Copyright

Camp Counselor Jobs: Duties and Requirements

Individuals who have an interest in working with children and teens might consider starting out with summer jobs as camp counselors. Guiding campers in outdoor and indoor activities, these counselors strive to make the camp experience safe and fun. Although there aren't stringent degree requirements for camp counselor positions, camp-related educational programs are available.

View 18 Popular Schools »

Job Duties of a Camp Counselor

Camp counselors supervise camp activities and develop recreational plans. They generally work with children in residential summer camps or day camps. Their job duties include guiding teenagers and children in camping, swimming, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Counselors at residential camps are responsible for leading groups of campers in activities such as horseback riding, singing campfire songs and staging talent shows.

Other job responsibilities of camp counselors include enforcing safety rules in the camp and knowing where the campers are at all times. The camp counselors are responsible for the health and safety of their charges, and they lead campers in fire drills and emergency procedures. Counselors may organize camping trips, plan and schedule group activities, provide emotional support, greet new campers and explain all the rules of the camp.

It is the job of camp counselors to oversee all day-to-day activities. Counselors assist campers with meal times, cleaning up cabins and getting ready for bed. They must ensure that all campers are dressed properly for the weather and the recreational activities they'll participate in on any given day. A good counselor should learn their campers' likes and dislikes and gear them towards activities in which they'll excel.

Sometimes it's necessary for camp counselors to drive, such as when they're picking up campers or taking them back to their homes. Camp counselors should be prepared to work night and weekend hours, because supervision of the campers' cabins is also needed during these times. Many camp counselor positions are only available on a seasonal or part-time basis.

Requirements

Many camp counselors are young people themselves, and therefore college degrees aren't required for all positions. Teenage camp counselors do need to have good moral character, patience and a high level of maturity. Camp counselors should possess leadership skills as well.

Age requirements for camp counselors vary, but most counselors should be at least 15-18 years of age. They should have some expertise and experience in the activities they'll instruct, such as kayaking, drama, music or tennis. Counselors should be physically fit and in good general health.

Training and Education

There are counselor training programs that combine training with on-the-job experience. These programs allow prospective camp counselors to learn to work with and lead children, plan events and learn about child development. Training programs can last up to two weeks.

If a counselor wants to go on to work for a large organization, or if he or she wishes to become a camp counselor on a full-time basis, then at least an associate's degree is needed. Students might major in leisure studies or parks and recreation, and they may specialize in areas such as athletics or art.

Sometimes it's necessary to become certified, especially for those who plan to work as lifeguards and teach water-related activities. Lifeguard certification requirements vary by state - or even by county or city - so applicants should ensure that they meet the specifications of the area in which their camp is located.

Advancement

Those seeking long-term careers in this field may want to advance into supervisory and administrative jobs. Such positions will require at least a bachelor's degree, and higher-level jobs are more accessible if one holds a master's degree in a subject like parks and recreation. Similar degree programs include sport and tourism, camp administration and outdoor education. Students can also enroll in a recreation management course and take classes in leisure and recreation or program planning.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that recreation workers, which included camp counselors, made a mean yearly salary of $25,430 in May 2012. The majority of salaries for these workers landed between $16,900 and $38,750 the same year. Recreation work jobs were predicted to increase 19% from 2010-2020, which was average growth.

Show me popular schools

Related to Camp Counselor Jobs: Duties and Requirements

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Become a Christian Counselor: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a Christian counselor. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements and find...

Community Counselor Salary and Career Information

A community counselor offers counseling for individuals and communities, usually after a tragic event such as a natural...

How to Become a Grief Counselor: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a grief counselor. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step...

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor: Career Info

A substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor works with people who have trouble controlling relationships with alcohol,...

High School Guidance Counselor: Job Outlook and Career Profile

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Alabama (2 campuses)
    • Arkansas (1)
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1)
    • Delaware (1)
    • Florida (9)
    • Georgia (8)
    • Louisiana (1)
    • Maryland (5)
    • North Carolina (5)
    • Pennsylvania (6)
    • South Carolina (3)
    • Tennessee (3)
    • Texas (8)
    • Virginia (11)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    When would you like to start classes?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have an Bachelor's degree or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction - Social Studies

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must be 22 years of age or have active military status
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AA in Liberal Arts

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (8 campuses)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED; Graduate program applicants must have a master's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS in General Studies
    • Associate
        • AS in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics