Volunteer with UCLA UniCamp

Creating community for the leaders of tomorrow

Applications were due January 26, but we’re continuing to accept applications
on a rolling basis while space is available!

Join us for a virtual info session TONIGHT (1/16) at 8pm!

Be part of UCLA’s official student charity, a student tradition since 1934, and apply to volunteer as a UCLA UniCamp counselor for our 2024 camp season! Mentor and inspire kids from underserved communities and give back for one week this summer, all while making new friends throughout the school year and having fun!

Recruitment Events

Learn more about UCLA UniCamp by attending info-sessions and other events where you’ll have a chance to hear from UniCamp volunteers and student leaders. All events will be posted here and announced on our Instagram @UCLAUniCamp.

🌟 Info Sessions

Info sessions are the best way to learn about UCLA UniCamp! Volunteers will share about their experiences, give an overview of UniCamp, and answer any questions!

  • Tuesday, January 16, 8-9pm. Virtual info session. (Recording below!)
  • Thursday, January 18, 7-8:30pm. Royce 160
  • Monday, January 22, 8-9pm. Virtual info session.
  • Wednesday, January 24, 6-7:30pm. Royce 362

All info sessions have concluded. See a recorded info session below or stop by our other recruitment events to learn more!

🦋 Other events

Bruinwalk – Weeks 1-3
Stop by our table on Bruinwalk weeks 1 and 3 to pick up a flyer and talk to current volunteers about their experience

Picnic & Games – Friday, January 12, 4:30-5:30pm @ Janss/Kuruvungna Steps

Ice Blocking – Friday, January 19, 5-6:30pm @ Janss/Kuruvunga Steps

Movie Night & Application Help – Friday, January 26, 4-6pm @ Ackerman 2412

Role Description

Volunteers have the most important role at camp: they work directly with the campers in small ratios to create a magical experience. You will be sorted into a session and will train with your co-counselor(s) through winter and spring quarters to build the mentorship and leadership skills you’ll need to be an amazing counselor. Your responsibilities include:

  • Attending all training meetings/events and your week of camp for your assigned session (dates listed below).
  • Building relationships with fellow volunteers to create a supportive camp community
  • Supervising campers, ages 9-17, keeping safety as a top priority and giving them opportunities to grow and have fun
  • Building supportive, mentoring relationships with campers
  • Envisioning, planning, and executing activities for small groups of campers under guidance from your session’s student leadership team
  • If chosen as a Specialist, learning about one activity and leading it at camp for the week. Activities include swimming, climbing, arts & crafts, archery, dance, mountain biking, and more. Training is provided!
  • Identifying and responding empathetically to camper behaviors
  • Meeting a $450 fundraising goal. Support and training is provided!
SessionMeeting Dates*
(in-person at UCLA)
Summer Dates
(first day listed is
pre-session at UCLA)
Session 1
Community School Session
Tues 7:30-9:30pJune 22-30
Session 2Wed 7-9pJune 29 – July 7
Session 3
The Village Session
Thurs 7-9pJuly 6-14
Session 4Tues 7-9pJuly 13-21
Session 5Thurs 7-9pJuly 20-28
Summer dates are tentative: each session will be 6-8 days within the posted range.

* Session meetings are weekly during Winter weeks 6-9 (Feb. 13 – March 7) and Spring weeks 1-9 (April 2 – May 30)

The Village Session is partnered with The Village Nation. The week of camp empowers Black American youth to achieve their full potential by providing them with guidance from elders, resources for success, and immersing them in African culture. Campers and volunteers from all ethnic backgrounds are welcome.

The UCLA Community School session is partnered with the Horace Mann UCLA Community School. Volunteers will work with faculty and staff from the schools to run a week of camp focused on social and emotional learning.

All-Camp Events

These are required for volunteers in all sessions. Finalized dates will be announced soon.

  • All-Camp Meeting (2-hour evening meeting, takes the place of your Spring week 3 or 4 meeting)
  • Session Retreat (March 2-3, 2024 off-campus, overnight camping trip)
  • Camp-A-Thon (full weekend in mid Spring Quarter)
  • On-Site Orientation (two days / one night during June 17-20 at camp)

Community Volunteer Program

If you aren’t a UCLA student and don’t live in West LA but would still like to volunteer with UniCamp, you can apply to be a part of UniCamp’s Community Volunteer Program! As a volunteer for this program, you will complete training virtually with our standard Classic Camp volunteers and still serve as a counselor or activity specialist during one session of camp during the summer. 

CVP trainings are on Mondays 7-9pm from April 15th-June 17th on Zoom. There will also be some in-person meetups and a pre-camp orientation (dates TBA).

Requirements to apply:

  • Be a college/university student, past camper, or past volunteer
  • Meet all the essential functions to be a UniCamp volunteer (listed below)
  • Be at least 18 years old and are no longer in high school by February 1, 2024
  • Pass a criminal history background check and reference check
  • Be willing to agree to a conduct agreement to make sure UniCamp is a safe place for all
  • Have a passion for working with kids and being outdoors
  • Ability to communicate in English
  • Ability to navigate on dirt or mulch trails. Our campsite is in a national forest and all the roads/trails are unpaved.

Please contact us if you’re unsure if you’re eligible or to discuss accommodations.

Essential functions to be a UniCamp volunteer

  • Able to traverse UniCamp trails/paths (including dirt trails with slopes/rocks)
  • Able to interact with and supervise campers in an outdoor environment 24 hours a day over a 6-8 day period
  • Able to foster a wholesome and supportive environment in which campers can express their individuality and experience success
  • Able to maintain a positive example for the campers
  • Able to understand and follow UniCamp rules and schedules with minimal supervision
  • Able to manage time off appropriately and without direct supervision
  • Able to fulfill duties in the mountain climate (which can range from 40º-100ºF in rain and sunshine)

Interview Process

Step 2

A leadership team from one of your preferred sessions will reach out to you to schedule an interview or ask for more information

Step 3

If accepted, your session’s leadership team will invite you to the first meeting (Winter Week 6)

UniCamp operates with a continuous interview process after you are initially accepted. Your leadership team will be working with you throughout the training process to make sure you are developing the skills required to be a great camp counselor.


Yes, camp will happen in 2024! Even though the storm damaged our campsite, we will be at an alternate, nearby location in the San Bernardino National Forest for this summer. We’re still finalizing the details, but we’ll share them when it’s confirmed!

UniCamp has been around since 1934 and we’ve faced a lot of setbacks in that time. Though this is a challenging time, we are focusing on planning for a more resilient future while still making sure our campers have an AWESOME time at camp!

Visit unicamp.org/storm for more information about the storm damage and recovery.

To volunteer with UCLA UniCamp, you must be at least 18 years old and no longer in high school by February 1, 2024.

In addition, you must be either a university/college student or former UniCamp volunteer/camper. Weekly session training meetings are held in-person at UCLA. If you aren’t a UCLA student and don’t live in West LA, you may be eligible to apply for CVP (Community Volunteer Program) that accommodates volunteers who aren’t able to make it to campus every week.

During the school year:

  • 2 hours per week for session meetings (not held during 10th or finals weeks)
  • (optional) 1+ hours per week for socials or session events
  • 1 full weekend per quarter for all-camp events (session retreat and Camp-A-Thon)
  • Varies: fundraising and other planning/preparation

During the summer:

  • 2 full days for on-site orientation (at camp)
  • Varies: planning with your co-counselor for your week of camp
  • 1 full week for your session at camp

Don’t worry! It’s early on in the school year and we know you may still be thinking about internships, jobs, or summer school. Internships can often be flexible, especially since this is only a 1-week commitment during the summer. Let us know your tentative plans on your application and we’ll try to work around them.

Nope! We provide all the training needed, based on American Camp Association standards. Depending on the roles you select, you can also learn about lifeguarding, archery, mountain biking, belaying, and more. At camp, you will work in teams with others close by if you need help.

Yes! During training, you’ll learn how to fundraise effectively and will be given opportunities to participate in group fundraisers.

The $450 fundraising minimum is an expectation that you fundraise, and is not a participation fee.

The key to fundraising is asking. If you make the effort and receive a number of small donations but don’t hit your goal, we can often work with you.

Nope! This is a volunteer position for a single week during the summer. There will be opportunities to “float” in other sessions and to apply for a full-season paid staff position at camp if you’d like to be at camp longer than your one week. Info for those roles will be sent out to all volunteers in spring.

Although you don’t have to be at camp for the full summer, please make sure you’re available for your full week of camp!

UniCamp takes place at our campsite in the San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear. Click here for photos and 360º views of camp.

Camp will take place at an alternate campsite in the San Bernardino National Forest in 2024. Stay tuned for more info about that site once it’s finalized!

As a volunteer, you’ll board a bus to/from camp in Westwood, so just make sure you are able to get to UCLA at the start of your session.

You’ll be sorted into one or both of these roles based on your preference and the session’s availability. Everyone will have a “co-counselor” or “co-specialist”.

Counselor: you’ll be in charge of a group of 6-10 campers for the week, eating meals, sharing a cabin, and going to activities together. You’ll be their primary supervision and your role will be to keep them safe and support their growth throughout the week.

Specialist: you’ll be in charge of an activity and will get to work with campers from all different cabins throughout the week. Specialists often join a cabin where you’ll sleep and you’ll have a chance to work with the unit’s counselors in getting to know the campers. Activities include swimming, archery, arts & crafts, climbing tower, nature/hiking, mountain biking, drama, dance, and more. Training/certifications will be provided as-needed.

About half-way through training, you’ll “pref” the role you’d prefer (including age group and activities) and everyone will be sorted.

Nope! You’ll always have a “co” — a co-counselor or a co-specialist. You’ll “pref” who you’d like to work with (along with the role you prefer) and you’ll be assigned one or more “coze” around half-way through training.

Don’t worry, plenty of volunteers will learn alongside you during training! All we ask is that you’re open to new experiences.

We sleep in open-air cabins, each with an attached toilet/shower/sink and (facilities for summer 2024 will be different from normal, but we’ll still be sleeping in cabins in the forest!) spend the majority of the day outside. You’ll get a packing list before camp, but the only special supplies you need are a sleeping bag and flashlight.

Volunteers do not get paid, but we do have paid full-summer staff roles (e.g. kitchen staff) that volunteers can apply for in the Spring. Meals during your week of camp and transportation from camp to UCLA and back are provided.

If you have any further questions, please email us at ccpds@unicamp.org, send us a message on Instagram, or come to an info session.

Apply anyway! You don’t have to commit to anything until you are offered a volunteer position after your interview. The interview process is a great way to learn more about UniCamp and meet other volunteers to help decide if this is right for you.

Anything else?

If you have any other questions or concerns, please email us at ccpds@unicamp.org, send us a message on Instagram, or come to an info session (dates above!).

We look forward to receiving your application!