Active Southern West Virginia looking for volunteers in Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, and Summers counties

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Active Southern West Virginia (Active SWV) Community Captains are champions of their communities who want to lead others to healthier and active lifestyles. They remove barriers preventing people in our community from being active by providing free weekly and monthly physical activity programs and have fun along the way. Activities range from walking and running groups to Tai Chi and yoga. The activity a Community Captain leads depends on what resources are in their community and the skills and interest of the Community Captain. A Community Captain volunteers their time and is continually supported by the staff at Active SWV throughout Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, and Summers counties.

Free Training

Each of the Active SWV Community Captains are provided leadership training designed specifically to help them confidently lead a safe and informative physical activity program. Training includes, CPR and First Aid certification, one on one program development, social media training, and on-going support and encouragement from our Active SWV team. Additional professional training and certifications will be offered as each program grows.

The 2018 training class will be held May 4th and 5th at the Bank of Glen Jean, on Main Street in Glen Jean WV. Classes will begin at 8:30 am with training presentations by Active SWV and the National Park Service. Lunch will be provided. Check out the Active SWV 2018 Community Captain Training Facebook event page for more details on how to sign up for training.

Get Active in the Park; Powered by Active SWV Community Captains

The National Park Service and Active Southern West Virginia have teamed up to bring you Get Active in the Park, an innovative partnership to provide free, beginner-level instruction to the New River Gorge region in outdoor activities like walking groups, hiking, biking, yoga, rocking climbing, stand up paddle boarding, tai chi, fly fishing, hiking, and more. This program is led by trained Community Captains that volunteer to lead their favorite outdoor activity, building a network of neighbors committed to using outdoor spaces for health and wellness.

Two Ways to Volunteer; Weekly Activities and Bi-Monthly Activities

Weekly activities in and around a volunteer’s home town works best for walking groups where there are no equipment needs and the Community Captain volunteers can receive one-on-one Leadership Training at a time and place convenient to them.

National Park Based Programs are for volunteers who want to lead bi-monthly outdoor recreation activities within the New River Gorge National River, our backyard National Park. This programming typically requires some equipment and the training is a mandatory one-day training held on May 4th and CPR/First Aid training on May 5th. This training will cover the Active SWV Leadership Training and the NRG National River Ranger presentation. Upon completion of this training, volunteers will become Active SWV Community Captains in the Get Active in the Park program.

Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience and there are many benefits to volunteering in your area.

  • Volunteering helps connect you with new friends and contacts and can help increase your social and relationship skills.
  • Volunteering is also great for your mental and physical health. It can counteract stress, anger, and anxiety. It can combat depression and make you happy by increasing self-confidence and providing a sense of purpose. It can help you stay physically active and it is important to remember that even with limited mobility you can still volunteer to help yourself and your community.
  • Volunteering can also help advance your career by gaining new job skills and valuable experience. Some of the most valuable skills that you will gain while volunteering is compassion, positive attitude, open mind, and willingness to do whatever is needed.
  • Volunteering can bring fun and fulfillment to your life, so get the entire family involved. Children watch everything going on around them and learn from those experiences. Teaching them how powerfully beneficial volunteering can be will help them grow as a person.

Volunteer are needed are needed to teach these programs:

Fly Fishing

Group Exercise


Walking Groups

Tai Chi

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Guiding Hikes

Trail Running

Rock Climbing

Trail Bicycling



Group Fitness

We are always interested in new physical activity program, if you have an idea for a program that is not on this list let us know. We can work with you to get training in something you are interested in or already have skill in.

Teaching experience is NOT necessary, as volunteers will be provided with training and/or certification on May 4th and 5th. If you have interest in teaching any of these programs, contact or 304-254-8488 to learn more.

Sponsored Content
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at