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Role of a Camp Counselor

As a leader, role model, and hero to campers typically aged 7 - 16, your primary responsibility is overall supervision. You are to ensure campers’ well-being and to make their camp experience as fun and rewarding as possible. As a Counselor, you will be with campers 24 hours a day.

Accommodation

Most counselors will be living in a cabin or platform tent with a co-counselor and 8 to 10 campers of a similar age. Some cabins have their own bathrooms, but often several cabins will share a large centralized bath and shower facility. 

Food

Staff and campers eat in what is normally called the Dining Hall. In most cases, you will eat with your campers and co-counselors.  The dining hall is a fun and lively part of camp, with lots of talking, chants and singing.

Work Hours and Responsibilities

Though camp is definitely a lot of fun, it is not a holiday for staff. Except for your time off, you will spend 24 hours a day with an active group of children. Total working hours may be more than a typical day’s work at most other jobs. You must adapt to the lack of privacy and the basic level of accommodation. You will be expected to follow strict camp rules and be a positive safe role model for campers and staff. These generally include: no smoking, no drinking of alcoholic beverages on camp, no coming back to camp intoxicated, a strict schedule and a nightly curfew. All in all, the joy of summer camp more than offsets the hard work. Nevertheless, a cheerful, hardworking attitude is a must!

During the day:

You will be hired as either an Activity Counselor or an All-round/General Counselor. In either role, you will lead or assist campers of all ages in one or more activities.

  • Activity Counselor
    Teach either one or multiple skills in a specific activity area (such as land sports, waterfront, outdoor adventure, performing arts, or arts & crafts). 
  • All-round/General Counselor (limited positions available)
    Teach multiple skills in 4 or more activity areas. You need to have a good general knowledge and experience in a variety of skills or activity areas. If you do not excel in any particular activity, you will need to list as many skills that you have experience with on your application form (we recommend at least 12 - 15).

During the Evening:

As a Counselor, you will be responsible for running and assisting with Evening Programs. This might be with your cabin, a group of cabins, or the entire camp. Examples of Evening Programs include campfire, talent show, skits, capture the flag, dances, movies, hikes, concerts, cookouts and international night.

You do not need to be an Olympic athlete!

The good news is that in most cases, the skills and knowledge you have obtained through a hobby, by playing on local teams, in a club with friends, or at school/university will be enough experience to teach or assist. List all your skills on your application, even if you are a beginner or intermediate (most Kiwis can list 12 skills or more). A good Counselor is willing to help wherever needed at camp.