Camp Quest Arizona is an entirely volunteer-run summer camp. That means, each summer, we need approximately 20 people to step up and be leaders for our campers.
Typically, we need two types of volunteers each year: Cabin Staff volunteers and Programming Staff volunteers.
Program Staff design, run, and/or assist with one or more camp programs during the week. They may come to camp to support a single program or several different or ongoing programs. While program staff largely concentrate on running programming, most program staff will be assigned to cabins with campers and will have some duties supervising campers.
Cabin Staff are ultimately responsible for the care of the campers. They live in the cabins with the kids and stay with them throughout the day and night. They get their campers from place to place and make sure they're having a good time.
Applications to the 2019 camp session, June 22-June 29, 2019, is now open!
+ I'VE SEEN THE JOB DESCRIPTIONS, BUT WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM CAMP?
In a nutshell, volunteers are expected to be at camp for the entire week. During that time, you will be working with groups of children. Cabin Staff will principally be in charge of them during "living" times. Nights, meals, camp assemblies, etc. Program Staff will be in charge of them during programming activities. Both these areas are a bit fluid. Program staff will also be assisting of supervision during nights, meals and assemblies, just as Cabin Staff will assist during Programming. We do build some "down time" for the staff groups into the schedule. A typical day at camp starts with campers meeting for a morning assembly followed by breakfast. During these times, Cabin Staff are principally in charge of their campers. Program Staff assist. After breakfast, they're broken into teams for team activities and other morning programming. During these times, Program Staff are principally in charge of the campers, with Cabin Staff assisting. This pattern continues through lunch and dinner. At night, at least two adult staff members are assigned to each cabin It's a long day, but it's a lot of fun!
+ WILL I BE AT CAMP THE WHOLE SESSION?
For the safety of the campers, yes. We need to maintain sufficient staff to supervise the campers. Our campers are at camp 24X7, so we need our staff to be at camp 24X7. Under very rare circumstances, volunteers may be allowed to leave camp, but this needs to be planned ahead and scheduled with the Camp Director.
+ WHAT DOES IT COST TO VOLUNTEER?
That question isn't as strange as it may sound at first. Volunteering is an act of giving to Camp Quest Arizona, it's certainly going to cost you time. We appreciate that very much, and we will try to minimize any possible out-of-pocket expenses you may have. Room and Board are entirely covered during camp. If you're driving to camp from within Arizona, you can request that we pay a mileage gas allowance of $0.14/mile from your home to camp. If you're coming in from out of state, get in touch with us and we'll see if there's something we can work out. We don't typically pay for airfare, hotel stays, or meals on your way to or from camp. We also reimburse for approved programming expenses, but those need to be cleared, in advance, by the Program Director.
+ I SEE YOUR CAMP RUNS JUNE 23-JUNE 29, 2019, BUT THE VOLUNTEER SESSION IS RUNNING FROM JUNE 22-JUNE, 2019. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?
Campers start arriving just after lunchtime on Sunday the 23rd. If we take possession of the camp facility on Sunday morning, we have to rush all the preparations and orientation during that time. The journey to camp takes at least a couple hours from most major cities in Arizona, so we've found volunteers often cannot arrive until 10 or 11 AM if we start on Sunday. We rent the facility for an extra day, Saturday, which allows us to easily get things setup, and gives us the chance to give staff, both new and old, the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the facility and our onsite procedures. Saturday arrival is not required, but encouraged. If you have children attending camp, they can arrive early with you, too; however, they are still in your care until check-in time on Sunday.
+ WILL THERE BE TRAINING?
Absolutely! There are several aspects of it. Online training - Camp Quest Arizona utilizes Expert Online Training, a professional training organization geared specifically towards Youth Development at summer camps. This training comprises a series of short videos and quizzes that can be completely entirely online before camp. In-person training - Prior to camp, we will hold a training session, where we will go over our staff manual and other policies specific to our camp. What if you can't attend the training session? Depending on our training venue, we may be able to setup a Google Hangout so that you can attend, at least digitally, in the training - but you will not get to enjoy the food that we provide in that case. (Sorry) If that's not an option, we'll also be supplying you with our Staff Manual and any additional Training Materials, which you can study at your convenience. We'll have an online test to help evaluate your mastery of the material, and follow-up conversations with our staff to allow you to ask any questions.
+ I DON'T FEEL MY CHILD WILL BE COMFORTABLE AT CAMP IF I'M NOT THERE, CAN I VOLUNTEER SO THAT I CAN BE THERE?
Those are two different issues that cannot be conflated.
The hiring process for volunteers is exactly that - a hiring process. Applicants apply, are screened, interviewed, reference checked and background checked. Then they are accepted on staff based on their merits. Having a child at camp isn't a merit. Being a donor to Camp Quest Arizona isn't a merit.
Parents are not prevented from applying or being accepted as volunteers, but it must be with the clear understanding that they are being accepted on staff to do a specific job, that they are there to counsel for the campers in their care equally, and that they will likely be assigned duties specifically to minimize their involvement with their own child as much as possible. It is unfair to our campers if their counselor is playing mom/dad to their own child. Camp is partially about building independence. Having mom or dad there undermines that.
The second part of that is a bit more difficult. Under the correct conditions, most - but not all - children by the age of eight are capable of spending a week at camp. If you must be at camp for your child to be capable of going to camp, then they are not ready to go to camp. This is an evaluation only you can do; however, sometimes you also have to ask yourself the question, "Is my child not ready to be away or am I not ready to let them go away?" - that, too, is a question only you can answer.
+ IS THERE ANY OTHER INTERACTION PRIOR TO CAMP?
Our senior staff, particularly our Camp Director and Program Director will be available for you to contact. In addition, Camp Quest Arizona using a software service called Slack to create discussion areas where members of the staff can keep up to date on the latest happenings and discuss their questions with all our staff. participation in Slack isn't mandatory, but is highly recommended. What happens after I submit an application? Assuming you are a successful candidate at each step, we follow the following steps for new staff applications:
- The application is reviewed and considered based on its merits and our current staffing needs.
- An interview is scheduled.
- Criminal and National Sex Offender background checks are performed.
- References are checked.
- Volunteer is accepted onto staff.
- They are invited onto the Slack system
- Online Training is assigned
- In-Person Training
- At camp orientation happens
- After-camp staff dinner happens.
- Most staff members tell us the next steps are to go home, take a long, hot shower and sleep.