Volunteer Opportunities


Volunteer Opportunities

The volunteer program at The Painted Turtle is an incredibly rewarding opportunity to bring joy, laughter and smiles to our campers and families.  The Painted Turtle recruits volunteers for our Family Weekend Programs during the Spring and Fall as well as for our week-long Summer Sessions and hospital and community outreach opportunities.

The Painted Turtle is currently accepting applications for our 2021 Sessions. All new and returning volunteers may apply for 2021 sessions by completing an online application. 

Please feel free to explore this page for typical volunteer opportunities at The Painted Turtle. In 2021, volunteer roles will be mostly virtual, with some in-person opportunities, and therefore look quite different. To learn more about the current volunteer roles, click here.

Volunteer at Camp!

Family Weekend Volunteers

Volunteer Pals (2.5 day weekend sessions at our campsite in Lake Hughes):  Family Weekends are an opportunity for campers and their families to enjoy a weekend together at The Painted Turtle. Volunteers play an important role during the weekends by helping families to experience all camp has to offer. Volunteers join us at camp from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon to work as Family Pals or Program Pals.

  • Family Pals are assigned to one or two families and act as their host at camp. They offer friendship, support, and an extra set of hands.
  • Program Pals are assigned to run a specific program area, such as Woodshop, Arts and Crafts, or Fishing and Boating. Program Pals facilitate fun and safety during activity sessions. They are also assigned to a family to offer support during meals and evening activities.
  • Lifeguard & Translators (2.5 day weekend sessions at our camp site in Lake Hughes): The Painted Turtle is always looking for certified lifeguards and Spanish language interpreters to volunteer for all or part of a Family Weekend. Contact our staff@thepaintedturtle.org for more information.
Volunteer Cabin Counselors (6-7 day summer sessions at our camp site in Lake Hughes)

Volunteer Cabin Counselors join a cabin team during a summer session to care for, supervise and cheer on campers throughout their time at camp. They encourage friendships and teamwork within the cabin, role model camp spirit, and help campers to get the most out of their camp experience. Our medical team provides any needed medical support so counselors can focus on engaging campers in the activities. Volunteers live in the cabins with 8-10 campers and 3-4 adult counselors. As a volunteer, you’ll contribute to a team-oriented experience of leading your cabin, planning activities, and creating a lifetime of unforgettable memories.

Day Events

We have two annual day events at our site in Lake Hughes each year: Spring Into Camp and the Camper Holiday Gathering! Day events are open to all our campers and families to enjoy camp for a day. Volunteers run program areas, crafts, games, and other activities. 

Other Opportunities

The Painted Turtle Outpost

The unique outreach program brings the fun and spirit of our camp program into hospital playrooms and community events throughout California.  Individuals who have previously volunteered at The Painted Turtle for a Family Weekend or a Summer Session are eligible for this program. Learn more at our Outreach Programs page.

Volunteer Days

Each year, we host volunteer days where our corporate partners and general volunteers can bring their team or families to help prepare our beautiful camp site for the arrival of campers.  Light breakfast, lunch and camp tours are provided.  These annual volunteer opportunities include our General Volunteer Day (February), Corporate Volunteer Day (May), and Aerospace Volunteer Day (September). Please contact Jessie Chandler, Corporate Relations Manager, at jessicac@thepaintedturtle.org to inquire about current opportunities.

Partner Days

Camp reserves special work-day projects for corporate partners who make a significant financial impact on the mission of Camp. These days can be tailored to your company’s philanthropic goals and can be used as a remarkable team-building experience.  For more information please contact Jessie Chandler, Corporate Relations Manager, at jessicac@thepaintedturtle.org.

Special Performers and Program Guests

Specialty performers and program guests are kid-friendly performers or workshop leaders who contribute unique performances or workshops to a day event at camp. If you have a hobby, talent, or craft that you would like to share, please email Tim Deisler, Camp Director, at timd@thepaintedturtle.org.

Equestrian Volunteers

If you are interested in volunteering with our Equestrian Team and assist with side walking, leading horses in lessons, horse education and activities with campers, or working directly with the horses in our schooling program please contact Tim Deisler, Camp Director, at timd@thepaintedturtle.org.

Lifeguards and Ropes Volunteers

If you are interested in a paid program position facilitating roles, including Lifeguarding or our High Ropes Course, please contact Tim Deisler, Camp Director, at timd@thepaintedturtle.org.

Youth Volunteers

Volunteers who plan to work at sessions with our campers and families must be at least 19 years of age. If you are currently under the age of 19, there are still many ways to get involved. Read more at Youth Volunteers.

Office Volunteers

At this time, Santa Monica office volunteers are on hold during the pandemic. We appreciate your interest and ask that you check back for updates.



Youth Volunteer Opportunities

For individuals under the age of 19 there are many ways to get involved. (Volunteers who work at sessions with campers must be at least 19.)