Camp counselors are an important part of any camp program. Some camp counselor jobs involve working with children, teens, or those with disabilities. They may be positions that require people to work round-the-clock or only a few hours each day. Camp counselors could act as teachers and give instruction in such things as arts and crafts, swimming, or other special activities. Some openings may be for indoor work, while others require individuals to work primarily outdoors.
Summer camp counselor jobs often require workers to stay at the camp, where they will be in charge of a group of people. These could be children, teens, or young adults, and some camps are geared towards those with a disability as well. During the camp, counselors normally remain on site 24 hours a day, eating and sleeping with the campers they are called on to supervise.
Day camp counselor jobs may not require individuals to stay overnight because the campers are dismissed at the end of the day. In this role, counselors may supervise small groups by taking attendance and making sure each camper is at the right place at the right time. An additional camp counselor duty might be to ensure all campers are dismissed to the proper party at the end of each day's activities.
Some camp counselors act much like instructors during the course of the camp. They might teach special classes to their campers. This is often done in day camps that have a specific purpose, such as teaching children to ride horses, perform dance routines, or swim. Even if not called on to give a class, counselors may help formal instructors by supervising campers and assisting those who need additional help.
Normally, camp counselors perform temporary work, and are called on to assist only during the length of the camp itself. The length of a program varies, but is typically one or two weeks. Some camps may have ongoing programs that last during the summer months, in which case camp counselor jobs could last three to four months.
Camp counselor jobs can be paid or unpaid positions. Generally speaking, the smaller the camp itself is, the fewer paid positions that are available. Even though counselors may not be paid, they may have to apply for this position and undergo a background screening and interview process. Doing so helps camp staff provide for the safety and well-being of campers, no matter what their age or background.