Camp Counselor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Camp Counselor, or Summer Camp Counselor, is responsible for supervising campers and keeping them safe. Their duties include teaching children and teenagers outdoor and recreational skills, overseeing and planning camp activities and learning and implementing emergency protocol efforts to ensure the protection of campers.

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Camp Counselor duties and responsibilities

A Camp Counselor usually has a wide range of responsibilities, and some roles require specialist expertise, such as delivering swimming lessons or providing instruction in drama. Typical duties of a Camp Counselor might include:

  • Organizing team games such as soccer, softball and basketball, explaining the rules and acting as referee or umpire throughout the game  
  • Leading activities such as crafts and art, demonstrating various techniques and encouraging children to come up with ideas  
  • Communicating with parents, providing updates where required and answering questions about the camp
  • Checking on children with medical needs to ensure they have taken any required medication
  • Providing guidance, motivation and support all camp visitors
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Camp Counselor Job Description Examples

What does a Camp Counselor do?

Camp Counselors are typically employed to entertain children and teach them new skills. They do this by brainstorming creative activities and games involving swimming, fishing, hiking and camping. Camp Counselors may also learn first aid and CPR to be prepared for any potential injuries the campers may experience. Other responsibilities involve greeting campers when they first arrive, explaining and enforcing camp rules and providing emotional support to campers struggling to adjust to the environment.

Camp Counselor skills and qualifications

Skills which may be required for Camp Counselors include:

  • First aid training to be able to respond to minor injuries or illnesses
  • Health and safety knowledge to help keep all campers safe
  • Excellent communication skills to convey camp procedures to all visitors
  • Leadership skills to guide and motivate campers throughout their stay
  • Interpersonal skills to build positive relationships with campers under their care

Camp Counselor salary expectations

A Camp Counselor makes an average salary of $9.31 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Camp Counselor education and training requirements

Camp Counselors usually need a high school diploma. Most camps provide training during which Camp Counselors will learn how to lead activities, understand the camp schedule and get some insight into child development. Specialized camps may require their Counselors to have experience in those areas, such as drama qualifications or training in athletics. Applicants seeking a long-term position might wish to pursue an associate degree in leisure and tourism or a similar subject.

Camp Counselor experience requirements

Most Camp Counselor roles don’t require  experience, but applicants who have worked with children before will have an advantage. Camp Counselors who want to lead specific activities may benefit from experience in those areas, such as teaching horseback riding or leading a canoeing class. Camps with a specific purpose, such as math or athletics, may require their Camp Counselors to have some experience in teaching their specialty subject, but most will offer hands-on experience as well. 

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Frequently asked questions about Camp Counselors

What makes a good Camp Counselor?

A good Camp Counselor acts as a strong role model to the children they’re working with. The campers may regularly watch and mimic the actions of Camp Counselors, so they must ensure they’re remaining professional, kind and positive when they’re with campers. 

Camp Counselors should be ready to adapt to changing environments, as every day is different and they may regularly face new challenges to overcome. Strong Camp Counselors are also creative and are always brainstorming creative ways to teach campers new skills and engaging activities. 

What should you look for in a Camp Counselor resume?

One quality an effective Camp Counselor’s resume should include is experience with organizing activities. It’s the Camp Counselor’s duty to come up with new, fun activities each day for campers while also teaching them valuable skills. They should have experience working with children, since a majority of their time will be spent interacting with kids and helping them overcome any personal or emotional challenges they’re facing. 

Camp Counselors should have safety training experience or a willingness to learn safety procedures like first aid or CPR since they may have to provide basic care for sick or injured children. It’s also helpful for Camp Counselors to have experience working in roles that require attentiveness and attention to detail as it’s their responsibility to watch campers to ensure they’re safe at all times. 

What is the difference between a Camp Counselor and a Camp Counselor Supervisor?

Camp Counselors usually handle day-to-day tasks that directly involve campers. A Camp Counselor Supervisor works above Camp Counselors, handling larger-scale items and overseeing the efficiency of the entire camp. They often train the Camp Counselors, track inventory, meet with and address any parent concerns, approve the activities Camp Counselors develop and monitor any potentially dangerous outings. 

Camp Counselor Supervisors are usually more qualified than Camp Counselors and may hold a bachelor’s degree or have extensive experience working as a Camp Counselor in the past. Some Camp Counselor Supervisors may have basic management or supervisor experience and are hired to use these skills to help the camp operate more efficiently and productively. 

Who does a Camp Counselor report to?

Camp Counselors usually report directly to Camp Counselor Supervisors. Camp Counselor Supervisors oversee the Camp Counselors to ensure they’re following camp guidelines, teaching camp curriculum properly and are acting as positive mentors for campers. Camp Counselor Supervisors usually handle big-picture tasks and offer guidance and assistance to Camp Counselors when they run into complex problems. 

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