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What Is a Summer Camp Counselor and How to Become One

Summer Camp Counselor

What Does a Summer Camp Counselor Do?

A summer camp counselor helps children explore age-appropriate recreation activities in a structured program. Camp hours vary since some are day camps while others are overnight camps. Campers can range in age from early elementary to high school levels, so camp activities may differ to address a variety of needs. Activities in summer camp programs can include both indoor and outdoor events, and camp counselors direct and supervise each activity. You will work directly with children, communicate with parents, help kids learn and explore, and manage attendance and safety paperwork.

How to Become a Summer Camp Counselor

Many summer camps for children ask that you undergo a background check, but there is no standard for education or experience when it comes to camp programs. However, if you have experience teaching, directing children’s programs, or attending camp yourself, these qualifications can help you get a job at a summer camp. Credentials or work experience in early education, elementary education, or daycare are also helpful. Depending on the program, a background in athletics, music, art, or other pursuits can help you find summer camp counselor jobs.

How to Be a Good Summer Camp Counselor

Being a good summer camp counselor goes beyond your academic accomplishments or career path. Summer camp is where kids go to have fun and make friends, and your responsibilities as a camp counselor are to help them achieve those goals. You also need to work well with other camp staff and maintain a helpful and positive attitude. For overnight campers, compassion and communication skills can help ease a child’s homesickness or fears about trying new activities. Encouraging teamwork among campers and keeping kids involved are additional duties that help promote positive experiences.

Summer Camp Counselor Job Description Sample

With this Summer Camp Counselor job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Summer Camp Counselor role.

Job Summary

We are looking to hire an energetic and fun-loving Summer Camp Counselor for the upcoming season! You will lead our campers in fun and educational outdoor activities while ensuring the safety of all. Our ideal candidate has prior experience at a camp (as a camper or leader), is skilled in one or more of the summer activities our camp has to offer and enjoys working with kids. This position is excellent for someone who has an interest in pursuing childcare, early childhood education, or child development as a career. You must have CPR and First Aid certification to apply for this role.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversee children or teens attending summer camp
  • Lead campers in various outdoor activities
  • Ensure the safety of all campers
  • Act as a mentor and authority figure

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent; some post-secondary education preferred
  • Prior experience attending or working at a summer camp
  • CPR and First Aid certification
  • Experience working with children
  • Physical ability to assist campers with outdoor activities
  • Computer proficiency