time, occasional shoveling, lifting buckets of dirt to pour it into a screen, shaking the screen to separate artifacts from the soil, and filling the hole back in once all the information has been recovered. We will spend 8 hours a day Monday through Friday excavating, taking one hour for lunch in the middle of the day. Instruction will include archaeological methods, note taking, and basic artifact identification and interpretation. Rain day volunteers are more than welcome to help process artifacts in the lab. Participants can either purchase lunch at Wiawaka* or pack a lunch to eat on-site. There is no smoking permitted anywhere on Wiawaka property.

Excavation Dates: 
June 3 through June 28, 2013 and July 15 through July 26, 2013

Megan Springate, excavation director, is a PhD student at the University of Maryland.

For information and to sign up for this unique opportunity, contact Megan Springate at or 732-768-2985

* Volunteers are welcome to stay overnight at Wiawaka for $75 per night prior to June 19. Meals are available only after June 19th. After June 19th, the room rate is $110 weekdays and $125 weekends, including meals. Volunteers who wish to purchase meals onsite after June 19th may do so: $8 for breakfast, $12 for lunch, $16 for dinner.