When people think of roles at summer camp, they often think about the role of a Camp Counselor, which involves working directly with campers. Alternatively, camps also need a variety of support staff. Support staff are often the backbones of camps, and would really struggle to run without them!
Types of Support Staff Roles.
Below I have listed a variety of different roles that camps require, and a few examples of what the role requires.
- Kitchen Staff – preparing yummy food, assisting chefs, serving food, re-stocking the salad bar, cleaning dishes.
- Housekeeping Staff – cleaning communal areas on camp (e.g. offices, bathrooms, corridors etc.), keeping cabins stocked with essentials (toilet rolls etc.), cleaning camp vehicles, laundry.
- Maintenance Staff – maintaining camp, fixing broken things (literally ANYTHING from toilets to golf buggy’s), gardening, setting up equipment for activities.
- Office Staff – taking phone calls, filing paperwork, creating schedules, running camp canteens/store.
- Infirmary Staff – assisting the camp nurse, camper medicines, first aid, looking after campers in the infirmary.
The majority of support staff roles do not involve much direct contact with campers (with the exception of infirmary staff). However, you are always encouraged to join in with camp activities where possible. For example, the support staff at my camp are placed into tribes (along with the rest of the campers/staff), and can join in/support tribal games and activities.
There are many benefits to being a support staff member at camp. Here are a few that I can think of:
- Higher salary than Camp Counselor.
- Meet and work with people from around the world. Support staff often come from a HUGE variety of countries. This summer at my camp, we had support staff from Mexico, England, Poland, Colombia, Slovakia, USA and the Czech Republic.
- One day off per week.
- More time off than counselors – various times throughout the day and the majority of evenings off.
- Share a cabin with other support staff – do not have to share a cabin with campers.
- Option to join in with fun camp activities, and to integrate with campers.
- Travel after camp.
There are ups and downs to any job role (although working at camp definitely involves more ups!). Here are a few drawbacks that I can think of:
- Have to get up early in the morning to prepare breakfast (THANK YOU – we are very grateful!!!).
- Less interaction with campers (although there is the opportunity to join in with activities if you wish).
- Must be a full-time University student to be a support staff member.
So if you think you have the skills it takes, or would love to spend a summer in the U.S but are not sure you could spend 24/7 with the campers, why not apply for a support staff role? For more information, or to apply, check out Camp Leaders.