There are many things that run through our brain when we choose to accept a new job, right? And a million more things when you are going to be living and working in the same place!
Here are some things to expect once you have signed that contract for the summer!
Arriving at Camp and experiencing that first moment of culture shock!
No matter what job you choose to pursue this summer, a summer camp job is like no other! It can be a big culture shock to show up to a large place in the middle of the woods, where you don’t know anyone yet, and aren’t sure what to expect. Some things that you can expect about camp is that it will definitely be an adventure! You will learn a lot while you are here, no matter what level of experience you have with kids! You will also learn more about yourself than any other job! There will be so many amazing staff from all over the world who you will become close with over the course of the summer, expanding your knowledge of diversity, cultures, and customs.
Some advice from previous staff members is to just “Jump right in!” While singing and dancing with people you don’t know well yet can be a bit scary, the sooner you join into the (organized) chaos the more fun you’ll have at camp!
What is it like living at camp?
The cabins at camp are simple wooden structures with screen windows, electricity and bunk beds with mattresses. Most campers sleep on a bottom bunk, with staff on the top bunk.
Luggage is kept in a central storage area on camp once you unpack, so you will be given an under-bed storage bin and some cubby space in the cabin. You are welcome to bring a small set of plastic storage drawers (dorm-style is typical) for storage of personal belongings. There are central wash-houses near the cabins. All washhouses have hot water, electricity, sinks, individual toilet stalls and showers with privacy. Your personal items (toiletries) are stored in the village staff house where you can easily access them.
As for your important items, like your phone, wallet, keys, etc., we provide you a locker and a combination lock in one of our staff spaces. In these staff spaces, there is wifi, and snacks available for staff, and a quiet place to relax for your scheduled time off.
One of our favorite parts about working at camp is the weather! Upon arriving at camp, the first few weeks might be a bit colder at night and in the mornings. As we get closer to when campers arrive, the summer temperatures are in full swing!
Summer temperatures at night can range from a low of 55⁰ F (13⁰ C) up to about 90⁰ F (28⁰ C) on the hottest days of the summer. Most of the time though, the weather stays between 70⁰ F and 90⁰ F (21⁰ C to 32⁰ C) throughout the day. With it being colder in the mornings and at night, we suggest bringing a couple of sweatshirts, flannels, or any other kind of layer to keep warm and shed throughout the day! We also get some rain throughout the summer so we highly recommend a jacket and boots!
What is Staff Training like?
How you go into staff training can determine how your summer will go. It is the time to learn about what we do and how we do things at Starfish to create the potential of another successful summer! We start by playing games, of course, and helping lead our staff team to create our little Starfish community!
We sort staff into small groups, called Torchgroups, which is led by a member or two of our administrator team! You will be grouped with other members of the staff team from other specialist areas so you get to know people from all over camp!
Between games, Torchgroup games, and getting to know each other, we have a structured schedule that we use to integrate you into what camp will be like when campers arrive! It gives our far traveling staff time to adjust to the time zone, and you learn all the important things you need to know about camp!
Support at Camp
Between getting to know your peers, we have many means of support here at Starfish. That is why we have such a big staff team!
You always have your Torchbearer to go to as a supervisor, but you will also be assigned a summer supervisor who will regularly provide feedback throughout the summer. Any returning member of our staff team or a member of our leadership team will be a great asset to come to in times of support. They can offer advice and feedback as well as providing leadership! There is our director team as well that you can come to who can provide a bit more support or offer solutions if necessary! We also have an on-call mental health consultant to work with staff and provide resources if needed. Overall, Starfish provides support from all angles!
What we provide for our campers, we also provide for our staff!
Now that you have read through what to expect when arriving at camp, we would love to see you apply!