Volunteer Recreational Safety Instructor

Why volunteers are necessary

  • Because there are not enough conservation officers to conduct training in every community in the state. Although conservation officers are active in the recreational safety programs, they generally do not have enough time to conduct entire training classes along with their many other duties.
  • Volunteers provide skills or expertise otherwise not available within the agency. Examples of such skills include professional teaching experience, safety specialty training and specialty training in outdoor recreation.
  • Volunteers are often well-established local citizens who can help create community interest in the course. They usually have extensive local contacts, are aware of community needs and can facilitate setting up local classes 

What the program offers the instructors

  • It provides the instructor with the means of helping make a safe sport even safer.
  • It provides the instructor with an avenue of input into the statewide recreational safety programs.
  • It offers the volunteer an opportunity to help others and serve the community.
  • It provides the instructor with the means to help ensure the future of outdoor recreation in Michigan.
  • It provides the instructor an income tax deduction which may be claimed, provided proper records are maintained 

The value recreational safety programs provide to the public

  • The programs develop hunters, boaters, snowmobilers and ORV riders who act safely and responsibly.
  • The programs help to reduce outdoor recreation-related accidents and wildlife violations.
  • The programs encourage recognition of outdoor sports as viable recreational activities.
  • The program provides an understanding of the importance of outdoor recreation and conserving our natural resources.

Instructor Certification Qualifications

An individual desiring certification as a volunteer instructor with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' recreational safety programs shall meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be a high school graduate or possess a graduate equivalency diploma (GED).
  • Have no felony convictions.
  • Have no misdemeanor convictions within the past three (3) years.
  • Have no natural resource law convictions that result in the revocation of hunting or trapping license privileges within the last five (5) years. (Other convictions of natural resource law violations are subject to review and may result in the rejection of any application.)
  • Maintain a high moral and ethical character to pass the required background investigations.
  • Be a graduate of the appropriate recreational safety course.

How Do I Apply to Become an Instructor?

1. Download the Recreational Safety Instructor application form here.

2. Fax your completed application to 517-373-6816; or mail your application to:

PO BOX 30031

3. A minimum score of 85 percent is required to pass the test. Re-testing is allowed at the option of the department.

4. Complete and submit application and test as required.