For some prospective staff, explaining “camp” to family or professors/advisors who don’t get it can be tough. So, how do you help others get on the same page?
Helping those who influence you understand that Starfish is a program for youth with special needs which happens to do its work in a camp environment might help. The vast majority of our alumni are now professionals who are currently teaching, providing mental health services, and advocating for differently abled individuals – and many of them actually credit Starfish with getting them there.
OF COURSE! Here is a short list!
- Room and board
- Seasonal salary
- Paid time off,
- Extensive training
- Multiple Certifications, internship credit and more!
We do not recommend booking tickets for travel until you have confirmed your role with our Director of Staff Experience (DSE). Specific travel details will be provided to you once you are officially hired which will add clarification to the arrivals and departures process, allowing you to make the best decision about travel. Staff are responsible for confirming their start dates with the DSE and booking travel so as to arrive ready for training.
You may choose when to apply, however the process is competitive and we do recommend applying as soon as possible. If you have interest in a very specific area of camp employment (for example you know you definitely want to teach in our Learning Center or be a swim instructor), we definitely encourage you to apply early in the year.
Yes, Camp Starfish is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which is an educational not-for-profit. We are completely funded by grants from foundations, corporations and individuals, as well as from tuition which is often provided by agencies, but we do not receive any federal or government funding.
During the summer, if you have a specific day that you need time off for, you can let a director know before the start of the summer, and at the before the start of a session!, As scheduling between 100+ staff can be difficult, we will make every effort to grant your request. If you need a specific day off for religious purposes or a medical appointment, we can work with you to set up your time off and virtual access for these services, if necessary.
While not all children at Starfish have diagnoses, most have been diagnosed with learning disabilities, psychological disturbances, developmental delay, or other similar challenges. Many of the children have either been clinically diagnosed with or exhibit behaviors associated with, but not limited to: Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Intermittent Explosivity, BiPolar Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A large number of campers have also been placed on the Autism spectrum, with diagnoses of Autism, Pervasive Development Disorder, or Asperger’s Syndrome. Regardless of any specific diagnosis, we focus on behaviors as they arise, and don’t define campers by their diagnoses.
This answer varies a lot based on which program the camper chooses. Each session is separated by time off for the staff and some in-service training. Children usually attend one session, though some will attend a session and then return later in the summer for a second session. Depending on the program and the session, sessions can be 5, 14, or 19 days long.
Our campers generally range in age from 7-15, and teens in our older camper programs are anywhere from 14-17. Our transitional independent living program, TIDES Vista, serves teens 16+. We are a co-ed camp, with approximately 40% girls and 60% boys. Many of our campers have been coming for years and others are new each year. Each session has a maximum of 55 campers. Cabins on the girls’ side of camp hold a maximum of 7 campers; on the boys side, 5 campers.
Of course! Previous experience is not required, but it will help you stand out among other candidates. Even with no experience, we provide 10+ days of intensive and hands-on training before campers even arrive!
The training helps provide counselors with a substantial foundation for working with children who have special needs. Our leadership & supervisory staff also provide the counselors with a significant amount of guidance and support throughout each camp day. During the summer, ongoing trainings and opportunities to enhance your skills will also be available.
Sure! Camp is a big place! While you will be running around a lot each day, you are welcome to use your time off to work out if you would like!
Yes, we do have a staff parking lot available to use. In the past, even far-traveling staff have brought their cars as they are able to leave site more freely on their time off!
Due to our communal living spaces and being in the middle of the woods, we are unable to house seasonal staff pets for the summer.
If we have not answered your questions, please feel free to call our office at 978-637-2617 or email us anytime for assistance.