Camp Counselor job search

My daughter is a freshman in college in the midwest and is interested in being a counselor at an overnight camp next summer. She feels she needs to cast a fairly wide net at this point, but doesn't want to fill out tons and tons of separate applications, and (more important) doesn't want to ask her references to complete lots of different forms.  Sites like "campgig" and "campstaff" seem to offer a streamlined "clearinghouse" approach -- does anyone have familiarity with these sites or others, or advice on how to best approach the job search?  (Of course she'll be checking with her college & career center.)  

A little background ... She has tons of experience being a camper (day and overnight), as well as two summers working part time with kids as an activity leader.  The overnight camps she attended were mostly skill-building (e.g. horseback riding, soccer), and she's not interested in applying to those.  She loves silly group games, low-level sports, arts and crafts, getting messy, singalongs, etc.  She's open to California, Pacific Northwest, Minnesota, Wisconsin & possibly the East Coast.  She was a Girl Scout so will apply to their camps and that may be her best opportunity, since at many camps the counselors are people who started as campers and return year after year.  

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

RE: Camp Counselor job search ()

Have her check out http://campaugusta.org/staff/staff-app/  She sounds like a good match for the camp!

RE: Camp Counselor job search ()

She should contact Bar 717 Camp and ask them how they find their counselors.   It sounds perfect for her. It’s outdoorsy, crafty, old-fashioned and not competitive.  Another idea is Ohana Family Camp in Vermont.  It’s a family camp, not a kids camp per se, but they hire young counselors to do exactly the kinds of things your daughter is good at.  Our family loves it, and although many counselors return, they are  always bringing on a few new people each summer.   If she talks to the directors at a few ideal camps, she can find out their process for hiring, and then shape her approach around that. Also, she should make sure she has her lifeguard certification.  Seems like camps want all their counselors to have that and to take lifeguard shifts.  

RE: Camp Counselor job search ()

I would like to recommend that your daughter look at the American Youth Foundation’s programs at Camp Miniwanca (in Michigan) or Merrowvista (in New Hampshire) as an option. I went to Minnewanca as a camper for four years and was a leader as well. It is a great all-around camp with all of the features you describe, with a motto of “My own self, at my very best, all the time.” 

https://ayf.com/

RE: Camp Counselor job search ()

I asked my sibling who is the Director of a sleepaway camp on the East Coast if there was any advice to offer your daughter, and got this reply:

She should research a handful of camps that seem like they would be a good match for her (i.e., non competitive, artsy, Farm animals, free choice, cabins or tents, electricity or not, uniforms or not, location, etc) - and then email them specifically - most camps these days have a link on their sites to apply directly. She should do that but then follow up with an email. Some good sites for her to start the research- kidscamps.com, mysummercamps.com, campage.com. She could also check the American Camp Association - they will have a link for camp searches. They should also have a link for job seekers, and some camps will even post their jobs on the ACA site. Most of the sites are geared for prospective campers, but she can narrow down her search by putting in the specific criteria that is important to her. And after she finds camp(s) that are interesting to her she should check out their marketing video on their website. Most camps have a short video and plenty of photos.There are camps everywhere!!! So ideally to make it less overwhelming she should focus on the geographic location of her choice. And then start narrowing it down. Good luck to her!!  

RE: Camp Counselor job search ()

Also, as far as her desire to not have ask references to complete lots of different forms, I don't think you need to protect her from that. It can be really difficult to ask people to act as references but it is a great skill to acquire, and this will be a nice opportunity for her to figure out how to do it gracefully and graciously when the stakes are comparatively low.

RE: Camp Counselor job search ()

Your daughter may want to consider applying for a counselor job at Camp Trinity.  Camp Trinity is a sleep away camp for boys and girls on a 400+ acre wooded ranch in Trinity County.  It has an emphasis on outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, river walking and horseback riding and crafts like ceramics, cooking, art, photography.  Every night there is a sing a long before bedtime and the Camp emphasizes a sense of community and love of nature in it's activities.  It's pretty wholesome and fun.  The counselors are all college aged kids, most from different parts of the US but many are International students. The counselors all become fast friends during the 8 weeks of camp, and these friendships seem to extend beyond the camp experience which would leave your daughter with friends from across the US as well as friends in other parts of the world when camp was over.  It's an old, well established, and well run camp in a lovely setting to spend a summer in, and again, super wholesome and fun.  Both my kids are camper returnees, and I have done volunteer work at Camp Trinity as a Camp Nurse, and I would highly recommend a counselor position for a college aged kid.