Prairiewoods is a thriving retreat and conference center because of its volunteers. If you would like to join our much-appreciated rank of helpers, please contact Marj English, OSF, at 319-395-6700, ext. 216, or

Below are job descriptions for the main areas in which volunteers help Prairiewoods grow. Special projects that require additional help can be found in the Volunteer Newsletter, which is emailed during the last week of each month. To receive the Volunteer Newsletter via email, contact Andi Lewis at

Housekeeping volunteers help the Prairiewoods housekeeper (Linda Koehler) maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the buildings. Types of tasks you might perform include:

  •  Wash and dry laundry in provided machines
  • Fold laundry and restock rooms and linen closets
  • Dust
  • Sweep
  • Wash windows
  • Clean base boards, fans and screens

Kitchen volunteers help the cook (Diane Welp) provide fresh, nutritious meals to our guests. Types of tasks you might perform include:

  • Assist in light meal preparation, such as pealing vegetables, slicing and dicing
  • Pour water, lemonade and tea at meal times
  • Grind and make coffee
  • Run the dish washing machine
  • Put dishes away
  • Restock the pop refrigerator, pantry shelves and silverware containers
  • Fill salt and pepper shakers
  • Fold napkins
  • Sweep the kitchen floor

Maintenance volunteers help the maintenance coordinator (Cliff Schueler) keep the buildings, grounds and equipment maintained appropriately. Types of tasks you might perform include:

  • Mow and weed whack in summer
  • Remove snow in winter
  • Stain and seal
  • Paint
  • Repair broken items
  • Construct needed items

Media Center
Media Center volunteers help the media center staff (Betty Daugherty, FSPA) provide library services for our guests. Types of tasks you might perform include:

  • Put sign-out cards into materials and re-shelve
  • Contact individuals with overdue items

Office volunteers serve as the office staff on weekends and evenings to welcome and provide assistance to Prairiewoods’ guests. Office volunteers are coordinated by Rita Heires, FSPA. Types of tasks you might perform include:

  • Meet and greet guests at the receptionist’s desk
  • Collect program fees and process gift shop purchases
  • Answer telephone calls
  • Field guest questions
  • Shred unneeded papers
  • Make copies for guests or staff
  • Fold napkins for the kitchen

Outdoor volunteers help the Ecospirituality Coordinator (Emy Sautter) keep the grounds beautiful, ecologically healthy and productive. Types of tasks you might perform include:

  • Rake, plant herbs and vegetables, build mulch beds and mulch raspberries in the vegetable garden
  • Plant and weed in the flower gardens
  • Mulch, chip, gather seeds, remove invasive species, prune, cut down trees and trim trees (chain saw experience appreciated) in the woods, on the prairie and on the trails

Prayer Ministry
Prayer ministry partners use the prayer book outside the Prairiewoods Meditation Room to hold up the intentions of Prairiewoods guests, volunteers and staff. Within the covers of that prayer book are pages and pages of life stories, including requests for help in getting through a divorce, for getting a work permit, for a parent dealing with the suicide of a child. Prayer ministry volunteers are coordinated by Sue Bergman. Types of tasks you might perform include:

  • Use the Meditation Room at a set time (perhaps once every 2 weeks)
  • Pray for intentions written in the prayer book since you were last here