Medical Staff & Volunteers
Medical volunteer roles
Overnight Camp Medical Team
In 2021, CAMPFIRE CIRCLE began to offer modified five-day family retreats where parents/guardians, patients and siblings will attend camp together. Medical facilities are staffed with a four-person medical team, including a summer staff nurse, two paediatric nurses for each session, one of whom must be APHON certified, and a paediatric oncologist (either on call or in-person). This team is available 24 hours a day to support our Campers and volunteers. All positions are also supported by a year-round nursing team.
Our Muskoka facility remains the only camp site in Canada that administers IV chemotherapy and blood product transfusions onsite, staffed by highly specialized nurses and doctors with experience in both paediatrics and oncology.
Each trip is staffed by at least one nurse, as well as a trip leader and group of volunteer counsellors. Excursions include canoe trips, snowshoeing, hiking and more. You don’t need previous camping/canoe trip experience, but it is an asset. Specific training will be offered to all nurses who participate in our trips.
Day Camp nurses
Day camp programs take place from Monday to Friday, offering the fun of camp without leaving the city. Each week is staffed by at least one paediatric oncology nurse. Our youngest Campers (ages 4-7) can experience camp at Camp Robin Hood in Markham. We also offer day camp for Campers ages 4 – 14 in Toronto, London, Hamilton and Ottawa.
Community program nurses
Community programs give Campers and their families the opportunity to experience the magic of camp year-round in communities across Ontario like Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Sudbury. At least one paediatric nurse is needed for family camping trips, Camper sleepovers, and more.
Camp nursing involves an aspect of 'play'... and helps to strengthen relationships between patients, nursing colleagues and doctors. It's good on the heart, helps build resiliency, and affirms why we choose the profession we do.
— Courtney, Med Shed Nurse
By joining us as a medical staff or as a medical volunteer, you’ll be responsible for:
- Administering medications to Campers
- General first aid
- Initiating fever/neutropenia care
- Assisting with medical emergencies
- NG/G-tube feeding
- Central line care
- Specialized care to support Campers
- Training and supporting volunteer counsellors for Camper care needs
- Health education and promotion
In addition to general nursing and first aid responsibilities, overnight camp nurses may also:
- Draw blood work, provide blood product transfusions
- Administer IV chemotherapy
- Communicate with Campers’ primary care centres
Qualifications & requirements
Due to the range of activities and needs of our Campers, all medical staff & volunteer candidates must:
- Be registered nurses with current registration with College of Nurses of Ontario
- Have paediatric nursing experience, and currently work in an acute care centre (please note that oncology experience is preferable but not required for all positions)
- Have been working as a nurse for at least one year
- Be comfortable transferring nursing skills to a more remote setting
- Have a keen interest in camp nursing
- Attend a medical team training session
- Have a willingness to participate in fun camp activities whenever possible
APHON Chemotherapy provider certification, peripheral IV and blood work and biotherapy skills are an asset, but not required for all positions.
Physicians with the following designations may apply: Staff oncologist, paediatrician and paediatric oncology fellow.
COVID-19 Update: thank you for your continued support of CAMPFIRE CIRCLE—we can’t wait to see you soon! Preparations are underway to resume in-person camp programs. Please go to the staff dashboard to apply for programs, manage your account and update your information.
Medical volunteer questions
There is a variety of mandatory and optional training sessions for medical staff & volunteers depending on the type of program you are supporting. Everyone must read the Med Shed manual, watch position specific online training videos and participate in pre-program orientation meetings. There are also specific training sessions for overnight camp and trip nurses.
All medical staff & volunteers have the opportunity to participate in the spring volunteer weekend training, which gives new medical team members a chance to learn about camp and meet many of the staff and volunteers you will be working with.
We hire one summer staff Health Care Aid/PSW each year to live on an overnight camp site for summer camp sessions. This position is hired in February each year for the upcoming summer. We also encourage nursing students and other health care professionals to consider a non-medical volunteer role at camp. Click on the Camp volunteer tab to learn more!
The medical team members are considered volunteers. However, nurses are hired on a contractual basis and are paid a stipend for their participation in programs. The amount of the stipend depends on the length of the program.
Nurses and Oncologists staff our medical facilities at camp known as either the Med Shed (Muskoka) or the Body Shop (Rainbow Lake & OuR Island). Our medical centers are equipped to manage many medical scenarios, from bumps and bruises to the specialized oncology care that our Campers need.
Interested in becoming part of our medical team?
Submit your application and join the magic of camp!Apply now
For more info on becoming part of the medical staff or medical volunteer teams, please contact: