Frequently Asked Questions: Volunteers & Staff

Where is Camp Ta-Kum-Ta?
Camp Ta-Kum-Ta (TKT) is located in South Hero, VT, near the shores of Lake Champlain

Are there any paid volunteer or counselor/staff positions at TKT?
No.

What kind of volunteers are you looking for?
Camp always needs two kinds of volunteers – those who work with children and those who do not.

Volunteers Who Don’t Work With Children:

What kinds of things do volunteers do if they don’t work with children?
There are always many building and grounds tasks needed to be done to maintain and improve our physical plant: Minor construction projects, mowing, painting, cleaning, and many others.

How much time do I commit?
A few hours or a few days – whatever you want!

Who volunteers for this kind of service?
Individuals, small groups, civic organizations, corporate groups… anyone who wants to give of themselves but cannot make an extended commitment to working with children.  Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

How do I volunteer?
Contact Camp’s office, directly at 802-372-5863. Camp staff will do their best to match up your skills and availability with Camp Ta-Kum-Ta’s needs.

Volunteers Who Work With Children

How old must I be to volunteer for TKT?
All volunteers who work with children must be at least 21 years old.

How do I volunteer?
Volunteers complete a staff application (for either Traditional Camp Week or Winter Weekends) that can be downloaded from this site or obtained from the Personnel Director or the Camp office.

When are applications available?
Applications are generally available by early to mid-January.

What characteristics do you look for in applicants?
The most eligible applicants have specifically needed skills and expertise (waterfront, ropes course, culinary), talents (leadership, music), and/or experience working with special populations.  More importantly, however, is an applicant’s flexibility, ability to work closely and harmoniously with others, a big heart, LOTS of energy and a huge capacity for having fun!

I am a professional. Would TKT experience look good on my resume?
Probably, but if wanting something good for your resume or an experience to enhance you professionally is an important reason for you applying to TKT, please don’t apply.

Does TKT arrange for my transportation to Camp?
Sorry; all staff are responsible for their own travel arrangement both to and from Camp.

What’s a background check?
All staff of TKT must demonstrate on a regular they have no criminal record which would make them undesirable in a children’s camp environment.  All states have agencies which provide criminal background information.

How does a background check happen?
The Personnel Director will facilitate the processing of applicants’ background check forms with appropriate state and/or federal agencies.

Can I bring my smokes to Camp?
This is a camp for kids with cancer; don’t even go there…
TKT operates in a totally substance-free environment.

Can I bring my pet with me to Camp?
Sorry, no pets… and no kids.

Traditional Camp Week – Our “Summer” Program

What is my time commitment as a volunteer?
All volunteers must attend a Staff Development Weekend (SDW) in early June (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon) and Camp week in late July/early August. This week is a 7 day/24 hour commitment running from Saturday to Saturday.

What’s Staff Development Weekend?
Staff Development Weekend (SDW) is a weekend preceding Camp week (usually in early June) where all staff gather at Camp to get acquainted, train, plan, organize, and participate in a reunion of the previous year’s campers and staff.

How many staff does TKT employ?
Camp TKT utilizes about 100 staff each year for about 70 campers.

What positions are available for Camp?
There are generally a variety of positions available for programming, administrative, and support services.  Cabin counselors generally must have at least one year of Camp experience before being eligible to be in a cabin.  Positions are detailed on the application.

If I am not a cabin counselor, do I still get to interact with the kids?
ABSOLUTELY! Regardless of your assigned position, you are encouraged and expected to interact with the campers as much as possible both within and beyond your assignment.

If my application is accepted, will I ever have to apply again?
YES. All TKT staff is contracted for one year and TKT staff must apply on a year-to-year basis.  If accepted, there is no guarantee of acceptance beyond the current season.

What else do I need to do besides fill out an application?
If your application is chosen for consideration, the Personnel Director will contact you for an interview.  If – after a successful interview – both of you feel TKT is a good fit for you, you will be selected conditionally until a background check has been processed and a positive Staff Development Weekend has been experienced.  SDW gives the TKT Board the opportunity to see you in action and how you function with the rest of the Camp family.

THEN will I be selected??
Yup!

Anything else?
If you are provisionally hired, the Personnel Director will have you complete a medical form and a clothing form. (All staff receives free Camp clothing.)

How many new staff is hired each year?
Depending on staff turnover, it can be as many as 20 or as few as one or two.

 TKT Winter Weekends

What’s a Winter Weekend?
TKT hosts three reunion weekends in the winter, one each for our youngest, middle and oldest campers.

What do you do at a Winter Weekend?
Have lots of fun! We ice skate, cross-country ski, snowshoe, eat lots of good food, laugh, and stay up late (re)connecting with our friends.

How long is a Winter Weekend?
Kids come on Saturday and stay one night; staff comes on Friday night to prepare for the kids and stay through Sunday when the campers leave.

Other Volunteer Programs

What other volunteer opportunities does Camp offer?
As Camp Ta-Kum-Ta continues to expand, we are developing other programs for families and family members that will require volunteer staffing. As these programs are implemented, volunteer information will be available here on this page.

If you should have any questions about volunteering, please contact the Camp Ta-Kum-Ta Office at (802) 372-5863.