Camp Fire C. Oregon Issues Urgent Appeal to Tumalo Day Camp Volunteer Counselors
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Tumalo Day Camp, an outdoor youth program, is actively ramping up efforts to recruit volunteer counselors for its third summer session, Aug. 22-26. The camp, which for 33 summers was offered by Camp Fire Central Oregon at beautiful Tumalo State Park in Tumalo, is unique in that it has always employed volunteers, as opposed to paid staff.
And it was intentional. The volunteer spirit helps ensure that its counselors bring key values to the table, particularly values of giving back, an intrinsic appreciation of working with youth, and a genuine respect for this outdoor camp.
However, despite the success and longevity of this camp program, volunteers have been harder to find this year, according to Kecia Kubota, executive director of Camp Fire Central Oregon. The program’s challenges in finding volunteers align with the hiring challenges that many organizations and nonprofits face in the United States.
“Particularly for the August session, the last of the three sessions we offer, there has simply been a shortage of volunteers, yet the camp is full,” says Kubota. “We would like anyone who feels motivated to volunteer to consider the unique and very impactful experience of serving as a Camp Counselor for Tumalo Day Camp and apply now. In addition, the children of volunteer guardians can go to camp for free.
A small number of volunteers have returned year after year to serve as advisors. Eager to help young people thrive and spend five summer days organizing camp activities along the bank of the Deschutes River under the pines of Tumalo State Park, volunteer counselors lead a small group of campers. Under their guidance, children play games, sing camp songs, go on easy hikes, experience nature, participate in camp traditions, make arts and crafts, and create camp food, friendships and memories for life, all in a safe and stimulating environment.
“We train and support our volunteers in campfire activities, but counselors also bring their own talents, skills, and fun ideas to the table and deploy them,” says Kubota. “Above all, we ask that in everything they do, they be aligned with Camp Fire’s mission, which is to connect youth to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves. The volunteers who come truly embrace this mission as well as the exciting challenge of serving young people throughout this week. Many of our volunteers return year after year because they say it is very impactful, even life changing.
Please note that all volunteers must pass a background check. For more information on volunteering, please see the job description: https://campfireco.org/volunteer/#tdc. Tumalo Day Camp details are available at: https://campfireco.org/tdc/.