Teen Stewards Volunteer Program

Youth Volunteer Opportunities

Register for Stewards and Stewards-in-Training HERE.

Youth Volunteer Opportunities are available for every youth camp: summer, winter, and spring.

The Tollgate Camp Teen Steward (15-19 yrs) and Tollgate Steward-in-Training (12-14 yrs) positions are for those interested in gaining experience working with campers in agriculture and natural sciences. What is a Steward? If we look up the definition according to Webster’s Dictionary, a steward is a person whose responsibility it is to take care of something. “Farmers pride themselves on being stewards of the countryside.” That’s exactly what this experience offers - a chance for stewards to enrich, mentor, and lead campers while gaining valuable leadership and life skills. 

Teen Stewards are similar to Junior Camp Counselors, working with our camp staff to lead the weekly program. Providing an experience where teens can explore potential career paths before entering college, Stewards also serve as positive mentors and role-models for Stewards-in-Training and campers. Stewards encourage campers as they experience new and exciting activities in an outdoor farm setting. Stewards build cooperation and trust among campers, model positive behavior, make campers feel welcome, and they are the “stewards” of the farm, continuing with the long legacy of preservation that keeps Tollgate a working farm today. Becoming a Steward is a privilege and requires an application process and interview. Stewards are expected to come to at least two weeks of camp.

A Lead Steward position is available, one per week, for those exceptional teen leaders who have participated as stewards in the past. The Lead Steward will have expanded responsibilities, spending the week with the camp administrative staff and program activity leader helping to run camp. Exploring camp from a foundational perspective, Lead Stewards will get a glimpse into risk management, administrative responsibilities, camper relations, and program design.

Stewards are 15-19 years of age. Those interested should apply below. Stewards new to the program partake in a formal interview and, if selected, stewards must commit to at least two weeks of camp. Stewards act as assistants to the Educational Leaders and role models for campers. Camp Stewards enjoy the camp experience at no cost! Stewards receive career exploration and leadership opportunities throughout their week of camp. 

The Steward-in-Training (SIT) position is the start of the progressive Tollgate Teen Leadership Program. SITs are half camper/half steward and are 12-14 years of age. SITs serve as leaders and role models for campers during activities. A good SIT is interested in learning about leadership, enjoys helping others, likes to get dirty, and is happy to pitch in to help at all times. Each of the SITs is scheduled to work with the camp group best suited to their age and interests. Leadership training is built into the Stewards-in-Training experience as each week SITs break away for their own activities for activities designed to build confidence, leadership strengths, teamwork, and conflict resolution skills. SITs may have the chance to try out one or more of the camp activities for the week in their own special session such as archery, canoeing, fishing, foraging, and more! 

Stewards-in-Training pay $150 for this fun and enriching camp experience. Payment by credit card is made upon registration. SITs are not required to interview for this position. There are a limited number of spots available, so register early. If cancellation is needed, please do so 30 days before the beginning of camps to forego a cancellation fee of $50. Stewards-in-Training may register below for one or more weeks on a first come-first served basis.

MSU Tollgate Farm Camps and  the Teen Stewards Program are programs of Michigan 4-H Youth Development. Registration for this program enrolls the youth as a 4-H Member in Oakland County. 4-H is a learn-by-doing, fun, educational program, helping youth in their growth and development and compliments experiences received at home, school and other organizations.  With the help of caring adult volunteers, 4-H helps young people gain the skills they need to be successful. As a member of 4-H, there are many other opportunities to get involved, including approximately 50 4-H clubs in Oakland County where members work with a large variety of project areas, including agriculture, aerospace, community service, horses, science and technology and more. The required one-time participation fee of $ 10 enrolls your camper as a 4-H member for the rest of the 4-H year (September to August)!  

Click here to open a printable list of current Oakland County 4-H clubs. Questions regarding 4-H? Contact Deb Morgan at morga194@anr.msu.edu

Steward-in-Training and Steward spaces are limited, so register early. Participants under 18 need parental consent to participate in this program. For more information about this program, contact us at tollgateprograms@anr.msu.edu or call 248-347-0269 ext 227.   

If applying for Steward or registering for Steward-in-Training, please save the following dates:                   

Included in the special dates for Stewards and Stewards-in-Training is a mandatory overnight orientation and training scheduled for Friday, June 23 - Saturday, June 24. 

Two Successful You Workshops  presented by Extension Educator Laurie Rivetto. This two-part workshop covers Applications, Resumes, Interviews, and more. The cost is $10 per session. Thursday, March 23, 6-8 pm, Saturday, March 25, 10 am - noon

Thursday, March 23 - 6-8 pm
Saturday, March 25 - 10 am - noon
Monday, May 1 – Deadline to Apply for SIT and Stewards positions
Thursday - Saturday, May 4-6 – Steward Interviews:

Thursday, May 4:  4 - 8 p.m.
Friday, May 5: 4 - 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: 10 am - noon 
June 23 - 24 - Stewards and Stewards-in-Training mandatory overnight training
July 20: 5 - 8:30 pm Stewards and Stewards-in-Training Midsummer Evening Training and Cookout
August 25: 4:30 - 10 p.m. Stewards & Stewards-in-Training Camp Closing Celebration 



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