Come join the fun and help make a positive impact on children living with serious illnesses
Camp might sound like it’s all play, but it’s serious business too. We mean it when we say that a single volunteer, like you, can change a life. For children who are often isolated due to their illness, camp restores hope, renews a sense of possibility, and gives campers the chance to reclaim their childhood.
For SeriousFun campers — the kids and families who live in your community or across the country — this work matters. It is long-lasting and far-reaching. And for many, the positive impact doesn’t end at the camp gates. Often, camp is merely the start.
So, if you are looking for a place to start, you have found it!
You asked. We answered.
Below are just some of the questions we get about volunteering with SeriousFun Children’s Network camps. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, just reach out to Samantha Clark, Associate Director of Learning & Education.
The volunteer recruitment, vetting, and training at all SeriousFun camps and programs is handled at the local camp level. To find out about the volunteer opportunities available at a camp near you, visit our Find A Camp page.
What will I get out of volunteering?
For one, you’ll find an opportunity for professional development. Where else can you eat s’mores, sing campfire songs, and network with other professionals all at the same time? You never know if the person you’re dancing next to holds the key to your future career or passion! At SeriousFun camps, you encounter people from the medical field, small business owners, college students, camp professionals, corporate executives, community members, and lifelong advocates.
Plus, volunteering at camp enables many people to do the following: develop leadership skills; share best practices for working with youth; facilitate activities and command a room; improve time management; engage in creative problem-solving; practice flexibility; strengthen communication skills; engage with a diverse team of people; recognize and leverage personal strengths and those of others; and gain experience with youth of varying ages, abilities, and medical needs.
You’ll also grow as a person. At camp, staff, volunteers, and campers alike are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and (safely!) try new things. In this way, camp can bring out interests you didn’t even know you had. Volunteers leave with fresh perspectives, not only about others, but also about who they are and what they can do. At SeriousFun camps, you are not on the sidelines but on center stage, right alongside the team of staff. Perspective, empathy, and self-confidence are yours to discover in new and deeper ways, even for the most experienced volunteers.
How old do I need to be to volunteer at a SeriousFun camp?
Applicants must be at least 19 years old to volunteer at a SeriousFun camp but each camp is independently managed so please confirm the age requirement for the camp and position of your choice prior to applying.
What are the requirements for a volunteer position?
SeriousFun camps look for fun, energetic, creative, responsible, and compassionate individuals who will be dedicated to giving our campers the best experience possible. For certain program areas (for example, lifeguarding, ropes course, etc.), specific skill certifications are required. Each volunteer position is also contingent upon submission of requested medical documentation and the successful completion of a background check or other screening by the camp.
What are the medical requirements of working at camp?
SeriousFun camps are specialty medical camps, and we must take every measure to protect campers’ health and safety. Camp staff and volunteers are required to submit a variety of medical documentation, including proof of childhood vaccinations, an updated physical and other medical information.
Where can I volunteer?
You can find a camp to volunteer at using our Find A Camp page. Generally, you will be eligible to volunteer at a camp in the country you live in. There are a few exceptions. For example, if you are a fluent speaker in a language spoken at a SeriousFun camp outside of the United States, you may be eligible to volunteer there.
What volunteer opportunities are there?
There are many ways to volunteer at SeriousFun camps, even if you cannot give an entire week of your time for a summer session. There are weekend camp programs, day programs, hospital and community outreach programs and events, and more. There are even volunteer opportunities where you may not interact directly with children, working behind the scenes to make the camp magic happen. To find an opportunity that suits your bandwidth, find the camps you’re interested in volunteering at here. Then, check their websites for a complete listing of volunteer options.
How do I apply to volunteer at camp?
Each camp will have their own process for applying. However, many application components are similar from camp to camp. You will need to fill out an application, provide updated medical information (namely vaccination history, including COVID-19 vaccine history), and a criminal background check. From there, you’ll have an interview with a year-round staff member. Once you have chosen the camp where you would like to volunteer, they will guide you through this process.
What if I don’t have a full week to volunteer?
There are lots of opportunities to volunteer at camp, including weekend camps, day programs, events, camp cleaning, session preparations, and more. Each camp will have a list of these opportunities on their website.
How do I get to camp?
While you are at camp, all of your needs will be met, but in most cases, travel to camp will be your responsibility. Keep this in mind when choosing where you would like to go.
How do I get updates about my time at camp?
The camp team will stay in touch with you through email or phone calls with any pertinent information you need to know leading up to your time at camp. Each camp has volunteer recruitment and support staff dedicated to working with you and making sure you have what you need to make the experience a positive one for everyone.
What can I expect when I get to camp?
When you arrive at camp, you’ll receive a tour and an orientation that will last about a day before campers or families arrive for overnight programs, with shorter orientations for day programs. Some camps even have online orientation or training you’ll complete before you arrive. For those volunteering for residential sessions, you will be given a secure place to sleep — sometimes with campers and fellow volunteers, or sometimes just with other volunteers and staff. Meals at camp are a highlight and almost any dietary need can be met. Be sure to tell your camp contact about any specific dietary needs you have before you arrive so food can be arranged for you.