Camp Starfish Jobs

Camp Counselor & Specialist

A Mission of Support and Impact.

At Camp Starfish, we’re on a mission of genuine care and love. Over 100 interns, counselors, supervisors, and support staff are welcomed annually to create a haven for kids seeking an inclusive summer camp. Our focus is on supporting appropriate and simplified social interactions, ensuring no one feels like the “”odd one out.”” Living on camp grounds is demanding, but the immeasurable impact you make in a camper’s life creates a fulfilling journey of personal and shared growth.

Immerse Yourself in Community and Nature

Dive into a unique community at Camp Starfish, where counselors, leadership, and support staff live and work harmoniously on our picturesque grounds. Experience the joy of a drug-free, smoke-free environment with limited technology, fostering genuine connections amidst nature’s beauty. Starting in late May, this fulfilling journey requires selflessness, dedication, and a resilient spirit—all dedicated to creating lasting smiles for the kids we serve.

Your Gateway to Diverse Careers.

Joining our hands-on, challenging summer staff experience not only transforms lives but also opens doors to diverse careers. Representing over 100 professional fields, Starfish alumni excel in Special Education, Social Work, Psychology, ABA, Youth Development, and more. Many credit Starfish for shaping their success, leading them to careers in teaching, mental health services, and advocacy for differently-abled individuals. This immersive journey paves the way for a fulfilling and impactful future.

Who We Seek:

  • Passionate Individuals Ready to Make a Difference.
    • You love kids! If you love working with kids, especially vulnerable youth populations, and bring optimism to every challenge, this role is perfect for you. Camp Starfish thrives on positivity, and we’re seeking team members who can keep smiles on kids’ faces throughout the summer adventure.
    • You are purpose-driven! Whether you’re a college student majoring in psychology, sociology, social work, or a related field, or a professional seeking a meaningful change, Camp Starfish welcomes those driven by purpose to foster inclusive environments.
    • You are resilient! Navigate challenging yet rewarding scenarios with empathy and composure. We value strong mental resilience and seek individuals committed to personal growth, kindness, diversity, and inclusion.
    • You love adventure! Join us for the entirety of the season, including staff training dates. We’re looking for individuals dedicated to the full experience, contributing skills and passion throughout the journey.
    • You thrive outdoors! Love the outdoors? Camp Starfish operates in beautiful southern New Hampshire during the summer. We seek physically capable staff ready for outdoor activities in the summer heat, embracing the specific environmental realities of humidity, wind, bugs, and lake water for extended hours.

Our front-line staff are Specialists (campers will know you as “counselors”) who help campers have the best possible experience, which includes providing behavior management support, working on goals, and guiding campers through their stay. All Specialists live in cabins with children, helping ensure their time at camp is beneficial and growth-oriented. During the day, campers participate in various activities, and staff are spread out in several roles across camp to facilitate this.

We have a variety of Specialist roles: Group Specialists, Program Specialists, and Waterfront Specialists.

GROUP SPECIALISTS: Group Specialists reside in camp cabins and actively engage with youth campers in daily activities. They foster participation, provide support, and implement behavioral plans to ensure a positive and inclusive environment for diverse camper groups across various age ranges.

PROGRAM SPECIALISTS: Program Specialists lead the curriculum and instruction of designated program areas, such as Activate! (sensory gym), Arts & Crafts, Athletics, Boating, Challenge (teambuilding and ropes course), Dance, Discovery, Drama/Theatre, Learning Center (STEAM activities), Martial Arts, Music, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Exploration, and Small Animals. They design lessons, lead activity periods, and engage with campers in various activities throughout the day. Program Specialists also reside in camp cabins alongside campers.

WATERFRONT SPECIALISTS: Waterfront Specialists are responsible for instructing swim lessons, overseeing boating activities, and ensuring water safety on Lake Monomonac. They obtain lifeguard certification to supervise camp water activities and provide one-on-one swim lessons for all campers daily. Additionally, Waterfront Specialists reside in camp cabins and support campers with individual needs and behavioral plans, ensuring a safe and enjoyable waterfront experience for all.

Additional Information

Employment Type

Seasonal, Full Time

Education Requirements

High School

Experience Requirements

12 months minimum of post-high school experience, whether through college, work, or life experiences.


  1. Passion for outdoor child-centered activities in a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children with emotional, learning, and behavioral challenges.
  2. Demonstrated traits: integrity, adaptability, flexibility, enthusiasm, humor, patience, and self-control.
  3. Able to pass required background checks for roles involving vulnerable child populations.
  4. Proficient in understanding and adhering to organizational policies and procedures, utilizing provided tools for professional development, and accepting supervision.
  5. Embraces diversity and treats all individuals with fairness and respect, regardless of differences.
  6. Available to work the full camp season, including training dates, as outlined in the employment agreement.
  7. Minimum of one year of post-high school experience, whether through college, work, or life experiences.


  1. Be with campers 24/7, ensuring their safety, well-being, and growth in a communal living environment.
  2. Foster a safe and supportive atmosphere for campers and colleagues, addressing individual and group concerns.
  3. Support campers’ personal development and therapeutic goals, promoting social skills, coping mechanisms, and positive interactions.
  4. Lead by example in cleanliness, punctuality, sportsmanship, and respect for property, while monitoring camper health and hygiene.
  5. Fully engage in camp activities, including teaching, behavior management, and maintaining program quality.
  6. Participate actively in staff training, incorporating learned strategies and tools into daily interactions with campers.
  7. Maintain accurate documentation, including camper logs and incident reports as necessary.
  8. Flexibly undertake additional tasks as needed to ensure camp success.”


  1. Good character, integrity, adaptability, flexibility, enthusiasm, sense of humor, patience & self-control
  2. Ability to understand, role model and follow Starfish policies and procedures, and to utilize the Starfish Tools as a background for professional development and interactions; ability to seek/accept supervision and guidance.

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Photo of Danielle Lubbers

Danielle Lubbers

Danielle joined Camp Starfish in the spring of 2023 as Camp Director. Originally working with the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Danielle has ten years of experience providing programming to children, outdoor skills training for adults, and directing overnight summer camp experiences.

In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her two-year old Dalmatian, Mia. Danielle’s favorite activity at camp is raft building, as she enjoys seeing campers and staff work together to complete a team goal. Her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is “We are here to learn, grow, and have fun!”

Staff photo of David

David Mahnken

David Mahnken is Camp Starfish’s Mental Health Consultant. He provides staff training each summer on topics such as self-care, trauma-informed care practices, and health & wellness. David also provides support and consultation to the organization throughout the year. David holds a BA from St. Olaf College and an MSW from Simmons University. David is a LICSW who works in emergency services in addition to his own private practice in Massachusetts.

Prior to becoming a social worker, David’s first experience at camp was as a counselor in the early 2000s before becoming an administrator and member of the year-round team. His favorite camp activity is swim-I (swim instruction), and his favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We make camp a safe place.”

Staff photo of Joe

Joe Clark

As the Assistant Director at Camp Starfish, Joe is a seasoned professional who is well-versed in all aspects of camp life. With five years of summer work at Starfish, he brings extensive experience and expertise to the camp year-round. Joe is from the UK, and holds a degree from Keele University. Joe works as a support worker in the UK, providing care to individuals with disabilities, since 2019. Joe also engages in volunteer work, including spending three months in Abrobiano, Ghana.

Joe is known at camp for his charming English accent, which campers often try to replicate! His favorite camp activity is playing soccer (football) on the field, and his favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “I take responsibility for my actions.”

Staff photo of Rachel

Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts is the Director of Staff Experience at Camp Starfish, responsible for all things staffing and groups. With a degree in Anthropology, and a Certificate in Global Citizenship from Franklin Pierce University, Rachel brings a unique perspective to her role. She oversees hiring, onboarding, retention, and staff appreciation for the 100+ seasonal staff at Camp Starfish each summer. Rachel has been a part of the Starfish team since 2016, working in various seasonal roles. She joined the Year-Round Team full-time in 2022.

As a lifelong New Hampshire resident, Rachel enjoys hiking in the woods with her dog, Clover. Her favorite camp activity is Free Play, and her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We respect each other’s differences.”

Staff photo of Kristie

Kristie Martin

Kristie Martin is Camp Starfish’s Program Director, responsible for ensuring that each camper receives a structured, supportive, and fun program during both summer and year-round weekends. With her degree in Applied Psychology & Human Development from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, Kristie has a deep understanding of child development and uses this knowledge to create a nurturing environment for all campers.

Kristie grew up in the Monadnock region and takes pride in being a local. Kristie’s favorite camp activity is the Camper Talent Show, which she believes is the perfect opportunity for campers to showcase their skills and feel comfortable sharing with the community. Her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is, “I try my best, I do not have to be the best.”

Staff photo of Sarah

Sarah York

Sarah York is the Director of Operations at Camp Starfish, joining the team in the Spring of 2022. She brings with her a wealth of professional experience working in both mental health and human resources. Sarah’s role at Camp Starfish is crucial in ensuring that camp runs smoothly, and she is available to assist families every step of the way through the registration process. If you call the Starfish office, Sarah will likely be who you speak with first!

With her dedication to helping others and her commitment to creating a positive camp experience for every child, it’s no wonder that her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We are members of a team.”

Staff photo of Jamie

Jamie Mahnken

Jamie Mahnken is Camp Starfish’s Executive Director, and has been an integral part of the Camp Starfish community since 2010, serving in a variety of roles. With a degree in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University, Jamie is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for every camper, staff member, and volunteer.

As a North Carolina native, Jamie enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Her favorite camp activity is kayaking to Blueberry Island, which is a meaningful and memorable experience for many campers, as well. Jamie’s favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “I am flexible and open to change.”