Summer Camps for Boys and Girls

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So you want to be a summer camp counselor?

Looking for a summer camp job?

If you attended a camp as a youth, don't expect the same experience for yourself as a staff member. It can still be lots of fun, but it is also hard work. Camp counselors put in long days and don't always get paid a lot, but the work is rewarding and you will likely meet people that will be life-long friends.

Summer Camps throughout North America Seek Talented Staff

Summer Programs all over the United States and Canada are looking for staff for the upcoming summer. Most require that counselors have completed at least a year of college (or similar experience) and have a genuine interest in working with children. Ask yourself these questions to narrow your search:

  • Would you like to be a cabin counselor or an activity instructor (or both)?
  • What type of activity would you like to instruct?
  • In what region of the country would you like to work?
  • Many camps require personal interviews; are you ready to travel to the camp?
  • What type of camp do you want: wilderness, private, Boy Scout, YMCA, Girl Scout, religious, competitive, non-competitive, coed, boys, girls, sports, adventure? The list goes on--there are all types of camps!

Investigate Preferred Camp Facilities and Start the Application Process

Once you've narrowed down your choices, it is time to begin the application process. Before making contact with a camp, be sure to research it and know about their philosophy. Knowing that in advance will make the process smoother and increase your chances of being hired. Here are a few tips about applying for a counselor job:

  • Most camp directors will file form letters where they belong--in the trash!
  • Making an introductory phone call is a good first step
  • Early application is best. In January, most programs have lots of openings and few applicants. In April or May there are few spots left but lots of applicants.
  • Better late than never--even in May, some camps need specific positions filled. Call around to find the one that is still looking for your talents.
  • First aid & CPR training are usually required, a plus is lifeguard training. Any training specific to your activity area will help, especially if the emphasis is on instructing the activity.
  • Camp is for kids. If the kids aren't your first priority, you should probably look somewhere else for a job.
  • Count on the camp doing a background check. If they will find anything it is best that you let them know in advance rather than have them find out on their own.

Summer Camps are Hiring - Find Out More

Many programs are hiring for next summer, even if they do not have positions announced on summer job websites. Check these websites to begin your search: is an online directory of summer camps throughout the United States and Canada.

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