Volunteers play a vital role within Highland’s mission to both campers and guests, providing more than 1000 hours annually! They help address seasonal needs such as spring preparations, fall clean up, summer maintenance, and summer camp labor, helping us provide excellent facilities, attractive grounds, and Christian service while remaining affordable.
How can you get involved with Highland Retreat as a volunteer?
Bring a group
Highland staff desire to serve groups who offer their valuable time and talents to support the mission of Highland Retreat.
We facilitate work projects for groups and families of various ages and abilities.
For groups who serve at least 6 hours and stay overnight, lodging is greatly reduced and in some cases free.
Common work group assignments include:
- Spring cleaning of seasonal facilities
- Processing firewood for summer camp and guest use
- Participating in current site development projects
- Painting or staining associated with Highland decks, bridges, and buildings.
Groups, especially families, interested in helping in the spring may be interested in our annual Serve and Play event. Serve and Play is a special service-oriented weekend camp-out, designed to help Highland prepare for summer and offer families an enjoyable weekend together.
Share a trade
Highland Retreat was founded by the service of professionals who shared a vision for this camp and retreat ministry, and who supplied their skills to bring it to life.
Most projects involving professionals take more resources and coordination than those associated with regular volunteer groups. Volunteer professionals are often eligible to receive a gift in kind letter for tax purposes.
Professionals who can serve at Highland include but are not limited to:
- Tradespersons: Carpenters, welders, electricians, roofers, plumbers, etc.
- Other professionals: Photographers, graphic designers, interior designers, etc.
- Nurses: See ‘Minister to kids at summer camp’.
We invite you to contact Highland and let us know how and when you may be available to serve.
Serve short or long term
Short and long term volunteers offering their time and talents in an extended way has often been transformational for Highland.
Due to their ongoing familiarity with Highland and the tasks they are doing, these volunteers have helped us create significant changes or accomplished important projects during their time of service.
While some volunteers may choose to commute, others are welcome to free camping or lodging if available.
Though this is not a complete list, short and long term volunteers can be involved in:
- Meeting a seasonal role at the Highland main office
- Assisting with maintenance and grounds
- Helping with food prep and meal service for summer camps or guest groups
- Assisting with a special project or enhancement
- Serving on the Highland Board of Directors.
- Filling roles within the summer camp program (see ‘Minister to kids at summer camp’)
Young adults (post-college or several years out of high school) can also serve Highland through our (paid) internship program. Live at Highland for a year and serve the local community as well as helping out with some of the roles listed above. More details here.
Minister to kids at summer camp
Volunteers are a vital part of helping us make a summer camp experience affordable, while also allowing us to expand the camp staff to meet the needs of larger camp populations from week to week.
Most volunteer roles fall within a week of camp beginning Sunday afternoon and ending Friday. In many cases Highland is able to provide housing and meals at no cost.
For each week of camp, Highland is required to have a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) present. The camp nurse provides oversight for the healthcare needs within the camp week they are assigned. Modest compensation may be provided.
For most weeks of camp, there are 16 meals served to campers and staff. Kitchen Assistants play an important role in the preparation and clean-up of these meals. It is always helpful to have people who are over the age of 18 who can run certain powered kitchen equipment.
Sunday check-in volunteers
In order to run efficiently during camper arrival times, we often need more staff than we have hired for the summer. Check-in volunteers provide support with parking, reviewing and collecting forms, covering the summer camp office, serving in the camp store, and other tasks as needed. Commitments generally last from 2-6pm on Sundays. Continuity over several weeks is valued.]
Contact the Youth Office to let us know how and when you may be available to serve.
Join a team
There are several volunteer teams which meet important needs within Highland’s mission. Each team has a leader who coordinates availability, assignments, and schedules.
The mowing team consists of ten or so volunteers who take turns mowing throughout the growing season. Each spring, there will be several days of winter lawn debris clean up. For the rest of the growing season, mowers serve once or twice per month as needed. Highland staff maintains mowing equipment, servicing mowers before each use.
The landscaping team consists of ten or so volunteers who landscape and maintain the primary flower beds on the property. Several days each spring will be devoted to pruning, planting, weeding, and spreading mulch. Throughout the growing season, team members are scheduled to water and weed the beds.
Trails and Trees Team
The trails and trees team consists of six or so volunteers committed to keeping trails at Highland well maintained and well-marked. Several days in spring will be devoted to marking blazes, as well as removing debris and deadfall along the trails. Regular times will be scheduled throughout the year for ongoing maintenance and improvements to the trail system. Those with experience with a chainsaw may also be involved with felling or removing trees, either to clear traffic areas or to use as firewood.
The mailing team consists of eight or so volunteers who gather periodically to prepare the mailings that keep people informed and involved in Highland’s mission. Tasks include stuffing and sealing envelopes, and attaching labels. Mailings are sent out periodically throughout the year, with team members coming for a day or a morning as needed.
Complete and submit the form below to join a volunteer team.
*If you need more information about the team first, indicate that in the final field. Please note that your contact information may be shared with the team leader for scheduling purposes.