Help with projects at my home in the Boise National Forest in southern Idaho, USA


United States


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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Hello! I live in Idaho City, which is in the Boise National Forest in southern Idaho. If you love mountains, pine trees, streams, wildlife, and the serenity of nature then this is where you want to be! And if that’s not enough, there is a hot springs spa 2 miles from my house. I moved here from Minnesota in September '18 after my only child went away to college, and have been renovating the place ever since. Renovation help would be great as there is much left to do, but I could also really use: a) a volunteer to help with housecleaning and organization, b) someone for several computer-based projects, and/or c) landscaping help. Generally I am looking for volunteers to stay 1-3 weeks, but a longer stay is possible for someone with the right skillset. I have a 40-pound huskypoo pup named Hagrid (born July 2019). He is sweet, loving and rambunctious, so volunteers should be dog lovers.

    A little about me: Since high school I have worked as a technology teacher, art teacher, nanny, administrative assistant, and I also ran a bed and breakfast for several years. I would describe myself as an extroverted nerd who is also creative, friendly, and optimistic. I'm about to turn 58 and although that seems pretty old when I write it out here, I feel young on the inside and relate well to people of all ages. It could be due to my unsinkable sense of humor, or my puppy, who makes me smile throughout the day.

    Volunteers from everywhere are welcome, and I’d be happy to show you our little bit of Idaho paradise (I've got extra snow shoes and cross-country skis/poles (you would have to provide ski boots)). I love learning about how people in other parts of the world live, and have been fortunate to travel to Iceland, England, Wales, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Costa Rica, and Mexico. I’ve loved every one of those places, and it would be wonderful to make friends and have an opportunity to visit the volunteers who have helped me here, and maybe offer my own services in return.

    If mountain living sounds appealing, please reach out. Cheers!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Mountain life is peaceful and gorgeous and the people here are so friendly! If you love the outdoors, hiking, rock-hunting, mountain biking, fishing, snowshoeing and x-country skiing, etc., you will love Idaho City. It is a very small historic mining town (pop. approx. 450) 35 miles north of Boise, ID. My place is walking distance to the historic downtown, mountain trails, public library, ranger station, shops with antiques, collectibles, ice cream, groceries, and more! My 2 puppies are awesome, and if you are a dog lover you're welcome to play with them or take them for walks. We live a block from a beautiful mountain trail that you can hike or mountain-bike on in summer, and snowshoe or cross-country ski on in winter. I've got some extra snow shoes and cross-country skis/poles, though if you were going to ski you'd probably need boots (for SNS bindings). We do get a LOT of snow in winter!

  • Help


    Current projects include:

    Boardwalk: I started it last fall but need to finish after the snow melts and ground unfreezes (May or June). No experience necessary, I just need a couple of extra hands! My house is sort of an old-west style, with boardwalks under covered porches so you can access all parts of the house in winter (did I mention we get a lot of snow?).

    Fence: A huge chunk of snow and ice slid off the roof in January, cracking a fence rail underneath in two. I realized then that the fence design must be sturdier, so this project includes replacing the broken rail, pulling the wire fencing off the posts and installing wood pickets instead.

    Computer-based projects: 1) load music (approx. 100) cds to an external hard drive; 2) enter 2019 receipts into spreadsheet to prepare for next year's tax return (spreadsheet is created and has been started); 3) Internet research looking for activities in my area to add to the website (I have a 2-room inn); 4) creating Ebay listings for items to sell online (you would earn 50% of each net sale); and/or 5) some graphics work consisting of updating area maps of the town and surrounding trails.

    Indoor renovation projects: build a shelf in the kitchen, install an interior door, lay a subfloor and linoleum in a bathroom, some small trimming, and a few other small projects. (Volunteer doesn't need lots of experience, mostly I just need another set of hands.)

    Landscaping: I've been collecting gorgeous rocks (Idaho is the gem state) to use in building a dry creek bed in June 2020. This will involve collecting more rocks and putting in the creek bed, then planting around it. I'm also going to plant ground cover as soon as weather permits, enhancing the rock garden, and a few other smaller projects around the yard.

    I've got all necessary tools, but you should have your own work gloves, a sturdy pair of shoes and snow boots Nov-May.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    Volunteers are provided with a private bedroom (queen bed, smart tv, built-in usb ports, sitting area) and bathroom. There is wifi and a comfortable shared living area. Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the property. I will provide food during your stay, but if you have a specialized diet I ask that you provide whatever you need for that. Sorry, no pets. I also ask volunteers to clean their room prior to leaving, leaving it in the same condition as they found it.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Volunteers can visit the beautiful Idaho City Hot Springs Spa, walk from our house to hike, ski, snowshoe, or bicycle, and visit the historic downtown that still looks like an old west mining town. There is a mining museum, a large old cemetery in the woods, a ranger station in town, plus several shops, restaurants and a coffee shop, and ice cream parlor. In warmer months I love digging up beautiful quartz, granite, gem stones, etc., and I even have a pan you can take to the stream to pan for gold! Also, Boise is 35 miles south of us, and with a population of 226,000, it has anything you'd look for in a bigger city. A swimsuit and water shoes will be essential if you want to explore some of the natural hot springs located within an hour or so from town!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Me and Hagrid Feb '20
Living Room (hang-out space)
Hagrid, my adorable huskypoo puppy
Hagrid, the master of his domain (until anyone else comes along because he wouldn't dream of stepping on anyone's toes)
This is the trail we hike each day. It is at the end of our block and we love it!
Mountain stream that follows the trail near our house. Cool off on a summer day, or even pan for gold (I have pans)!

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