Camp Helping Hands® Partnership to give President’s Volunteer Service Award

Camp Helping Hands® Partners with the White House to give campers President’s Volunteer Service Award

Thousand Oaks summer camp Camp Helping Hands® announces its new partnership with The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.  As a service-learning camp, Camp Helping Hands campers and volunteer staff members can apply their summer camp service hours toward attainment of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The Council created the award as a way to honor outstanding volunteers and to inspire others to help out in their community. Most colleges today emphasize service as a requirement for acceptance, so this is an award kids can proudly put on their resumes and college applications.

“This recognition is also something that our campers can refer to for the rest of their lives. It’s a wonderful way to emphasis to kids how service is such an integral and valued part of our nation's past and present," co-founder Anne Marquart said.

Depending on which award the participant earns, they can receive a President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin, a personalized certificate of achievement and a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama.

Levels range from Bronze Level for kids who complete 50 to 74 hours, to Gold Level for kids who complete over one hundred hours. The highest award, the President’s Call to Service Award, is given to kids of all ages that complete 4,000 hours of service over a lifetime.

Camp Helping Hands is excited for its campers and volunteer staff with The President’s Council.

“Not only does this partnership validate the need for a program like Camp Helping Hands, but it also allows us to honor our campers, which will no doubt help further their lifelong commitment to service,” co-founder Meredith Cornelius said.

About Camp Helping Hands

The Camp Helping Hands project began when co-founder Cornelius realized her upper-middle class six-year-old daughter was spoiled. Understanding that her daughter was incapable of knowing what life is like when you don’t always have what you need, she decided it was time for her to learn compassion and empathy by volunteering her time to help others not as fortunate as her.

After researching service areas of interest on the Internet, they found a definite lack of programs accepting young children as volunteers.

Cornelius saw this as an opportunity and thought a summer camp would fit the bill. She knew this project was too big to tackle alone, so longtime friend Anne Marquart was asked to join the team as partner and co-founder.

The camp will take place at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks from July 18 to August 7, 2011. Service excursions will include trips to the Agoura Animal Shelter, Waste Management, Join the Farm and Community Roots Garden.

For more information about Camp Helping Hands, visit or call 805-244-5071