Thank you for your interest in being a volunteer for Camp Hope! Camp Hope relies completely on volunteers to help provide a fun, safe experience for our campers. There are many opportunities available to help.
Camp Hope is held annually in June at Camp Aldrich, a campground near Great Bend, Kansas. Camp Aldrich is rustic-appearing camp with modern amenities. Every cabin is air-conditioned and there are paved pathways to most areas of camp. Most volunteers will sleep on beds in the cabins. Delicious home-cooked meals are provided by our amazing kitchen volunteers (and there is a good chance you will gain weight).
Our goal is to provide a normal camp experience to campers who may otherwise be denied this opportunity because of their underlying illness. New volunteers are often concerned that camp will be a sad experience. Once they attend they quickly realize that it is quite the contrary. Yes, you will see kids who are bald or missing limbs or sick but all of them will be having a great time. They will be swimming, fishing, bowling, golfing, dancing, playing basketball, doing crafts, and just having fun. You will quickly forget that you are at a camp “for kids with cancer” and will be loving your week at a camp “for amazing kids”.
Camp Hope wouldn’t function without our volunteers thus we do require hard-working and dedicated people. Volunteers must be at least 19 years of age. No camping experience is required; only a desire and energy to give some great kids the best week of their lives. In order to keep our campers safe, all volunteers undergo annual background checks. In addition, Camp Hope is accredited by the American Camp Association which assures the highest standards in safety are maintained. All volunteers, except medical, are required to attend the entire week of camp. All volunteers also attend orientation on the Saturday before camp begins. If you volunteer we can promise you a fun, tiring, exhausting and ultimately rewarding experience.
In order to run Camp, we need a variety of volunteers. There are 5 basic volunteer positions available:
Activities: Activities volunteers help organize and run all of the daily events at Camp. They make sure that the activities are running smoothly and safely. These volunteers help with everything from running the arts and crafts tent to organizing a basketball pick up game. Activities volunteers should be energetic and out-going.
Houseparents: Houseparents are the “moms and dads” at Camp. These volunteers are assigned a small group of campers and are responsible for making sure those campers are safe and having fun. Houseparents stay in the same cabins with their assigned campers, eat meals with their campers and participate in activities with their campers. They truly are parents for the week. Houseparents must be at least 21 years of age.
Kitchen: If you enjoy cooking, this is the place for you. Kitchen volunteers help organize and prepare all of the meals at camp. These volunteers could do anything from cutting vegetables to decorating a birthday cake. There are usually around 200 people to feed so the kitchen volunteers have a challenging job but when the campers demand a “Cooks Parade” in appreciation, they quickly remember why they do it.
Facilities: The facilities volunteers are vital to the success of camp. They assist in the preparation and tear down of daily camp activities. They often work behind the scenes to make sure Camp Hope goes off without a hitch. Facilities volunteers should be able to lift and move large objects.
Medical: Camp Hope functions with a full medical team at all times. These volunteers are on-site and with the campers 24 hours a day. The general function of a medical volunteer is to help make sure the campers are safe and healthy. Depending on the specific role, this can include providing first aid, administering medications (including chemo), and performing minor procedures. Our medical staff participates in Camp activities; they do not simply staff the medical cabin. The medical team consists of the following positions: physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, RN/LPNs, pharmacists and mental health specialists (psychologists, social workers, child life specialists, psychiatrists etc). You may request full job descriptions for each of those positions. All medical volunteers must be licensed in Kansas in their respective field.
We hope you decide to volunteer at Camp. If you do, we promise you a fun, exhausting, rewarding and ultimately life-changing week. There is a reason why our volunteers return year after year. It truly is one of the best weeks of the year. Volunteer applications are available in early January each year. We hope to see you next June!