Since camps are worlds created exclusively for children, folks working at camp generally enjoy spending time with, coaching and teaching children, but every camp employee does not work directly with children. There are some summer camp jobs that involve the care and keeping of the camp and its equipment rather than the supervision of campers.
Here’s a partial list of essential and lesser known jobs at camps across the region with brief descriptions of each. Carefully review full job descriptions before you apply for any camp jobs! For overnight camp jobs, camper supervision overnight is part of the job for many staff members. Working at camp requires a lot of responsibility and a strong work ethic but it pays off by developing new skills and establishing experience that will look fabulous on your resume and prepare you for any future profession!
- The General Counselor (most common) – Counselors work directly with children: teaching, listening, problem-solving, chaperoning, entertaining, supervising and helping in various ways. The title may be the same, but the scope of the counselor job and its qualifications and requirements do vary widely from camp to camp.
- The Program/Activity Specialists – Program and Activity Specialists spend a significant part of the day focused on a specific area of specialization – areas that include but are not limited to: waterfront, arts & crafts, team and individual sports, fine and performing arts, academics, riding, outdoor pursuits, high or low ropes, and more. And it gets even more specialized as silversmiths, athletic trainers, yoga instructors, massage therapists, pastry chefs and nurse practitioners have been valuable additions to some camp staffs. Expect differences from camp to camp in how specialists are used. Certain certificates, credentials and specialized training may be required or highly encouraged for these camp jobs.
- The Office-Based Staff – These folks do their work in the camp’s nerve center and provide a friendly voice on the phone, to skillfully disburse the ever-growing mounds of camper mail and email, and to keep up with registration and health forms and parent requests. They also are the ones who know what’s happening in camp and who to find where!
- The Lifeguard – Use that Red Cross credential to keep campers safe in and around the water on and off camp. Campers swim in ponds, lakes, streams, pools, rivers and/or the ocean.
- The Shopper – a chief provisioning role in camp requiring numerous trips to the store, to the doctor, and to the post office to name a few. This job is often combined or shared with other camp jobs.
- The Kitchen Staff – Depending on the size of the camp, there are highly specialized roles (pot scrubber or dishwasher) and more general ones (some assistants can do everything from chopping and prepping veggies for the salad bar to receiving deliveries and/or running the dishwasher).
- The Maintenance/ Ground Crew – Mow fields, deliver camper gear on opening and closing days, do odd jobs involving basic carpentry and/or brute strength, perform maintenance for camp vehicles and other equipment (including boats) and keep camp looking neat and clean.
- The Driver (may require a special license) – Drop off and pick up those canoers or hikers on out of camp trips, run camp errands, take a camp team to compete at a neighboring camp, or pick up and drop off staff and campers at the airport or bus station.
- Animal Care Staff – Horses and small farm animals are an important part of camp programming and camp life. Animals require attention and care during the hot summer months. Some animal care positions involve direct work with campers, while others only require work with the animals.
- The Photographer – Several camps provide photography online so families can see their campers in action. Camp personnel charged with capturing the camp community on film capture thousands of images to chronicle camp in action! Photography and photo editing experience is a plus.
- The Camp Administrative Team Members — This category of summer camp job is not entry level. Camps frequently promote from within; it’s common to meet camp directors who have held several positions of increasing responsibility at the camp over the years. Nevertheless, there are certainly people with transferable skills – like experienced school teachers and administrators, food service, and counseling and medical personnel – who possess educational backgrounds and skill sets that could immediately be useful in camp leadership and supervisory positions.
Check out positions like these as well as other summer camp jobs on Boston Parents Summer Camp Job Board
or at ACA, New England’s website at www.acanewengland.org/jobs
Provided by the American Camp Association, New England, a 501 (c) 3 organization that serves families and camp professionals as the region’s leading source for “all things summer camp.” For help finding a camp or for additional camp information and resources in CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT, Visit www.acanewengland.org or call (781) 541-6080.