Junior Counselors

Junior Counselors are the heart and soul of Camp PARC. Their dedication, compassion, and enthusiasm are what campers take home with them and long remember. 

Junior Counselors are neurotypical youth or adults who are paired with one or two individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Junior Counselors are full participants in the Camp PARC program and provide care, compassion, and fun to their assigned camper throughout the session. Junior Counselors put service above self for their entire session, as the needs of the camper take precedence over their own needs.

Junior Counselors can apply to serve at Camp PARC starting at high school age, (approximately 14 years old), and older. They do not need any prior training or experience to serve. Junior Counselors are authentic, encouraging, attentive and energetic. Junior Counselors possess stamina and a caring heart, as well as the ability to work cooperatively with volunteers of all ages in order to make a difference in the lives of others.


Junior Counselors are paired with one or two individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. The Junior Counselor is
responsible for the well-being and constant supervision of their assigned camper(s). They assist their camper with activities of daily living, as needed, and are responsible for their campers’ safety and their whereabouts at all times.

Junior Counselors are full participants in the Camp PARC program, actively participating along side their camper(s) in a variety of small and large group activities.

In order to serve as a Junior Counselor, an individual must:

  • have completed 8th grade
  • stay on-site for the duration of the session(s)
  • independently handle all hygiene and personal care needs
  • model appropriate behavior for their camper and fellow staff members
  • be willing to fully participate in all camp activities with their camper and peer buddy, if applicable.
  • show kindness, compassion, and respect to all campers, staff, and volunteers

No prior experience is required as long as the eligibility requirements are met. We ask that all Junior counselors arrive onsite with a willingness to learn and grow, a kind and caring heart, and a child like spirit.

To begin the application process, please fill out the 2024 online applicationThe online application should be used for new applicants and returning staff.

New residential staff applicants will sign-up for a call with the directors after completing the application. This informal interview-style call is to get to know you, your personality, and answer any questions you may have. If you have served at Camp PARC as a Junior Counselor in the past you will not have to complete an interview. 

Upon receipt of your confirmation to a specific session, applicants then receive their acceptance agreement and health forms to be completed and returned prior to your session start date.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Camp PARC is held in July at Laurel Hill State Park, Group Camp #8, located near Seven Springs Resort in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

There is no cost to volunteer with Camp PARC. Room, board and activities are covered. The only cost for volunteers is travel to and from the program at the start and end. Volunteer staff may want to bring money to purchase logoed items in the Camp PARC merchandise store.

Don’t worry! Keep an eye on your email, we’ll reach out to you if a spot becomes available. Apply early in order to snag a spot!

Yes! Junior counselors are more than welcome to serve at multiple sessions. In order to share this experience with as many unique individuals as possible, we will address serving at multiple session on a case-by-case basis.

Once you are enrolled in a session and all of your health forms and acceptance agreements are complete, we will send you a confirmation packet that gives general details about your session, packing lists and more.

It takes many people and months of planning to make Camp PARC happen. We ask that once you have committed to serve this summer, you do not cancel. 

However, we understand that unavoidable circumstances may make it difficult to attend. In that case, please let the Camp PARC directors know as soon as possible by calling 814-410-5343. We would also encourage you to find a replacement for your position if possible so camp can continue to run as planned.

We review all of the information we have gathered on each camper and junior counselor from their application, health forms, conversations, and, for returning participants, what we know from previous programs. We then match individuals with campers and counselors whom we believe will be a good match. We consider factors such as age, gender, physicality, personality type, energy level, support needed, and whether the participant is new or returning, among other things, when making pairings.

Yes! Camp PARC will verify community service hours. Please bring any necessary paperwork to your assigned session, to be filled out prior to your depature.

Please email staffvolunteer@campparc.org, if you need verification after the summer season.

You are welcome to contact any of our camp directors with additional questions. We are here to help you have a successful summer serving our very special friends.

Ted Risch, Executive Director

Judy Risch, Program Director

Sarah Wallace, Associate Director

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