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 spring and fall programs as well as for our week-long Summer Sessions and hospital and community outreach opportunities.

The Painted Turtle is currently accepting applications for our 2024 Sessions. All new and returning volunteers may apply for 2024 sessions by completing an online application. 

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 can expect to be family pals, running a specific activity for the weekend, as well as providing program support to other events, meals, and arrival/departure. Spots are limited and volunteers will need to be fully medically cleared.

  • Family Pals are assigned to a family for the weekend to assist the family with supervision of the campers and serve as an ambassador of Camp to the entire family.
  • Activity 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. 
  • Lifeguard & Translators: 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.
Holiday Gathering Volunteers

The Painted Turtle’s annual Holiday Gathering is a 1-day event where we welcome campers from all sessions to celebrate the holidays and New Year with Camp! Volunteers serve as Activity Pals and are assigned to run a specific program area such as Woodshop, Arts and Crafts, Cookie Decorating, Carnival Games, and more.

All volunteers must complete an online application on CampSite and will follow all volunteer screening including interview, references, background and national sex offender checks. However, there are no medical requirements to volunteer at this event.

Volunteer Cabin Counselors (5 or 6 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 6-8 campers and 4-6 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.

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, Associate Director, Corporate Relations, 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, Associate Director, Corporate Relations, 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 Abbie Burney, Program Coordinator, at abbieb@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 Abbie Burney, Program Coordinator, at abbieb@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. 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.)