Camps are held annually, funded by the government of India, and are usually located in a rural village or a city suburb. Volunteers may be involved in such activities as:
- Stage shows or a procession creating awareness of such issues as social problems, education and cleanliness
- Awareness Rallies
- Inviting doctors for health camps
There are no predefined or pre-assigned tasks it is left up to the volunteers to provide service in any way that is feasible. Camps typically last between a week and 10 days, although camps for shorter periods are also conducted.
Special Camping forms an integral part of National Service Scheme. It has special appeal to the youth as it provides unique opportunities to the students for group living, collective experience sharing and constant interaction with community. Special camping's are organized generally on various developmental issues of national importance. In the past the themes of the Special Camping Programmes have been 'Youth Against Famine', 'Youth Against Dirt and Disease', 'Youth for Rural Reconstruction', 'Youth for Eco-Development' and 'Youth for Mass Literacy', 'Youth for National Integration & Social Harmony', "Youth for Sustainable Development with special focus on Watershed Management and Wasteland Development". The current theme of Special Camp is "Youth for Emergency Interventions and Education". Every year 50 percent of the volunteers of each NSS unit are expected to participate in special camps which is of ten days duration.