Supporting Those Who Serve: Your Staff Care Team Is Here to Help!

Julia Silvestri WongBlog

Julia Silvestri Wong is the mom of three campers and an adult volunteer at Camp Mini-Yo-We. She offered to share about her experiences and give you an insider’s view of how we care for our hard-working summer staff team!

I have a confession to make: I love camp! I’m a full-fledged, card-carrying adult with a family, a job, and a mortgage but every year when the weather starts to get warmer, I get the itch for the great outdoors and the community that comes with being at camp. 

So, what’s a mom to do when she has three kids but wants to go to camp herself? Send them to Mini-Yo-We and volunteer, of course! For the past few summers, I have had the privilege of being an adult volunteer for the first week of camp. One year, I was on the Facility team – you’re welcome for cleaning your washrooms every day! But last year was my favourite role, as I served as part of the Staff Care team.

What Does a Staff Care Volunteer Do?

Great question! Basically, the role entails being around in the Portage room to support young leaders during their time off. The cool part is that each week different volunteers support them in their own ways. My amazing Staff Care partner and friend, Laura, and I started brainstorming weeks before camp about how we could make it a great experience. 

No matter who’s volunteering in Staff Care, here are a few things summer staff can expect to enjoy in their lounge on their time off:

  • Pastoral care: For when you need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or hands to pray with you.
  • Iced coffee bar: Through extensive onsite training we become literal baristas to make you iced coffees from scratch. You better believe we fancy them up in our own way with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and straws!
  • A comfy place to hang: Looking for a clean place to take a break? You are in luck, the “family room” setup of the lounge in the Portage room with couches and tables to hang out will be there for you. It’s a place where you don’t have to worry about taking out the garbage – we got you!
  • A place to play: On any given day there are games, cards, puzzles, books, and more set up in the Portage room for you to enjoy with your friends or on your own.
  • TREATS: Each week, the Staff Care team has a budget to buy fun treats just for you! During our week, we made popcorn almost every day, picked up Timbits, and had freezies a few times. Such a treat on those super hot July days!
  • Troubleshooting: Wifi goes out in the Portage room? We will get on that for you. Need help with your camper letters? We might be able to give you a hand. Need someone to pray with you because you are really struggling today? Do not say another word, it’s already done!

Why Do We Do It? 

The biggest reason I volunteer on Staff Care is to make sure the leaders who are taking care of my kids are healthy and cared for. I had the privilege of making iced coffee for my middle daughter Fiamma’s cabin leader last summer. It had been a rough night with a sick camper. While I made her coffee, we got to chat and then I prayed for her on the spot. She told me that she felt so much better after our few minutes together. What an incredible opportunity to bless that young leader while she was taking care of my precious girl!

Giving Back

Some of us were young camp leaders once too! Many adult volunteers have a history of being a part of camp life. We know what it is like to be full-on committed to serving kids in camp ministry. We come back to show staff the love we know would’ve helped when it was our turn back in the day. It was kind of embarrassing but I don’t know how many times last summer I heard, “Oh my gosh, I love you, you are the best!” when I made a snack for a group of leaders or a delicious coffee for someone running by the space.

So, come and serve at Camp Mini-Yo-We! Care for the campers and the Staff Care team will care for you. For details and to apply, visit our Summer Staff webpage.

Sign Up for Summer 2024!

Over 200 adult volunteers like Julia join us at Camp Mini-Yo-We every summer. We truly depend on them as we develop tomorrow’s leaders through life-changing adventures in God’s creation. Thankfully, over three-quarters of these roles are already filled for 2024! Our Staff Care team is fully recruited and we have just a few Facility openings left. We’d love to fill our Food Services and Medical volunteer rosters, too. To find out more about these opportunities and available dates, please contact Becca Sjonger at or 705-385-2629. You can also find info on our Adult Volunteers webpage. Apply online today!