as an AmeriCorps Volunteer Counselor at Camp Horseshoe

“Serving as an AmeriCorps Volunteer at Camp Horseshoe is a special opportunity to really impact the lives of so many people, but also yourself! You will discover so much about your own life passions and goals, strengths and perseverance, and learn to embrace a culture and way-of-life that is unlike anywhere else for a summer. It truly can be magical.”

— 2014-2017 Horseshoe AmeriCorps Volunteer

AmeriCorps Summer Associate VISTA

What is AmeriCorps Summer Associate VISTA?

Founded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is an anti-poverty program designed to provide needed resources to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to increase their capacity to lift communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA provides opportunities for Americans 18 years or older from a diverse range of backgrounds to dedicate full-time service with an organization to create or expand programs designed to empower individuals and communities in overcoming poverty.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate program offers you the opportunity to become engaged in a community through an existing AmeriCorps VISTA project for 10 weeks during the summer.

What are the Benefits?

Even though this is a volunteer position, Summer Associate VISTA’s receive a $330 living allowance per week and a $1,300 education award upon the completion of your 10 weeks of service. One important perk that is unique to Camp Horseshoe’s VISTA’s is that all housing is provided during your entire stay, along with 18 meals per week. You will also be able to load up your resume with hundreds of volunteer service hours that will be documented and recognized during your time of service. 

Along with the personal benefits above, you will also make an impact on hundreds of children’s lives in just 10 weeks! You will be a part of the glue that holds summer camp together for these kids. At Camp Horseshoe we provide a safe and comfortable place for all where you can make lifelong memories and change the lives of young people. 

When Will I Serve?

The 10 weeks of service as a Summer Association VISTA lasts May through July. During these 10 weeks you will receive 3 weeks of volunteer training, team building and certifications. All certifications that you will need for the summer will be provided during those 3 weeks. 

The other 7 weeks consist of 2 weeks of high school camps, 1 week of middle school camp, and 4 weeks of Youth Opportunity & Adventure Camp for children 7-12 years old. We will begin staff training in late May, and the final week of camp will end in late July.

Volunteer Training: TBD – June 8
Entrepreneurship Summit: June 9 – 15
Sr. Leadership Summit: June 16 – 22
Jr. Leadership Summit: June 23 – June 29
YOC/Adventure Camp I: June 30 – July 6
YOC/Adventure Camp II: July 7 – 13
YOC/Adventure Camp III: July 14 – 20
YOC/Adventure Camp IV: July 21 – 27

What is my Duty as a Volunteer?

As a Summer Associate VISTA, your main duty will be to serve Camp Horseshoe as a volunteer camp counselor. 

To put it briefly, your job will be to safely provide a life-changing, week-long experience for every camper you meet this summer! As a counselor, you will be a LEADER, MENTOR, PARENT, TEACHER, and FRIEND for hundreds of amazing young people you will meet and make a positive impact in their lives. 

Purpose – make all that we do part of the big picture and always be able to explain why.
Hard Work – getting hands dirty, cleaning and maintaining buildings and grounds, helping in the kitchen with meals and dishes, keeping camp clean and a safe environment.
Thoughtfulness – thinking, making appropriate decisions, designing experiences that lead campers and our community to success.
Responsibility – doing every job right the first time, seeing what else needs done and doing it without being asked, and making it work for everyone.
Teamwork – camp is a team activity. Everyone must have the right skills, attitudes, and personality that are group oriented and enable each member to live and work as part of a team with a common purpose.
Community – enjoy work and play in the mountains away from the material world with a focus on others first.


“Camp Horseshoe is truly my home away from home. Every year is filled with new memories and even better friends. Horseshoe is more than just a few buildings and activities… its the people and the community… where you’re allowed to be your true self… and you connect with others on a real personal level, away from outside distractions. I’ll always be thankful for that…”

— 2019 Sr. Leadership Camper

Where is Camp Horseshoe Located?

Camp Horseshoe is located just outside Parsons, West Virginia, situated along Horseshoe Run Creek in the beautiful Monongahela National Forest.

3309 Horseshoe Run Road, Parsons, WV 26287

Horseshoe is located just minutes from many local attractions, sights, and summer fun like:

  • Kayaking the Cheat River
  • Historic Thomas, WV featuring local attractions like Tip Top Coffee, the Purple Fiddle, and many local artisan galleries. 
  • Blackwater Falls State Park
  • Historic Davis, WV featuring local attractions like Sirianni’s Pizza, Hellbender Burritos, and Blackwater Bikes
  • Canaan Valley Resort and State Park
  • Hiking the Dolly Sods Wilderness
  • Climbing Seneca Rocks
  • Exploring Deep Creek Lake in Maryland

How Long Has Camp Horseshoe been Operating?

Camp Horseshoe was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930’s. The CCC was a work relief program that gave millions of young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression. The CCC planted more than three billion trees and constructed trails and shelters in more than 800 parks nationwide during its nine years of existence. Our 8 rustic cabins and the beautiful Horseshoe dining hall were all built by the CCC and still being preserved and used today. 

Camp Horseshoe was established as a youth summer camp in 1940, and has continued to provide life-changing programs for thousands of youth each year since. 

What are the Amenities Like?

During your time of service, you will live and work on-site each week, with some time to relax, reenergize, and get away on the weekend.

Our CCC-built cabins will be your home for the summer. Each cabin has a main lobby, two wings for campers, and a counselor’s quarters. You will sleep in the counselors quarters, which provides ample privacy and space for all of your personal items. Each week, you may share this space with up to three other counselors or volunteers. 

Each side of camp has a bath and shower house, as well as a laundry area only for counselors. 

Three meals a day (except during weekend time off) will be provided in the dining hall. Horseshoe provides itself in serving some of the best home-cooked meals that you will find at any summer camp. Many of our recipes have been passed down for generations. Our meals are served family-style, and are an important piece to our overall program each week.

WIFI and computer access is limited, but will be available on weekends or on time away from campers as needed. We understand that life outside of camp doesn’t stop, so accommodations for school, work, and family are acceptable. 

Nature and outdoor beauty is abundant at Horseshoe. Surrounding by the rugged towering mountains of the Monongahela National Forest, there is plenty of space to relax, unwind, and find some peace and quiet on your time off.

I'm Interested... I Want to Learn More!


Please call our office at (304) 478-2481, or email one of our Horseshoe VISTA program managers:

Kayla Butler – [email protected]

Payton Shreve – [email protected]