A team of volunteers monitors the most popular cam in Yellowstone.

Volunteerism is rewarding for countless Montanans who donate their time to causes they support. Giving back is a great way for people to feel more involved in their communities or with charitable organizations.

Every case of volunteerism is important, but we may have found one of the most interesting volunteer positions ever... the team of volunteers who control the webcam pointed at Yellowstone National Park's most famous feature.

View from the Upper Geyser Basin webcam at YNP. Credit NPS.
View from the Upper Geyser Basin webcam at YNP. Credit NPS.

There is only one remote-controlled webcam in the Park.

There are nine cams in Yellowstone Park; eight of them are referred to as static cams. This means they are set in a fixed position and typically update a new image every 60 seconds. These cameras do not zoom or pan directions. But ONE camera, the cam at Old Faithful has remote control capabilities.

A team of thirteen National Park Service volunteers watch the Old Faithful cam remotely, from sun up to sun down. The camera view is often pointed towards the geyser when it's expected to blow. Still, these volunteers from across the US spend all day watching for opportunities to zoom in on wildlife that wanders into view or other camera-worthy views, as seen in this example shared by the NPS below.

Can't get to the Park? Click on a cam.

Yellowstone National Park webcams are a quick virtual getaway. I spent at least 20 minutes today with the Upper Geyser Basin cam streaming on a window at my desk, waiting to catch Old Faithful erupt.

She was a few minutes late for her 10:51 AM appointment, but I didn't mind. I do wish the camera had an audio feed too. Half of the experience of Old Faithful is listening to the sudden blast of heat, water, and steam as it routinely erupts, day after day.

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