Each year, volunteers collectively and very generously give tens of thousands of hours to Camp Encourage. Without these volunteers and their gifts of time and talent, Camp Encourage would not be able to offer our campers the quality experience they deserve. Join the volunteer efforts of Camp Encourage!
Many roles are available year round as well as during each camp session. We are happy to accommodate volunteer groups and organize corporate volunteer outings. For questions or arrangements, call 816.830.7171 or email Aimee Gorrow at email@example.com.
Expectations of all volunteers: A volunteer must understand that he or she will need to put the needs of the campers before his or her own needs, must be very reliable and trustworthy, and must be willing and able to exude our mission and our values at all times.
Volunteers gather prior to each session to complete a variety of preparation tasks to gear up for Camp Encourage. A group also gathers together to move our supplies from our office to camp and placing coordinating tubs with activity locations. Not only are these crucial details to ensure that each moment at camp run as smoothly as feasible, completing the tasks ends up being pretty fun gathering with other volunteers, parents, past campers, and supporters as we iron out the behind-the-scenes necessities.
Tasks may include inventorying materials, laminating, assembling volunteer notebooks, shopping for camp supplies from a detailed list (and with Camp Encourage funds), organizing materials, preparing name tags, preparing visual schedules for the campers, sorting tee shirts, and more.
To join the goodness prior to our camps, please click below to access the sign up sheet for days leading up to our upcoming camp sessions!
An especially rewarding experience is that of sharing your time with the special campers during the week of Camp Encourage! Some roles are available for a portion of the week while others are designed to be roles for the entire stay.
2023 Camp Dates
July 22-23 (alumni reunion, ages 19+)
For all camp volunteer roles listed below, a Volunteer Application will need to be submitted.
Those that serve full time at camp will be required to attend an orientation prior to camp.
Counselor positions are typically the most rewarding camp experiences for staff members. It is recommended that counselors remain at camp during the entire session. Each counselor is assigned to a camper or small group of campers depending on the needs of the children and youth. Counselors accompany the campers to all of the daily activities and reside overnight with the children in an air-conditioned cabin. This is a unique opportunity for students or professionals that work in the field to experience (to a very small extent) what it is like to live with a person on the autism spectrum. Life long friendships and professional connections often develop during this experience and we feel confident that many will describe it as one of the most valuable of their lives.
Counselor in Training (CIT)
Between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, a CIT serves in the role of a counselor (described above) but is under the support and guidance of another seasoned camp counselor. Please note that there will only be a small number of CIT roles available.
An Activity Facilitator plans and facilitates daily activities in his or her area and/or areas of expertise (i.e. sensory, art, social development, campfire songs, music activities, yoga, relaxation strategies, self-advocacy, self-esteem) for the campers. These volunteers can give their time for a portion of a day, a portion of the week, or for the entire session.
The Photographer is in charge of taking photos of daily activities using the camp's digital camera (or his/her own). He or she will also assist in preparing the slideshow which is shown at the closing of camp to all campers and their families.
Medically Trained Professional
Medically Trained Professionals reside overnight to assist with any medical needs. These individuals are in charge of collecting and distributing prescription and over-the-counter medications and will be under the loving direction of our staff Lead Nurse. Important: these volunteers need to have certification to administer medications in the state of Missouri.
Each volunteer will be given all needed materials as well as an instruction sheet for the activity the volunteer will oversee. Examples of the activities include: a dunk tank, making and handing out snow cones, trivia questions, cookie decorating, and other traditional carnival activities. As campers rotate through the carnival, these volunteers will support and encourage campers (that will be accompanied by camp counselors) and will also have the pleasure of distributing carnival prizes. To sign up for one or both of this year's carnival/s, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click HERE.
These helpful individuals assist our staff in unloading (or loading) camp supplies and/or distributing (or collecting) all supplies where they need to be within our campgrounds. If kindly able to help in this role, email us at email@example.com.
Arrival and/or Departure Volunteer
These volunteers assist as campers arrive and/or during departure procedures. This may include holding a sign to greet campers as they enter the campgrounds, checking documentation, checking each off while arriving, checking identification for parent pick up, and more. If interested in this special role, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occasionally we like to have a little fun, too. Our event planning efforts have both large and small tasks, depending on your availability. If interested in volunteering to support either event, please contact our Events Coordinator.
Evening With The 'Rents
Volunteer the night of 'Rents. Opportunities include: assisting at the registration table, selling raffle tickets, setting up a snack table, photographing the event (and posting on our social media pages), escorting VIP ticket holders, and breaking down / cleaning up at the end of the night. A sign up will be posted here when available.
S'Mores & Pours
Committee members help with tasks ranging from marketing, finding donations for the auction, to helping with decorations and menu planning. Meetings are held about once at month at the Camp Encourage office.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board meets at least quarterly, but occasionally more. The Board is responsible for governance and policy-making, including decision making on Human Resources, Finance, Programming, Development (raising funds), and Technology.
Each Board Member is expected to
- regularly attend board meetings and important related meetings.
- make a commitment to participate actively in committee work.
- participate in fundraising for the organization.
- volunteer for and/or accept assignments while completing them thoroughly and on time.
- stay informed about committee matters, prepare themselves well for meetings, and review and comment on minutes and reports.
- get to know other committee members and build a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus.
- serve as an active participant in the committee’s annual evaluation and planning efforts.
A term totals three years. Each Director can serve two terms (of three years each). At the end of those six years, a Director must step down for one year before being eligible for reelection.
Nominees must be a person of good character and standing in the community and willing and able to:
- serve on committees,
- attend meetings, and
- make decisions that affect the operation of Camp Encourage.
It's not all work
Serving on the Board is rewarding. It is an opportunity to give back to Camp Encourage and to the community. At the end of your term you can look back and see your accomplishments in the faces of the children you serve. Camp Encourage exists because community members are involved. Serving on the Board of Directors is a chance to step up and make a difference.
If you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors, please write a short letter telling us why you want to serve and tell us about your background. Your letter can be sent to email@example.com.
Need Further Information?
If you would like further information or would like to speak with someone, feel free to contact us at 816.830.7171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS GROUP
Camp Encourage's Young Professionals Group is a vibrant network designed to harness the expertise and talents of local young professional and emerging leaders, while bringing new ideas and young professionals to the wonderful world of Camp Encourage.
Members are a cohort of young professionals — ages 21 to 40 — who are passionate about the power of camp and about providing quality services to youth on the autism spectrum.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
A variety of office tasks are available during the weekdays and can be scheduled per your convenience. This much appreciated volunteer opportunity might involve filing, organizing, taking inventory of camp supplies, light cleaning, and making copies. If interested, please contact Kelly.
In addition to committee support through programming and events, the below committee opportunities are available and are led by a Camp Encourage Board member. Whether you are able to give a small or large amount of time, we encourage you to join the below efforts by sharing your expertise. Email Kelly today to express interest.
Community Connections Committee
This committee ensures that adequate funds are available for the organization to carry out its exempt purpose by: working with members of the board, volunteers, and staff to solicit charitable donations; analyzing fundraising events; and securing foundation and corporate grants. Further, the committee monitors and oversees how the organization is progressing as related to marketing by developing annual goal and strategy to market according to current needs while leading marketing to campers, volunteers, and supporters.
Individuals serving on the Operations Committee have two general goals:
- to ensure that the organization has a vital mission and a clear understanding of its identity by assisting with board, volunteer, and committee recruitment and by supporting the organization with issues pertaining to employees and
- to prepare an annual organizational budget, oversee the accounting and banking functions of the organization, and arrange a certified audit or review of the organization’s accounts.
The responsibilities of the Programming Committee includes overseeing the organization’s activities that carry out its charitable purpose. Individuals may serve as ambassadors at resource fairs and other booth opportunities, review pre- and post- camp survey results and analzye the resulting data, and assist with programmatic needs.
Special Events Committee
This committee plans and executes our annual fundraising event, S'Mores and Pours. They are involved in the general details of event planning, solicit charitable donations, seek in-kind contributions for silent and/or live auctions, and oversee all activities during the event.
GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
We love having groups gather together at Camp Encourage to support our campers! Two opportunities are listed below. We also have other needs that arise from time to time so feel free to reach out to gather more information.
Greeting Campers Upon Arrival
Lining up and greeting campers upon their arrival while holding encouraging signs such as “You are welcome,” “You are enough,” and “You are loved”) is a special volunteer role. Please email Kelly to gather further details and to sign up.
During each summer camp session, we hold a carnival for the campers. Activities include a variety of booths with prizes, special appearances, face painting, balloon art, inflatables, and/or a dunk tank. Volunteers will be guided to set up the carnival and to fully prepare for the campers. All needed materials as well as an instruction sheet for each activity will be provided. Please email Kelly to gather further details and to sign up.