Application Deadline: March 15th, 2020
Being a counselor at Woolman's Summer Camp means living, working, growing, and learning as part of the Woolman community. Counselors lead our campers in backpacking trips, silly games, arts and crafts, adventure, singing, and any other activities we can come up with as a staff! Every day is full of games, delicious vegetarian food, visiting beautiful places, swimming, learning about nature, and inspiring teens to be their true selves in an accepting community where they will be celebrated. TLC Counselors are fully integrated into the life, work, and play of the teen campers, and your job is to enrich their experience through deep connection and joyful adventure. Counselors live with campers aged 15-17 in a lodge situated on campus and team-lead backpacking trips up to 10 days long. TLC Counselors facilitate learning and growth of teens into a greater awareness of themselves and others, lead games and songs, manage behavior, teach activities, and participate in the wonderful daily life of a small Quaker community. Being a counselor at camp is fun, challenging and rewarding work!
Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills near the scenic Yuba River and Tahoe National Forest, Camp Woolman embodies values of community, respect for nature, peace, and simple fun. Kids come to learn, play, make friends, and live in an accepting community where they can truly be themselves. In-camp activities include cooperative games, sports, arts and crafts, nature, swimming, gardening, singing, campfires, and whatever else our staff can come up with. We run two camps – Wombat Camp (ages 9-14) and Teen Leadership Camp (ages 15-17). Each week of Wombat Camp includes a 3-day overnight backpacking trip at nearby rivers, mountains and lakes. Teen Leadership Camp is divided into 2 sessions that range from beginner to advanced backpacking, and includes backpacking trips anywhere from 3 to 10 days long. When both camps are on site they share meals and will participate in many activities together, often partially-led and facilitated by Teen Leadership campers.
Our Teen Leadership Camp sessions offer 15 and 17 year olds the chance to take on new wilderness challenges, exercise leadership on multiple levels, and practice skills vital to becoming independent backpackers and trip leaders - all while forming a truly unique and unforgettable community. Depending on the selected Session, teens will go on backpacking trips anywhere from 3-10 days long. A TLC counselor is a constant guide for our teens - accompanying and teaching them on trail, as well as supervising and partaking in activities back at Camp. The TLC Director will provide session schedules - complete with trail days as well as programming for the teens when not on trail. TLC counselors will co-facilitate most activities and will also have ample opportunity to work with the TLC director to offer up programming they are passionate about leading. TLC shares about half their meals and on-camp programming with Wombat Camp (ages 9-14). However, when Wombat Camp is on trail but TLC is not, the TLC counselors may rotate roles supervising the teens and assisting Support Staff in cooking meals for the group. When both camps are on site together, teens will sometimes partake in Wombat Camp's programming or may even get to design activities themselves to facilitate for Wombat Campers - in both cases TLC counselors will assist in facilitation, offer supervision for all campers, and role-model good behavior and leadership techniques for the teens. TLC programming at camp often includes swimming at our small pond, blackberry picking, iron chef (cooking with some light competition), lip syncing battles, trips to the beautiful nearby river, and whatever else our TLC staff can come up with!
Backpacking Trips - The two TLC sessions are split by difficulty of the backpacking trips planned: Beginner and Advanced. Although the majority of the trip planning will be done by the TLC Director and the Wilderness Director, TLC counselors will have a major role in going over trip plans and maps to make sure they understand the route, designing and upholding safety and evacuation protocols specific to each trip, and always being prepared for problem-solving and trip re-planning that can often occur once in the field. A main focus of TLC wilderness trips is that our teens learn as much as they can from their counselors! On each trip teens will be split into chore groups that rotate the jobs of cooking, bear bagging, water purification, navigation (reading topography maps and orienting with a compass), and being leaders of the day. TLC counselors will assist each group in getting their jobs done, and so they should be fairly confident in each of those tasks - however nobody is perfect and TLC staff will have ample opportunity to help each other improve on these skills as well! On trail TLC counselors will also be leaders of risk management and group mentality - these trips can be incredibly hard at times, but with the right attitude and motivation they will also be some of the most rewarding accomplishments. TLC counselors often lead the group in silly games while hiking, group meetings at night to debrief the day, songs that bring camp magic to trail, swimming in some pretty amazing alpine lakes, and making the most of all a wilderness trip can offer.
Housing - All TLC Counselors live in the Fern House with the teen campers. The Fern House is equipped with a room full of bunkbeds for the teens, a large living room space with couches, a small kitchen for late night snacking, and a small side room that is used as a bedroom for counselors. A bathhouse is just a quick walk away and contains two sections - one for teens and one for staff. The staff section has toilet stalls, sinks, and a shower stall, and will be shared by all TLC staff and other Camp Woolman support staff that do not reside in Wombat Camp cabins. The TLC Director will reside in a small A-Frame cabin right beside the Fern House - and will often offer overnight supervision to the teens when TLC counselors have the night off - which usually happens once returning from a backpacking trip.
The job begins on June 18, 2020 with 9 days of training and preparation. The two TLC sessions run from June 28 - July 15 (2 weeks each). The TLC staff will then transition to helping out in Wombat Camp (ages 9 - 14) with their last session: July 26 - August 8. TLC staff will most likely stay in their own housing for those two weeks, splitting their time between assisting with Wombat Camp activities and backpacking trips (which are 3 days long) and cleaning up the Teen House and debriefing the TLC sessions with the directors. All camp staff will clean and debrief from August 9 - August 14. The last day of the job is August 14.
- Must be at least 20 years old. Younger applicants may consider Wombat Camp counselor positions.
- Current certification in Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder or Life-Guarding by the start date of camp are a major PLUS (but not required) and will come with a pay bump
- Wilderness experience, and comfort co-leading backpacking trips up to 10 days long.
- Cooking (both on trail and on campus) experience.
- Prior experience working with young people.
- Strong leadership and interpersonal skills.
- Strong interest in and passion for fostering, teaching and living the values of peace, justice and sustainability.
- Passion for working with teens and developing deep connections and mentorships with campers
- Stewardship of the safety and well-being of every camper at camp.
- Team Lead 3-10 day backpacking trips with 1-2 other TLC counselors and either the TLC Director or Assistant Director
- Bring camp magic (community, games, inclusion, etc.) to trail
- Direct group management of up to 18 campers.
- Availability to help with any question, problem, conflict or emergency that may arise.
- Leadership and planning of games, art projects, nature walks, and other activities during the day at camp.
- Participation in all aspects of life at camp: meals, chores, games, activities, and meetings.
- Presence during free time to help campers be safe and have fun.
- Participate in the spiritual, emotional, and physical growth of all our beautiful young people
- Supervision of the Fern House at night and free time between activities and meal
- Lead teens in small community chores, including keeping Fern House and Bathhouse clean
- Help lead Wombat Camp activities and wilderness trips once TLC sessions are over (July 16 - August 8)
Who Are We Seeking?
This program is for people who love to work and love to play, who want to learn as well as to teach, who are self-motivated, community-minded (not just an appreciation of community, a LOVE of it), reliable, and who take their responsibilities seriously. A positive attitude and healthy work-ethic are a must! If you sing while washing dishes, laugh when splattered with mud in the garden, or tell jokes while hiking in the blazing sun, this might be the perfect place for you! A background in Quakerism is not necessary, but an interest in Quaker values, willingness to learn about them and a compatibility at the level of soul nature is desirable. At Camp Woolman, we strive to create a community where diversity of life experiences, learning styles, and social identities (including but not limited to religion, class, race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability) are honored and celebrated. In applying, please describe the way your school, work, volunteer, or life experience has prepared you to work with diverse communities of people, including any aspects of your own background or identity that you believe would enrich Camp Woolman. This position is also for people who LOVE working with teens. In your application please convey why you are drawn to this age group.
The salary for counselors is $1483.00 for the summer. This covers a span of 8 weeks between June 18 and August 14. Room & Board is covered as an additional compensation and is independent of your monetary wage. WFA, WFR, and/or Lifeguarding certifications can increase this salary. Returning Woolman staff will also receive pay bumps, in proportion to years worked at camp.
Priority Deadline is March 15, 2020. After which applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
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