VOLUNTEER

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 agorrow@campencourage.org.

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!

HELP PREPARE FOR THE 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 

April 1-2

June 13-16

August 1-4

September 22-24

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

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. He or she accompanies the camper(s) to all of the daily activities and resides 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 with an autism spectrum disorder. 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.

Activity Facilitator

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.

Photographer

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 Kansas.

Carnival Volunteer

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, click HERE.

Moving Volunteer

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 info@campencourage.org.

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 Kelly at klee@campencourage.org.

Event Planning

Occasionally we like to have a little fun, too. Our event planning efforts have both large and small tasks, depending on your availability.

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. For questions or to sign up for the planning committee, contact our Events Coordinator.

Meetings

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.

Roles

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. 

Terms

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.

Qualifications

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.

Next Step

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 info@campencourage.org.

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 info@campencourage.org.

Meetings

The Young Professional Board meets every other month and is currently meeting virtually through Zoom. The Board acts as an advisory board to bring new ideas and young professionals to the wonderful world of Camp Encourage.

Roles

Each Board Member is expected to
  • regularly attend Young Professional Board (YPB) meetings and important related meetings.
  • make a commitment to participate actively.
  • 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. 

Qualifications

Nominees must be between the ages of 21 and 40, a person of good character and standing in the community, and willing and able to:
  • serve on committees,
  • attend meetings, and
  • volunteer for Camp Encourage during the summer, spring, and/or fall sessions.

It's not all work

Serving on the YPB is rewarding. It is an opportunity to give back to Camp Encourage and to the community. Camp Encourage exists because community members are involved. This Board allows you to work beside other young professionals and meet new and wonderful people while having fun. Serving on the YPB is a chance to step up and make a difference.

For More Information

For further information about this special group, CLICK HERE.

Next Step

If you are interested in serving on the YPB, please contact us at 816.830.7171 or email ypb@campencourage.org.

Office Support

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.

Committees

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.

 

Operations Committee

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.

 

Programming Committee

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. 

Carnival Festivities

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.