Welcome to Mountain Camp!
We are an inclusive, supportive, creative, and energetic community of people dedicated to creating an incredible camp experience for kids between 2nd and 9th grade (with a Counselor-in-Training program for campers entering 10th-12th grades during our 2-week sessions). We live together all summer long in the Eldorado National Forest, surrounded by pine and cedar trees, on a 25 acre property on Ice House Lake. Each session we have about 220 campers and about 60 counselors. Our staff expands to about 90 with leadership, healthcare and kitchen staff included.
At the heart of our program is the mantra Help Kids Grow, which means that our goal is to connect with each camper, create a sense of safety and belonging, and then provide opportunities for campers to step out of their comfort zone and grow in a meaningful way through their camp experience. We teach campers social and emotional skills by role modeling the attitudes and behaviors we want them to emulate. We facilitate activities where kids can learn and practice new skills and develop self confidence, empathy, and resilience.
Above all, the work at camp is rewarding because it is both challenging and meaningful. This job is not easy, but if you care deeply about living your values on a daily basis, role modeling the best elements of your own personality, all while having fun, this might be the right fit for you.
Counselors live on-site, in the cabin with campers. Cabins are usually made up of 2 counselors and 10 campers. Staff Training is mandatory and we run 10 weeks of camp in 1 and 2 week sessions (SESSION DATES). On a daily basis, counselors spend about half their day with their cabin, and about half the day leading activities with groups of campers from other cabins. The day starts at 7:30am and curfew is 11pm.
Counselors get 2.5-3 hours of time off each day as well as a 24 hour period off each week. In-between sessions, time off stretches to 29 hours with an additional night of rest at camp while "on-duty" but without campers to supervise.
The safety of campers is our primary concern and counselors are never to be alone, 1 on 1 with campers, outside of eye-sight or ear-shot of other campers or staff. There is a mandatory online abuse prevention training before camp and other policies and procedures in place at camp to ensure the safety of campers and staff. Please ask if you have any questions about this.
When we interview 2nd year staff and ask them why they want to come back, they talk about 2 things:
1) The work matters. Spending your day helping kids grow is the most meaningful and rewarding work most of us have ever done.
2) The community. Small and intentional, we are hard working, creative, supportive people dedicated to working with kids and living our values in a killer natural setting, outdoors and away from technology.
Our goal is to Help Kids Grow, but counselors who dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to the job always find that they too grow, both personally and professionally, through the experience. At camp we prioritize supporting everyone to be their best self, and staff often find that the friendships they develop with co-workers are deeply connected and rewarding.
If this job is the right fit for you, it's the best job in the world. But the experience of working at Mountain Camp is not the right fit for everyone. The job has restrictions, such as limited time off and limited access to your phone, a curfew of 11pm, 5 nights a week, a rigid daily schedule, and a living situation with limited personal space and privacy. Please ask any questions you may have when assessing whether the position is a good fit for you.
Happy Counselors are great counselors. At camp, so much of the role modeling and facilitation that we do on a daily basis is grounded in the best individual traits and qualities of each person at camp. We hire exceptional people and pay them to be their best selves.
There are some qualities that are essential for living and working happily at camp.
1) You enjoy working with kids. This means that you understand that kids can be challenging to work with, and that you accept that you will need to be patient, positive, and in control at all times. We provide training and support along way, and welcome people with all levels of experience and skill, as long as you are committed to working hard and doing your best.
2) You enjoy being outdoors. Over 90% of your day is spent outside, in the forest, the sunshine, the water, and the dust! For many people, it's a dream come true, but this job requires a lot of energy, movement, engagement.
3) You have a positive attitude. Camp is a small community and moods can be contagious. Over the course of the summer, everyone has tough days, but overall, optimistic, grateful, creative, goofy people make Mountain Camp a supportive, inclusive and FUN place to work.
4) You are flexible and adaptable. Camp is alive, dynamic and unpredictable. Counselors are asked to adapt to new and changing situations and to solve problems by using creativity and good judgment.
5) You are hard working. The job is rewarding BECAUSE it is challenging. You cannot be a good counselor without working hard and investing yourself emotionally in the job. We provide lots of support to help you learn and grow throughout the summer, but you also have to be willing to bring your best self to the job.