What are the benefits of working at a summer camp?

Summer camp employment is perfect for teachers and coaches who have their summers off and want supplemental income and for students and young professionals who are looking to build their resume.  With summer camp employment you gain valuable hands-on experience in related fields of study, you network with other like-minded professionals and emerging professionals, and you live and work with peers from all over the world.

Where are the camps Camp Staff USA helps to staff located?

Camp Staff USA works with hundreds of residential camps throughout the entire United States but a majority are located in the North Eastern states. Staff should be prepared to relocate for the summer, but consider that a perk!  You can explore other parts of the USA with virtually no living expenses.

Does Camp Staff USA work with day camps in addition to residential summer camps?

Though a handful of organizations Camp Staff USA helps to staff are categorized as day camps, the vast majority are residential camps which require all staff to live on site for the length of their employment contract – typically 9 weeks.

What are my costs?

Our services to pre-screen and secure placement for you in a great summer camp is FREE!  All staff typically have room and board and all meals provided at no cost while remaining onsite of the hiring camp. There are virtually No Living Expenses while you build your resume, potentially earn intern/credit hours in your field of study and make a nice salary.

Staff are responsible for costs associated with travel to and from camp.  In addition, staff are also responsible for acquiring a medical screening and background check after being hired.  Background checks must be current (within 12 months) at the time of application. CampStaffUSA offers a convenient link within the application at a reduced rate.

What is the difference between a CAMP COUNSELOR and SUPPORT STAFF?

A Camp Counselor position is ideal for undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing degrees in teaching, counseling, coaching, physical therapy, athletic training, sports psychology, etc. or for skilled athletes who simply love working with youth and want a summer job that feels like play. Summer camp counselors are responsible for ensuring camper overall well-being, keeping campers on schedule with activities, and leading camp activities.  A counselor’s work includes assisting with camper management in classrooms, in bunks, on the sports fields, and in the dining hall. Counselors may lead daily activities, like crafts, outdoor games, musical performances, and so forth, and may perform other responsibilities, especially at smaller summer camps.  Counselors supervise and manage campers at all times, except during scheduled breaks.  Counselors may participate in whole camp activities and special events such as talent shows, camp competitions, the camp band, and/or an end-of-the-year musical. A summer camp counselor may also accompany campers during out-of-camp events, including camping trips, hikes, theme parks, whitewater rafting, whale-watch cruises, and ball games. Themed camps such as fine arts camps, computer camps, sailing camps, specific sports camps, etc. hire multiple specialty counselors every summer. No matter what the venue, the summer camp counselor is primarily responsible for ensuring that the campers are safe, having fun, and engaged in interesting recreational and educational activities.

Support Staff play a very important role at camp as well, helping to keep camp operations running smoothly and efficiently behind the scenes. Support Staff at US summer camps encompass all of the non-counselor areas of the summer camp operation and they offer valuable experience for those interested in culinary arts, business administration, and parks and recreation for examples.

  • Kitchen: chef, baker, cook, kitchen assistant, dishwasher and waiter/waitress
  • Office: secretary, programming, accounting and filing
  • Maintenance:  general grounds keeping, handyman, security and drivers
  • Cleaning: laundry, janitor, porter, garbage collection and housekeeping

Summer camp support staff roles and responsibilities vary depending on the position offered. Often, staff who work in the kitchen or in grounds and maintenance will regularly begin work at an earlier hour to prepare the camp for the day while staff who work in the office might work on a shift basis where hours vary. Support staff work as a team and may at times of need, help in a variety of areas. Although support staff are not directly responsible for campers, it is usually encouraged that all staff get involved in special events and all-camp activities such as talent shows and international days. During time off, camps typically permit staff members to enjoy the campus and the facilities; to play tennis, play basketball, go for a swim, etc.

What is the time commitment?  

The US summer camp season runs from late May, beginning of June through mid to late August with average employment between 9-11 weeks. Typical contracts are 9 weeks.  Some pre-camp and post-camp work opportunities are possible.  This time frame is perfect for students who want to work and still have time to travel or to rest up for the upcoming school year.

What does it mean, when it says my contract will be “approximately 9 weeks?”

Summer camps run for seven to eight weeks and usually require staff to arrive 5-7 days prior to the campers for orientation.  Sometimes camps may ask you to arrive earlier in order to assist in the preparation for the summer or to go through a training that is relevant to your position. In other cases, camps run programs or entertains groups after camp is over. For some positions, camps requires that staff be willing to come early and leave late. In these cases camp will pay you directly for time beyond the 9 weeks at $30-$40 per day worked or an agreed upon extension rate.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for the camp counselor or support staff program?

Applicants for the Camp Counselor program must:

  • Be a mature adult over the age 18.
  • Native English speaker or possess strong English language skills.
  • Be willing to work long hours with children and have some prior experience.
  • Possess two or more camp related skills that you can teach or assist in teaching campers – the stronger your skills and application, the better the chance of a placement at camp.
  • Be open minded, energetic, flexible & prepared to work long hours!
  • Be in good health.
  • Have no criminal record.
  • Be willing to relocate for the summer contract period. Be independent and self-motivated. You are required to be pro-active in the application process. It is important to understand that living and working in a residential setting is both rewarding and challenging at times and is a learning and life experience, not simply a holiday.

Applicants for the Summer Work Travel program must:

  • Be a mature adult over the age 18.
  • Native English speaker or possess competent English language skills.
  • Be willing to work long hours in a team setting.
  • Have no criminal record.
  • Be willing to relocate for the summer contract period.
  • Be independent and self-motivated. You are required to be pro-active in the application process. It is important to understand that living and working in a residential setting is both rewarding and challenging at times and is a learning and life experience, not simply a holiday.
What kind of compensation can I expect while working at a Summer Camp?

Housing and meals are provided to you at no cost (no living expenses!) in addition to a salary.  Salaries vary based on overall skill set, certification, and experience and are based on a maximum 9 week (63-day) contract. Our structure offers some of the highest minimum pocket money.

  • General Counselors Minimum Pocket Money: $1,800
  • General Support Staff Minimum Pocket Money: $2,300
  • Those with advanced skills will negotiate the salary.
  • Administrative/director level roles and nurses earn significantly more depending on role and camp.

Note – counselors and support staff working more than 9 weeks (63 days) will be paid $30-$40 per day worked in addition to their contracted salary or as otherwise agreed upon between you and the camp. Administrative/director level staff negotiate their own salary and terms.

What will my living arrangements be like at camp?

A typical arrangement for a camp counselor has 8-12 campers living with 2-3 counselors. The bunk conditions will vary on location and will range from wilderness cabins to modern college dormitories, but all staff must understand that they will, in most cases, be physically in the same room as a group of campers during the summer (privacy is at a minimum).

In most cases, support staff are housed together in a bunk-like or dormitory-like arrangement. The bunk conditions will also vary on location and will range from wilderness cabins to modern college dormitories, but all staff must understand that they will, in most cases, have one or more roommates. (privacy is at a minimum).

Administrative/director level staff are usually housed in separate quarters.

What will my hours of work be like at a US summer camp?

Camp Counselors are responsible for their campers and their safety throughout the day and evening while they are at camp. While this may seem like very long hours, the days are filled with teaching and fun and the time that the campers and counseling staff have together very often develops into strong friendships that last a lifetime. Counselors will have set breaks / days off to provide a break from the campers throughout their contracted times at camp.

Support Staff work schedules vary depending on the role and the camp.  Most employees work up to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, which although long, is less than the counseling staff.  The hours may vary and there may be split shifts.  On days off and time off, you will be able to take time to get involved with the campers, to take advantage of the facilities or to relax quietly and enjoy the beautiful landscaping and views.

There are so many skills listed for CAMP COUNSELORS, what skills are most important to highlight?

We want you to review the skill categories and specific skills and see what fits you the best. It is important to be very honest in your application and express your experience with the skill chosen, level of development of the skill chosen, and your desire to be hired by a camp for this specific skill. Details are very important in your application and we strongly suggest that you take the time to fully review and fill in the application with as much detail as possible… after all, this is your first impression with the camping directors and they are searching for staff. Show them what makes you stand out!

Popular counselor skills that are requested season after season:

Waterfront Skills (Swimming, waterskiing, ski boat drivers, certified lifeguards, sailing, kayak, etc.)

Land Sports Skills (Basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, cheerleading, gymnastics, hockey, horse-riding, lacrosse, etc.)

Special Needs (General desire to work with the special needs population for adults and/or children)

Performance Arts (Circus skills, dance, etc)

Outdoor Skills (Wilderness tripping, climbing, high/low ropes, etc.)

Music (Guitar, piano, drums, etc.)

Media (Photography, etc.)

Arts & Crafts (Ceramics, woodworking, jewelry making, etc.)


As I am reviewing my application for SUPPORT STAFF, what skills are most important?

It is important to remember while filling out your support staff application to choose jobs that are relevant to your experience and that are roles that you will accept if a job offer is made. Camps are more likely to hire you if you discuss your previous experience and level of achievement in the specific job that you choose. You are also more likely to be chosen for a summer camp job if you have more than one relevant skill and experience.

Popular support staff positions that are requested season after season:

Culinary (Head cook, assistant cook, food preparation, baker)

Dining Hall Services (Dishwashers, general dining hall services)

Housekeeping (Laundry, general housekeeping)

Maintenance (General maintenance, groundskeeping, landscaping)

Office Support & Security (General office, secretary, security)

Is a video introduction/youtube video required?

While videos are not required, you are encouraged to make a short introduction that highlights your skills, experience or personality. Videos give you an edge over applications without.  This makes you stand out and offers camp employers a glimpse into your personality.  For counselors, the more creative the better. Show off your skills, awards, experience through picture collage with explanation, samples of your teaching or act out a story about why you are the best candidate to be a counselor to show your creativity.

Can I Change my password?

Yes, you can. If you have lost your password, then go to www.campstaffusa.com to log into your account and click on the ‘lost password’ link to have a temporary password emailed to you. If you would like to change your password, then log into your account at www.campstaffusa.com and at the Applicant Home Page there is a link to the left to ‘Change your Password.’

** Please note: If you need to change your EMAIL ADDRESS or PHONE NUMBER, you will need to contact your Supervisor (listed on the Applicant Home Page) or [email protected] **