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volunteer experience
Volunteer Experience
A great opportunity for teens to gain work experience and develop people skills, Camps are also how parents can make early prophecy on their neverending pleas of, "Your day is coming!" A teen counselor realizes payback is underway when a young camper is found a camouflage of poison ivy! Oh, your day has cometh.

Have questions? Most answers can be found in our FAQ's . If you still have questions, just give us a call at 240-777-6810.

The Volunteer Experience

The Summer Leadership Challenge and Junior Counselor programs offers two tiers of participation to provide increased guidance, support and in-depth training to new volunteers and to offer a great service opportunity to our returning volunteers. If you were a Junior Counselor, Mainstream Companion, TR Camp Assistant or if you have successfully completed the Summer Leadership Challange program last year, you are eligible to register for the Junior Counselor Program, the Mainstream Companion Program or the TR Camp Assistant Program.

If this is your first time signing up to volunteer at one of our camps, you are eligible to register for our Summer Leadership Challenge. Successful completion of this training program will make you eligible to register for the Junior Counselor Program next summer. First time volunteers may also sign up for either of our two Therapeutic Recreation service learning opportunities. All of our Service Learning placements provide training and support. Volunteers will have opportunities to work with children while developing and enhancing their own leadership potential in a fun and rewarding environment.

The mission of the teen volunteer program is to develop leadership skills, to help teens gain job experience and to provide assistance to our summer programs. We strive to help teens increase their confidence, communication and job–readiness skills. Student Service Learning Credits may be earned upon successful completion of the program.

Volunteers must commit to the entire program session. Two Junior Counselors will be placed at each camp per session (three per session will be placed in Little People Centers, five per session in Summer Fun Centers). Mainstream Companions sign up for a region and are placed as needed to provide one-on-one support to a camper with a disability in a summer program. TR Camp Assistants register to volunteer at one of our Therapeutic Recreation camps. Volunteers may only sign up for two Junior Counselor Sessions. Participants who register for more than two sessions will be withdrawn. Programs will not meet on July 4.


Summer Leadership Challenge (SLC)

First-time volunteers, ages 13 – 16.
New for 2011! Summer Leadership Challenge is a service learning program for teens who enjoy helping children learn and have fun in a safe environment. The program offers fun, interactive workshops, games and activities designed to prepare teens to volunteer and/or work in a camp environment. Workshops may include child development, safety, conflict resolution, body language, planning and leading games, and therapeutic recreation awareness. Participants will have opportunities to plan activities and practice their new skills with campers in an MCR camp or Summer Fun Center. Summer Leadership Challenge staff will provide instruction, support, supervision and feedback to help participants have a positive experience. No prior experience or training is necessary. Up to 20 teens can register per session. Participants may earn up to 35 SSL hours per session. No transportation is available.

Junior Counselors (JrC)

Little People Centers
Art and Drama Camps
Cool Ventures
Imagination Camps
Great Outdoor Camps
Sport Camps
Summer Fun Centers
If you served as a Mainstream Companion, TR Camp Assistant or if you have successfully completed the Summer Leadership Chalenge program last year, you are eligible to serve as a Junior Counselor after completing the Junior Counselor orientation or Mainstream Companion/TR Camp Assistant traing. Experienced, qualified returning Junior Counselors are valued members of MCR's Camp Teams. Work alongside our great Camp and Summer Fun Center staff to help all of our participants have a safe and exciting summer. Only two Junior Counselors per session will be placed at each program. Participants may only register for two sessions and must commit for the entire two week session.

Returning TR Mainstream companions and TR Camp assistants may register for multiple sessions after successfully completing the mandatory training and with the approval of the Program Supervisor.

Therapeutic Recreation

I am able to help a child with a disability by:
  1. Managing a child's behavior through approved intervention training and staff direction.
  2. Providing accommodations related to physical limitations or a cognitive disability (i.e., helping with a wheelchair or giving instructions)
  3. Repeating and demonstrating instructions.
  4. Role modeling appropriate behaviors.
  5. Attending staff trainings and meetings.
  6. Taking responsibility lead one activity at a TR camp
  7. Showing a genuine interest in participants, cooperating with supervisors and camp staff, and accepting supervision in a positive way.
  8. Encouraging participant independence and intervening as necessary.
If you answered yes to the above, we want you! We look forward to having you join our summer team.

Mainstream Companion

Teens can experience first-hand the satisfaction of helping children with disabilities gain the most from their summer. You can enjoy, learn, and contribute in giving a child with a disability the opportunity to integrate into one of the summer camps or summer fun centers. You must be at least 14 by the start of the program session. If you want to volunteer for multiple sessions, please contact the volunteer coordinator.

Therapeutic Recreation Camp Assistant

Are you a teen who's interested in teaching special education? Do you go to school with a student with a disability but didn't know how to approach him or her? You can gain valuable experience by providing general assistance and support in a therapeutic recreation camp designed for children with physical, developmental, or learning disabilities. You must be at least 14 by the start of the program session.

Registration Process

Registration for the Summer Leadership Challenge, Junior Counselors, Mainstream Companions and Therapeutic Recreation Camp Assistants begins at 8:30 am on January 21, 2014.

Junior Counselors, Mainstream Companions and Therapeutic Camp Assistants must attend a training session (listed on the programs' pages). Attendance at the training is mandatory. Registrants will be prompted to select a training date during the registration process. There is no additional charge for the Junior Counselor Training or the Therapeutic Recreation Camp Assistant. Mainstream Companion Training is mandatory for both new and returning volunteer companions. Summer Leadership Challenge participants do not have a mandatory training requirement.

Leadership Training

Junior Counselor Training

The Junior Counselor Training is a great opportunity for returning volunteers to build on their experiences from the previous summer and get ready for a new summer of leadership and fun. The workshop will provide an overview of the summer experience and the expectations for Junior Counselors. This is a mandatory training. Registrants will be prompted to select a training date during the process of registering for a Junior Counselor session. There is no additional charge.

Junior Counselors must attend one of the following Leadership Trainings. There is no additional charge for the trainings.

Junior Counselor Leadership Training Sessions
371661 April 26 9:00-11:00am Bauer Drive CC
371662 April 26 1:00-3:00pm Bauer Drive CC
371663 May 17 9:00-11:00am Germantown CC
371666 May 17 1:00-3:00pm Germantown CC
371664 June 7 9:00-11:00am Lawton CC
371665 June 7 1:00-3:00pm Lawton CC

Mainstream Companion and Therapeutic Recreation Camp Assistant Training Sessions
373604 April 5 10:30am-1:30pm Bauer Drive CC
373605 May 10 10:00am-1:00pm Germantown CC
373606 May 22 5:00-8:00pm Potomac CC
373607 June 4 5:00-8:00pm MCR Admin Office
373608 June 13 5:00-8:00pm MCR Admin Office
373609 June 19 5:00-8:00pm MCR Admin Office
Please select only one training session.

Therapeutic Recreation Camp Assistants are also encouraged to attend a planning session with the camp staff. Call 240-777-6870 for details.

Summer Leadership Challenge participants do not have a training pre-requisite.

Important Contacts:

Community Facilities and Programs: 240-777-4980
Youth Programs: 240-777-6940
Countywide Programs (Therapeutics, Classes, Sports): 240-777-6870