Learn More About Being a Counselor

Camp counseling is one of the best (if not the best) jobs in the world. There is no better way to spend a summer. You will have the opportunity to make a real difference in a child's life. The campers in your cabin will remember you and their experiences at camp for years to come. 

Camp counseling is not for everyone, however. It can be a 24-hour, 6 day per week job. You must have a genuine concern for and interest in children. They are the reason Kingsley Pines Camp exists. If you can't stand your nieces and nephews, the kid next door, or baby-sitting for the twins down the street, then forget it! Camp counseling is not for you. 

Counselors must have the ability to work long hours, that are both physically and emotionally challenging. Freedom is limited. Counselors are "on-duty" unless they are on time off. Our days are long, and we demand a great deal from our staff. You will live in a one-room cabin with 3-10 campers, so privacy is almost non-existent. You will not have much "personal space".

Despite these challenges, working at camp will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. You will make friends from all over the world, swim in beautiful Panther Lake, roast marshmallows over a campfire, and make a difference in a child's life. 

Staff Goals

We have developed the goals listed below for our staff. We believe by striving to meet these goals, we will provide the best camp experience for both campers and counselors. The daily program, staff orientation, and all we do at camp is based on these goals:

  • Camp is a life changing experience, where campers learn things about themselves they didn't know when
    they arrived - Independence, Responsibility, Group living skills, New activity skills, Decision making skills 
  • No camper will "fall through the cracks". Each child is attended to while at camp. 
  • Counselors have a positive impact on each camper, such that in 20 years each camper will remember his/her counselor's name and experience at camp. 
  • Counselors are members of a supportive community and they rely on each other. 
  • Each counselor realizes the effect their actions and behaviors have on the campers and that is reflected in the choices that they make.

The following is a description of a typical day at Kingsley Pines, and a general outline of a counselor's duties: 

7:00  Early Risers - This an opportunity for campers and staff to jog, swim, fish, or bike before breakfast. Others just stay in bed until it is time for breakfast. 

7:30  Breakfast - All meals are served buffet style and there is always a vegetarian option. We eat outside, by the lake, at picnic tables (weather permitting). 

8:00  K.I.P. & Cabin Clean up - Each cabin group is assigned an area of the camp to clean during the first part of this period. The second half of the period is spent on cabin clean up. Campers sweep the floor, hang wet bathing suits on the line, etc. Counselors supervise, organize, and participate in this effort. 

9:00  Activity Periods 1-3 - There are four regular activity periods, three in the morning and one in the afternoon. Campers select their own activities on a weekly basis. Each period you will teach an activity. 

12:00  Free Time & 5th Period sign up - Though your campers have free time, you are still responsible for knowing where they are and what they are doing. The campers will sign-up for 5th period, which is a daily choice. You may be assigned to supervise an area of camp.

12:30  Lunch 

1:20  Siesta - A quiet time for campers and staff. Campers often write letters, play cards, or read. Counselors do the same or sometimes seize the opportunity for a quick nap. 

2:40  Activity Period 4 - The regular activity periods continue. 

3:30  Snack Time 

4:00  Activity Period 5 - A special period where campers choose their activities daily. It is a time for counselors to showcase special talents and skills, and an opportunity for our campers to try something different.

5:00  Free Time & General Swim - Though your campers have free time, you are still responsible for knowing where they are and what they are doing. You may be assigned to cover general swim or to supervise an area of camp. You may also take the opportunity to check your email in the staff lounge or just hang out with your kids. 

6:00  Dinner - The last meal of the day. You have a chance to catch up with your kids and find out how their day went. 

7:00  Evening Programs - They are different each night (ex. dance, campfire, carnival, Clue, camper/counselor hunt, wacky relay race, Council Fire, and Gold Rush). Some groups may also go on overnight trips. 

8:30  Prepare for bed - Time to put your kids to bed. Many counselors read to their campers. Others let the cabin listen to music quietly. All staff members spend a few minutes with their kids, having a brief sharing time and asking them about their day. 

At the end of Evening Program, half the counselors will be on time off until 1:00 am. The other half will remain on-duty to monitor the campers. There is a staff lounge available for your use. It has computers with unlimited Internet access, cable TV, DVD player, and phones. You may leave camp during time-off and we help make this happen by allowing counselors to use camp vehicles. All staff members are expected to be in their cabins by 1:00 am. Emergencies can occur at night, and we need to know that each cabin is properly supervised.

Counselors also have one 24-hour day off per week. Your days off are your own. We only require that you return on time, rested and ready to meet your cabin and activity responsibilities. On days off, counselors may use camp equipment like waterski boats, sailboats, climbing tower, etc. Camp vehicles are also available for use. 

There are other things you should know about working at Kingsley Pines. Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are prohibited on Kingsley Pines Camp property. Any person possessing alcoholic beverages or drugs, or returning to camp under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs is subject to immediate dismissal. We have an obligation to keep our campers safe. People under the influence of alcohol and drugs make poor decisions and place campers at risk. In addition, an intoxicated counselor who passes out on the floor in front of his or her bed is not the type of role model we want to provide. 

"I absolutely love the place with all my heart and I couldn't see myself doing anything else during the summer months. I have never enjoyed myself so much as I did last year. I felt that the whole positive atmosphere and the staff in general brought out the best in me and I was able to work to a much higher ability." 

A.C., Ireland
We also do not allow smoking on camp property, or at any camp activity, including out-of-camp trips. All staff members must be non-smokers, or agree to refrain from smoking during the camp season. We do this because counselors are role models. Smoking is hazardous to our camper's health. We don't want a camper to learn that smoking is "cool" from his or her counselor.

We hope you'll consider working at Kingsley Pines this summer. Camp is a wonderful experience for a child. We need your help to provide children with this opportunity for growth, learning, and fun. 

A final thought: Camp counseling is fun, rewarding, and a great way to spend the summer. You will develop friendships that will last a lifetime. It will be an experience you'll never forget! 

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