Youth volunteers

A group of Macgyvers taking a selfie with a bald cypress tree.
While most volunteers are over the age of 21, there are several options for teens and youth to contribute at The Morton Arboretum.
  • Teens age 16 and older who assist with weekend and special events programs year-around
  • High school and college service groups that assist with weekend special events year-around
  • Eagle Scout and Gold Award candidates and their troops
  • The Macgyvers Children's Garden youth volunteers 

Macgyvers: The Morton Arboretum Children’s Garden Youth Volunteers

Who can be a Macgyver?
  • Youth entering 7th, 8th, or 9th grade in the fall of 2017, who enjoy being outdoors, working with children, and/or gardening
Where do Macgyvers volunteer?         
  • Primarily within the four-acre Children's Garden at The Morton Arboretum
What do Macgyvers do?
  • Naturalist Macgyvers—interact with Children's Garden guests and facilitate hands-on activities
  • Gardening Macgyvers—assist in planting garden beds and containers, harvest edible products, and care for landscaped areas of the Children's Garden
Why become a Macgyver?
  • To have a great time working with kids and Arboretum Staff in a unique and exciting outdoor setting. 
  • To help The Morton Arboretum, a world-class institution, be the very best it can be by providing quality, outdoor experiences for guests.
  • To make friends, work with Arboretum Staff, learn what goes on behind-the-scenes of the Arboretum, and have a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • To develop skills in public speaking, early childhood education, and environmental interpretation (Naturalists.)
  • To develop skills in gardening including soil management, garden design, plant selection, harvesting, pest control, and ornamental gardening (Gardeners).
How do I become a Macgyver?
  • You and your adult guardian must attend a mandatory orientation in April. We'll explain both branches of the Macgyver program, tour the Children's Garden and answer your questions. If you are interested in becoming a youth volunteer, you will choose a branch that evening, fill out an application and sign up for an interview for the following week. If you are chosen as a participant in the program, please note that there are mandatory training dates in May.
How do I sign up for Macgyver Orientation?
  • Contact the Children’s Garden for more information on upcoming April orientation at 630-719-4887 or email
  • Don't forget to bring your guardian with you to our orientation night. Parents are asked to remain with their child the entire evening.
What days and times can I volunteer?
  • Macgyvers volunteer in the Children's Garden from June-October each year. Both Naturalists and Gardeners will have specific volunteer schedules that will be outlined at the Orientation. 



Support for the Macgyver Program is provided by U.S. Bank, DuPage Foundation, and The Brinson Foundation.