Youth Camp FAQs - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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MS Youth Camp

Volunteer for Youth Camp

The success of Youth Camp is directly related to the wonderful volunteers who help make the program go off without a hitch. We welcome volunteers with a wide range of talents and skills. There is only one requirement: the desire to Join the Movement® to end multiple sclerosis. See a listing of jobs below.

To volunteer, download the interest form and the criminal background check consent form, complete and send to:

National MS Society
Attn: James Adkinson
200 12th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Fax: 612-335-7997

Or contact James at 612-335-7984, 800-582-5296 or james.adkinson@nmss.org.

Volunteer job descriptions

Camp counselor*

Assist in providing a fun, safe experience for kids age 9 to 17 as they play, learn and address issues related to MS in their families. Volunteer must be at least 18 years old and be able to maintain a daily routine from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Week-long commitment.

Day volunteer
If you are unable to commit for the entire week but would love to help out at camp for a day or two, that is also an option. Just let us know in your application.

*=greatest need

MS Youth Camp Counselor FAQ

Why should I volunteer?

Youth Camp is a life-changing experience for campers and counselors alike.  Through volunteering at Youth Camp, you will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people with a connection to MS, make new friends and have a fun-filled week on a forty-acre island on Lake Wapogasset.  You will also gain valuable leadership skills, experience and resume material.  

I don't know a ton about MS.  Can I still be a counselor?

Absolutely!  Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to learn more about MS from MS Society staff, medical professionals and camp participants. 

What is the average day at MS Youth Camp like?

A day at MS Youth Camp usually begins with breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and ends with an evening program before lights out at 10:00 p.m.  Throughout the day, your group will participate in 5 activity periods in addition to an hour of “quiet time” in your cabin after lunch.  

Will I get breaks throughout the week?

Yes!  We encourage our counselors to take a well-deserved break each day.  During counselor training, we help counselors choose times that work best for them and when possible, provide day volunteers to cover their absences. 

Do I have to participate in all of the activities?

While we encourage counselors to be active participants at MS Youth Camp, we also won’t ask you to do anything you don’t want to.  Often times, we encourage counselors to schedule their breaks during activities they prefer not to partake in. 

How do you determine which age group I'm placed with?

You will have the opportunity to indicate which age group you are most comfortable working with when you fill out your counselor application.  We will do our best to match you with the age range you request. 

How many campers can I expect to work with?

This depends entirely on what age group you will be working with.  You may have a group with as few as 3 campers and as many as 15.  No matter the size of the group, you won’t be working alone.  The number of counselors per group depends on the number of campers. 

What if a camper in my group has challenges that I don't feel comfortable addressing?

At MS Youth Camp, there is a well-trained group of professionals to support you.  This includes the Youth Camp director, a behavioral specialist, a medical professional and MS Society staff members.  If you encounter any situation that you’re not comfortable dealing with, a member of this team will make themselves available to help.  We also try to pair counselors of different skills and experience together so you are able to support one another throughout the week. 

What makes MS Youth Camp different from other camps? 

MS Youth Camp is a place for young people with a parent or other household member living with MS to have fun and connect with others who share similar experiences in a safe and supportive community.  Throughout the week, campers have the opportunity to learn more about MS in age-appropriate activities facilitated by MS Society staff and medical professionals that work with people living with MS.  They will also be able to express their feelings about MS through focus groups and MS-themed activities. 

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