There are many rewarding opportunities on how to become involved and support Mission San Juan Capistrano. We invite you to join our Mission volunteer family and become an active volunteer working with others who are committed to preserving the Mission for future generations. There are many ways in which you can give back as a volunteer including:
Docents: Comprised of individuals with a strong sense of history, a passion for remembering it, and the ability to share it with others and provide field trip inspiration to thousands of fourth graders.
Gardening Angels: This group of volunteers can be found every Wednesday morning pruning, fertilizing, and planting to make the gardens look their best for visitors. These volunteers also support weekly garden tours.
The Guild: This special group of volunteers assist in the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of the Mission and promote this landmark for future generations by fundraising and volunteering for special activities at the Mission.
Special Events: Volunteer at Mission events in new and fun ways serving the public.
We invite you to complete an Application and attend a Volunteer Orientation session to learn more about ways you can get involved as a volunteer.
Become a Volunteer
Interested in becoming a volunteer at Mission San Juan Capistrano?
Please click on the link above and complete the application. You will then be added to the waiting list. Currently we are not accepting new volunteers but hope to be able to later in the year. At that time we will send out information about next steps.
All prospective volunteers must attend this open house and required to attend training before serving on the Mission grounds. Following the open house, prospective volunteers will be required to participate in an interview with staff members as well as guest engagement training. All applicants will also be required to follow our Code of Ethics.
Thank you for your interest in joining the Mission San Juan Capistrano family of volunteers, a group of individuals committed to preserving the past for generations to come!
For questions, please contact Jessica Crossman, Director of Education and Volunteers:
Phone: (949) 234-1320
Have you ever wondered about those people you see around the Mission with the black hats and various red & black attire? These are our Mission San Juan Docents. Docents make California history come alive for over 50,000 school children and adults each year. If you love history, have a natural curiosity, enjoy people and like sharing with others, this may be a volunteer position for you!
The Mission Docents are comprised of individuals with a strong sense of history, a passion for remembering it, and the ability to share it with others.
Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano, said: “Docents have the opportunity to change a student’s perspective from one that thinks history is boring to one that views history as interesting. As I still remember my 4th grade field trip to this mission, it inspired me to care about history. Unfortunately here at the Mission, we don’t have enough docents and hope that we can attract more interesting people who want to make a difference through docent work.”
In order to become one of the Mission San Juan Capistrano Docents, individuals must participate in all four of the scheduled training classes, one-on-one training with a Docent mentor, as well as complete observations of other Docent tours. The entire process can be completed within eight weeks of the first training class.
The Mission San Juan Capistrano Docents have been in existence for 28 years. The purpose of the Docents is to educate and inform the visitors about Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Thanks to the committed efforts of the Gardening Angels, the gardens of Mission San Juan Capistrano have undergone a remarkable transformation. When the group was formed, the Mission grounds desperately needed help. There were struggling rose bushes and dusty clumps of birds of paradise, but mostly there was bare earth. Now there are well-tended roses, perennials, herbs, succulents, flowering shrubs and hollyhocks in abundance. The grounds have become the work of passionate, skilled gardeners, offering plenty of ideas for beautiful plant combinations.
The tender loving care of the Gardening Angels played a key role in naming Mission San Juan Capistrano “The Jewel of the Missions.” Come visit the demonstration vegetable garden featuring a pumpkin patch, tomatoes, and other edible items “home grown on the grounds.”
Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence-Adams credits the Mission’s volunteer garden club, the Gardening Angels, “for making the Mission’s beautiful gardens elegant.” The 35-member club can be found on the grounds each Wednesday morning pruning, mulching, fertilizing, planting and doing whatever else is necessary to make the Mission gardens look their best for visitors. “We think of ourselves as ‘spiffers’ of the Mission gardens,” explains Jan Sorensen, Gardening Angels’ President. The group’s biggest rewards, she notes, are the many compliments the gardens have received from visitors.
Mission San Juan Capistrano’s Guild, was founded March of 1993. This special group of volunteers assist in the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of the Mission and promote this landmark for future generations by fundraising and volunteering for special activities at the Mission. During the past twenty-five years, the Guild has provided countless hours of volunteering on behalf of Mission San Juan Capistrano.
The Guild’s crowning achievement was the publication of a beautiful, prize winning cookbook in 2007 (Tabasco National Winner, Community Cookbook Award). The sale of the book through the ensuing years has generated over $300,000 for preservation.
The Guild was founded in March 1993. At present we have 41 members. We meet monthly on the third Wednesday. The Guild engages in various fundraising events September through December and February through June. In March we host our annual Membership Tea in the Soldier’s Barracks on the Mission Grounds. During July and August, members continue their volunteer work at the Mission’s popular Music Under The Stars series of concerts and other events.
Special Events Volunteer
Special events volunteers help make the Mission’s events come alive. These volunteers are key to the Mission’s special events, such as the Battle of the Mariachis, Music Under the Stars, and St. Joseph’s Day. Ideal special events volunteers enjoy working both behind the scenes to help prepare for and reset after events as well as working with the Mission staff and general public during events to help ensure that the events run smoothly.
Support Mission San Juan Capistrano and Save!
Member benefits include free daily admission and other exclusive perks.: Join