Camp Volunteers

Like a regular camp, times 10

Volunteers who work with us experience the Magic of Ooch in every aspect of their experience. So, pack your swimsuit, grab a hat and put on some sunscreen because it’s time to volunteer at Camp!

Returning Camp Volunteer application

Volunteering at Camp Ooch

Our volunteer community is diverse, ranging in age from 19 to 70. The common denominator that binds this community together is that every volunteer is passionate and committed to creating the best experience for our Campers. By volunteering at Camp Ooch, you’ll make a meaningful difference in the lives of children affected by childhood cancer (and they’ll change your lives, too).

Camp Ooch is more than a “summer camp” – we need volunteers across Ontario, year-round for In-Hospital, Community and Overnight Camp programs. Ooch Programs typically take place in Toronto, Ottawa, London, Hamilton, Muskoka and Sudbury.

All Ooch Volunteers must attend a one or two-week summer session at Overnight Camp or Day Camp to be eligible for Community or In-Hospital programs.

Camp Volunteer roles

Cabin Counsellor

Cabin Counsellors are responsible for creating a nurturing, fun-filled environment that meets the needs of each Camper and cabin group. In addition, you’ll work on a program planning team to create special events and activities. Volunteers act as Cabin Counsellors at all Ooch programs, including Overnight and Community programs.

Campers are accompanied by Counsellors at all times (activities, meals, on camping trips, etc.). Our Camper-to-Volunteer ratio is approximately 1:1 at Overnight and Day Camp programs. Our Counsellors work in teams to ensure the care and supervision of a cabin consisting of 4-8 campers.

Volunteers with large group of campers sitting on a rock at flag pole field

Activity Counsellor

This role is unique to our summer Overnight Camp program. These volunteers plan and facilitate the activities that cabin groups attend during the day.

In a typical session, pottery, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, archery, drama, arts and crafts, adventure (ropes course) and sports are offered. We’ll offer activity training for all our Activity Counsellors before the summer sessions start.

In addition, each of the Activity Counsellors works closely with a cabin group.

Volunteer with two campers in the forest dressed in adventure gear

"In the span of one week, I knew truth, triumph, trust, the true meaning of belly laughter, true courage, vulnerability, friendship, raw emotion and perspective. [Volunteering at Camp] reminded [me] how resilient the human spirit really is."

— Sarah, Teomul Volunteer

Qualifications & requirements

We work with hundreds of Volunteers every year. All prospective Volunteers must be available for our annual Volunteer Training Weekend in order to qualify.

Other requirements:

  • Emergency First Aid/CPR or Bronze Cross certification
  • Police background check with Vulnerable Sector Screening
  • Provide proof of immunization status
  • Completion of two-step tuberculosis (TB) test
  • Must be at least 19 years of age
  • Experience working with children is an asset

Application process

Volunteer applications are accepted every year starting in December. Interviews are held in January and February, and staffing decisions are made in late March. Upon offer, volunteers must complete a police reference check with Vulnerable Sector Screening, submit proof of immunizations, complete a two-step tuberculosis (TB) test and get a First Aid or Bronze Cross certification.

Once those tests are complete, all volunteers must be available to attend our annual Volunteer Training Weekend in the Spring. A travel subsidy may be available for individuals travelling outside a defined area.

New Volunteers

Summer 2019 applications were due December 31, but you’re still encouraged to fill one out and we will reach out to you on an as-needed basis. Fill out our volunteer inquiry form if you’d like to be notified about upcoming opportunities.

Thanks for your interest in Camp Ooch! We’re excited to learn more about you.

Returning Volunteers

Thank you for your continued support of Ooch – we can’t wait to see you soon! Until then, go to the staff dashboard to manage your account and update your information.

Camp Volunteer questions

What training do volunteers receive?

All Camp Volunteers receive thorough training before their first session at Ooch during our Annual Volunteer Training Weekend. Training topics include: Cancer 101, behaviour management, Camp Ooch culture and traditions, accessible programming, and more.

Additional training and resources are provided year-round as part of our ongoing professional development opportunities for Volunteers.

How can I volunteer in the hospital?

Ooch on the 8th, our In-Hospital Volunteer Program, takes place at SickKids in Toronto from October to June. This program is only available to returning Camp Volunteers.

We are not accepting Volunteers for other Ooch In-Hospital programs at this time.

What time commitment is expected from Camp volunteers?

Volunteers begin their experience with a one or two week commitment at Overnight Camp or Day Camp in the summer. Once a Volunteer fulfills their one or two week commitment, they can then volunteer at year-round Community programs across Ontario in places like Toronto, Ottawa, London, Hamilton and Sudbury and the In-Hospital program in Toronto.

There is no minimum hour requirement for returning Volunteers to support year-round programs.

Who will I be volunteering with and how will we work together?

The Camp Ooch volunteer community is a unique one, ranging in age from 19-70+ with a wide range of experience, skills and backgrounds. At Camp Ooch programs, you’ll always work in a team-based environment to support a cabin of Campers. Because of this, Camp Ooch is intentional about building community within our volunteer team.

You can expect to be invited to pre-session socials, professional development sessions, and celebrations throughout the year to continue building connections to your fellow volunteer counsellors.

Apply to volunteer at Camp Ooch

New Camp Volunteer inquiry form
Animated picture of a campfire

Other volunteer opportunities

Event & Office Volunteers

Help out around Ooch headquarters or at an Ooch fundraising event – there are lots of ways to lend a hand!

Medical Staff & Volunteers

We need nursing staff to administer medications and care for our Campers. Learn how you can get involved.

Contact Us

Still have questions about volunteering at Ooch? Feel free to contact us:

Becky Conlon

Program Coordinator, Volunteers