Build Camps

The summer building season of Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity’s ministry could easily be dubbed “Build Camp Season.”  Beginning in April and ending in August, groups of approximately 25 volunteers, coming from as far as Missouri, travel to Yakima to spend a week serving with Habitat.

How it Works

Reservations: First priority is given to the last year’s build camps. They may elect to “keep” the week that they worked during the previous summer, returning for that same week the next summer. After January 1st, all weeks that haven’t been reserved by returning camps are available!

Contact Yakima Valley Partner's Volunteer Coordinator to see what weeks are available for your group to come!

Group Size: The maximum size for a build camp group is 25, including both youth and adults on site. We will provide work and a wonderful experience for 25 participants on site. Members of your group need to be at least 16 years old. Habitat cannot be responsible for the supervision of young children on the job site, and the construction supervisor's license could be in jeopardy if young children are present.

Yakima Valley Partners Habitat build camps are suggested to bring a ratio of at least one professional carpenter or contractor for every seven volunteers. The size of the group may be reduced if the appropriate number of skilled professionals is not available. The names and phone numbers of those skilled and experienced builders need to be listed on the information sheet being returned to us. If your group consists of high school students you will also need one adult counselor for every seven teens.

Dates: The “work week” usually begins on a Monday morning and ends on Friday afternoon, but there is some flexibility regarding those days. Contact the volunteer coordinator to make arrangements for your group today! 

Housing & Showers: The volunteer coordinator at Habitat will make the arrangements for your group to stay at a “host church” which will provide a place to stow gear, cook meals, and rest up after the work day. Some host churches have showers, but most do not. If your host church does not have showers, arrangements will be made with the YMCA so that your group is able to clean up cost-free! 

Types of Work
Habitat builds new houses in partnership with families in need. We may be framing a house, putting up sheetrock, painting, digging a hole or septic field line, moving rocks, putting up paneling, etc. What you do depends on the stage of the project. Habitat's work, like all construction work, is dependent on the weather. If it rains (a rarity in the Yakima County!) there may not be enough indoor work for everyone.

Divide and Conquer
It should be noted that we are often working on more than one job site at a time. Depending upon the size of your group and the number of work sites, you may not all be assigned to the same work site. The smaller number of group members the greater the chance to have an awesome experience all working together. Because the cities/towns in Yakima Valley are spread out (our service area is Prosser to Yakima), your group may have to drive to reach the job site(s).

Branching Out
Habitat also works with other housing organizations that have goals similar to ours, and our volunteers often work on their projects. At the present time, Habitat cooperates with Coalition for the Homeless, and the Yakima City Office of Neighborhood Development Services, which has a low income Senior Volunteer program. Coalition for the Homeless furnishes short-term emergency housing; Habitat has assisted in the renovation of apartments. These houses are sold at a low cost to families in need, who have put in a certain amount of sweat equity hours. Alongside the Office of Neighborhood Development, Habitat has also been asked to paint the exteriors of houses of the elderly who are not financially able to have it done. Most build camps will be asked to help one or more of these housing organizations during their week with Habitat.

Whatever job you complete, know the job is a vital one! Framing a house is an important part as well as digging a hole or moving rocks to clear the land on which we will build the home. Every job is an important job to Christ.

Supervision & Guidance: On-site supervision is provided by Habitat for Humanity staff.

Cost: In order for Yakima Valley Partners Habitat to ensure a productive build camp, it is necessary for your group to contribute $150 per person per week including youth and adults. This will help to pay the construction and administrative costs. For example, if you bring a group of 6 youth and 4 adult advisors (for a total of 10 participants) you would be expected to make a contribution of $1,500. Please send at least half of your contribution two weeks before arriving. Your food and transportation costs are in addition to the $150 per person fee.

For further information and logistics, see
Build Camp Guidelines and Build Camp Forms

How do I get Involved?

If you are interested in serving with Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity for a week during the summer, please feel free to contact the Volunteer Coordinator by phone or email!

Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity
21 West Mead Ave., Suite 110, Yakima, WA 98902
Phone: (509) 453-8077 Fax: (509) 453-8190

Spending time building a home is a great way to volunteer, and the first that many people think of. 

No experience is necessary, as we have a construction site supervisor to show you what to do. 

All construction volunteers must be at least 16 years old and have signed a waiver. 

You can also volunteer your time by assisting at the Yakima Valley Habitat Store, joining one of the committees that help run our affiliate, or assisting with a fundraiser!  For any of these opportunities, call (509) 453-8077 to speak with someone in the office.

Dec, 2020