Volunteering and Service Projects

How to Help Us

Tomahawk is a big place: we have over 200 structures. We need people to assist with maintaining our camps, especially those with a passion for camp or those who are experienced and skilled. If you are interested in swinging a hammer at camp or even just want to help keep the grass mowed, we want your help!

Work Party

Each year, we have a weekend where many volunteers and units help us crush some projects. Looking for a unit outing? Look no further than a weekend stay at Tomahawk. We'll provide shelter, food, the tools, and materials needed. You'll provide the hands to help. It is always hosted the weekend after Memorial Day (Friday night through Sunday Lunch). Sign up below!

Sign Up For Work Party

Units

Whether your unit is coming to summer camp and want to make a lasting impact or if you're planning a weekend outing at Tomahawk and are looking to knock out some service hours, we're always looking for help. We can either work on a passion project of your unit's or something off of our project list.

For example, some projects units have worked on in the past are:

  • Wood Splitting: Split wood that has been cut into splittable chunks. Leave in nice stacks or transport to pre-determined locations.
  • Painting Latrines: We are working on making camp as a whole look nicer. Your unit can help by painting your latrine. We will provide all needed materials, including the paint and brushes.
  • Moving Boats: Move canoes to racks, put out row boats, kayaks, paddle boards. This is a good project for troops. Experienced sailors could rig sailboats
  • Campsite Entryway: In an effort to better define each campsite, we are looking to add a “ranch” style entryway to each campsite. This involves notching treated 4x6 lumber, drilling, and setting the lumber in the ground. The finished opening of the entryway will be around 13 foot square using 16ft timbers. We will provide the materials for this, but we have a limit to how many we can do in a year.
  • Campfire Benches: There are many campsites that should have better seating around their campfire rings. We are working to standardize most campsites to have a certain quality of bench. We have come up with a design of bench that would be well suited for around the campfires. If your unit would like to build benches, please refer to the bench design and plans below.
    • We will ask when you sign up how many benches you plan to build (1-4)
    • We ask that units who can provide your own materials. Otherwise, we can provide the materials but we will do a “One for You, One for Us” system where your unit will make a minimum of 2 benches. One bench will go in your campsite and the other goes into an area of our choosing.
    • Campsite Bench Plans

No matter what your project is, or even if you don't know what you want to do, the first step to volunteer is to reach out to our Head Ranger Adam Repman at arepman@northernstar.org. We ask that you include:

  • The date(s) your unit will be at camp
  • Approximately how many people will be there
  • Any special skills or trainings adults have (e.g. one of the parents is an electrician, 2 adults are BSA chainsaw trained, etc.) 
  • Project:
    • If you have a project or type of project in mind, what it is
    • If you don't have a project in mind, please let us know how long you want to work on a project
  • If you are willing to supply any materials (we can provide a deed of gift, as we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Individuals / Small Groups

There's lots of different projects on our todo list, but we recognize that everyone has different talents, skills, and interests. We welcome anyone to help out, no matter what skill level you have or what your group size is. The categories below are solely to help direct the most common types of work and groups we see - even if you don't fit into any of the categories please do not hesitate to reach out.

Facilities

Not every project requires 16 people. Whether you have skills/experience doing things like shingling a roof or if you just have some time on your hands and are willing to come up and paint, we can use the help.

For those who are willing to dedicate half of each day they stay working on a project we approved, we'll give you your own space to stay, free of charge. This means that you can bring your family, volunteer your time for half of the day while they relax, then hang out with them for the rest of the day in a free cabin. The only disclaimer is that we are unable to honor this during some times of the year, such as the summer, as all facilities are in use. No matter what, we'll let you know right away if it is something we can do.

Some examples of work people have done for us in the past include:

  • Mowing Lawns: Mowing lawns and fields throughout camp with the Zero-Turn mower
  • Sign Painting: Remove signs that need painting, keep track of their location, scrape-sand-repaint, reinstall signs when dry
  • Roadside and Lawn Cleanup: Cleanup roads sides and areas that get mowed of debris, plow damages, downed trees, etc. before the grass starts to grow
  • Building Painting: Prep, clean, stain/paint pre-determined buildings at camp
  • Tree Cutting: Cut up downed trees throughout camp into splittable chunk. Must have taken the chainsaw safety training and must go with a buddy.

No matter what your project is, or even if you don't know what you want to do, the first step to volunteer is to reach out to our Head Ranger Adam Repman at arepman@northernstar.org. We ask that you include:

  • The date(s) you will be at camp
  • Approximately how many people will be volunteering (just you is perfectly fine!)
  • Any special skills or trainings you or any other adults have (e.g. you are a roofer, 2 adults are BSA chainsaw trained, we're bringing someone along who splices fiber, etc.)
  • Project:
    • If you have a project or type of project in mind, what it is
    • If you don't have a project in mind, please let us know how long you want to work on a project (e.g. 4 hours on Saturday, half of every day for our entire stay)
  • If you are willing to supply any materials (no pressure to do so!)

Program

If you have a strong passion for a program, we'd love to hear from you! We're always looking for people to train our staff, find materials that improve what we have and are cheaper, or even writing program/merit badge syllabi that our staff then use to learn.

If this sounds like something up your alley, please reach out to the Camp Director Brian Halloran at bhalloran@northernstar.org and let him know what program(s) you are interested in, what experience you have with it, and what you are willing to do.

Serving on a Committee

Are you interested in putting your knowledge to use to improve camp's policies, programs, or areas? We have committees run by a mix of adult leaders, current camp staff, camp alumni, and industry experts where they and the Camp Director brainstorm and discuss problems, ideas, feedback, and more. Each committee is specialized in some way, whether it be by their experience with camp (new leaders), experience with a specific area (aquatics), or by their end goal (project-based committees).

If you're interested in joining a committee, please reach out to the Camp Director Brian Halloran at bhalloran@northernstar.org

Alumni

The Tomahawk Alumni Association, made up of current and previous camp staff, hosts several events in which we help camp set up, take down, knock out projects, and even help mentor staff. If you're looking for an opportunity to help camp while hanging out with like-minded people, there's no better opportunity than any event hosted by the Alumni Association.

Learn More About the Alumni Events.

General / Other

The categories above are solely to help direct the most common types of work and people we have reaching out to us - even if you don't fit into any of the categories above, please do not hesitate to reach out! You can direct any general volunteering questions to tomahawk@northernstar.org

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Volunteering and Service Projects