What better way to dedicate yourself to volunteer service than to volunteer at camp! Check with the directors of each camp to see about helping with the physical upkeep needs of each site, and which events need counselors, health care providers, and camp resource volunteers.
Because our camps strive to be safe sanctuaries for children and vulnerable adults, all volunteer staff must complete the (5) steps outlined below:
Any volunteer over the age of 18 who could have unsupervised contact with with children, youth, or vulnerable adults must initiate the process for a confidential criminal background check to be completed for Camp & Retreat Ministries of Oregon & Idaho. This check is required every year.
(3) Download, Complete and Send in your Health form directly to the site where you will be volunteering.
(4) Attend training and planning sessions offered at the site and with the leader of your event.
(5) Commit yourself to be present to the ministry of the site. Whether you are working with a small group children or youth, leading an adult retreat, or helping with the physical upkeep of a site, your committed participation is valued.
Looking for volunteer forms, handbooks and resources?
Please visit our Volunteer Resources page.
As a counselor, you will be responsible for a group of 4–6 campers. This means being a part of group living, camp chores, informal devotional encounters, and deepening experiences of fellowship. The counselor and campers together turn the events of everyday living into meaningful Christian community.
Mainline denominational Connection:
Some connection to a mainline denomination (for example, the United Methodist or Episcopal Church) is helpful, but not required. Certainly you must be in tune with our core process of helping people grow intentionally as Christian disciples—reaching out to all people, beginning or deepening relationships with God, sending people forth in mission, doing love and justice ministries.
Talents and Skills:
It is helpful if counselors can lead in areas of handicrafts, music, Bible stories, recreation, nature study, and camp crafts; but the primary prerequisite is a willingness to share God's love with children and youth.
Young, middle-aged, and senior adults are all needed as counselors. Our children and youth need the wisdom that comes with maturity, as well as the enthusiasm of younger adults. Our deans seek to pair counselors with complimentary skills and energy levels.
Counselors for primary, younger and older elementary camps are required to be at least 16 years of age or have completed our Counselor-in-Training (CIT) or Counselor Certification program. Middle school counselors must be 17 or older, and senior high counselors must be at least 21 years old. A CIT is a person who is receiving training to be a counselor at a week-long summer camp working with children 7–12 years old. We highly recommend all new counselors from any UMOI camp to attend the Counselor Certification Training weekend in the spring. Dates for this event are usually posted by the first of each new year. In this training, counselors are trained and/or refreshed on camping policies and are given tools for how best to counsel campers using the mission of our conference.
For more information about counselor training, contact the directors of the site you are interested in working at.
Counselor and Dean Training weekends are offered in the Spring of each year. Dates for that event are posted by the first of each new year. This event is highly encouraged for anyone considering serving at any UMOI camping and retreat center. Each site may also host additional training opportunities; please contact site directors for the camps you are interested in serving with for specific information. Participation is also expected at the pre-camp staff training time the Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning before your campers arrive.
Each camp provides counselors with nourishing food, a place to sleep, and great new friends to work with. Counselors provide their own towels, toiletries, sleeping bags or bedding. The camping program pays for your lodging, food, and a portion of your travel.