Camp counselors' general responsibility is the supervision of a camping event. Camp counselors' duties include reiterating the rules and regulations, emergency drills and procedures, and related standard protocols to ensure that the campers maintain a safe camping environment. A camp counselor should possess strong leadership and decision-making skills to develop recreational programs and immediately resolve concerns that might affect everyone's overall camping experience. Camp counselors also help develop social interaction, promote teamwork, and monitor participation among campers.

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Camp Counselor Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real camp counselor resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage camp check-ins by assembling and assigning check-in teams, and helping implement opening day camp check-ins.
  • Guide and nurture campers by accompanying them to and assisting with camp activities, and lead hiking and canoe trips
  • Mentore kids using healthy conflict resolution techniques.
  • Organize group activities to facilitate communication between children with various health needs ranging from common allergies to severe developmental disabilities.
  • Supervise campers, cook, and run activities.
  • Provide support and host VIP visitors and guests.
  • Learned and implement transitions according to each teen.
  • Tutor 1st - 8th graders in mathematics and writing compositions.
  • Prepare children for upcoming school year in the mathematics and reading.
  • Design and run a camp craft program for girls ages 8-15.
  • Engage with pet parents as they bring in their family members.
  • Arrange visits and serve as escort for VIP training camp visitors.
  • Help organize the final PowerPoint presentation of the young women's research experiences.
  • Talk with guests about pet's behaviors and how they do that day.
  • Plan, organize, and lead wilderness bike, canoe, kayak, and backpacking trips.

Camp Counselor Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a camp counselor does, you may be wondering, "should I become a camp counselor?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, camp counselors have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of camp counselor opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 33,800.

Camp counselors average about $11.7 an hour, which makes the camp counselor annual salary $24,340. Additionally, camp counselors are known to earn anywhere from $16,000 to $35,000 a year. This means that the top-earning camp counselors make $16,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a camp counselor. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a recreation assistant, activities leader, recreation aide, and site leader.

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Camp Counselor Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 29% of Camp Counselors are proficient in Kids, CPR, and Summer Camps. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Flexibility, and Leadership skills.

We break down the percentage of Camp Counselors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Kids, 29%

    Provided underprivileged kids an opportunity to develop a musical talent,

  • CPR, 22%

    Staff training included CPR certification and seminars on working with children with disabilities and identifying abusive situations.

  • Summer Camps, 9%

    Acted as Environmental Education resource for summer camps, providing curricula and facilitating instruction.

  • Role Model, 7%

    Identified children's needs by observing with care, being a role model, and responding quickly with respect and affection.

  • Child Care, 5%

    Delivered an unparalleled child care experience to children of diverse backgrounds, effectively communicating progress to parents.

  • Incident Reports, 3%

    Prepared written incident reports for camp director to review regarding escalation to parent notification* Ensured proper supervision conducted during bathroom usage.

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"kids," "cpr," and "summer camps" aren't the only skills we found camp counselors list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of camp counselor responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a camp counselor to have. According to a camp counselor resume, "recreation workers must be able to communicate well" camp counselors are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "organized group activities to facilitate communication between children with various health needs ranging from common allergies to severe developmental disabilities. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform camp counselor duties is the following: flexibility. According to a camp counselor resume, "recreation workers must be flexible when planning activities." Check out this example of how camp counselors use flexibility: "demonstrated flexibility and creativity when developing age appropriate recreational activities and programs under short notice and encouraging all kids to participate. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among camp counselors is leadership skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a camp counselor resume: "recreation workers should be able to lead both large and small groups" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "identifed and responded to camper behavior issues; communicated with parents, camp leadership. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "physical strength" is important to completing camp counselor responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way camp counselors use this skill: "most recreation workers should be physically fit" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical camp counselor tasks: "planed and implemented activities that supported safe strength, conditioning, and basketball skill development. "
  • Yet another important skill that a camp counselor must demonstrate is "problem-solving skills." Recreation workers need strong problem-solving skills This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a camp counselor who stated: "identify and provide solutions to camper behavior issues. "
  • See the full list of camp counselor skills.

    We've found that 66.2% of camp counselors have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 4.9% earned their master's degrees before becoming a camp counselor. While it's true that most camp counselors have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every seven camp counselors did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those camp counselors who do attend college, typically earn either a psychology degree or a business degree. Less commonly earned degrees for camp counselors include a kinesiology degree or a communication degree.

    Once you're ready to become a camp counselor, you should explore the companies that typically hire camp counselors. According to camp counselor resumes that we searched through, camp counselors are hired the most by Bright Horizons, Ymca Of Metropolitan Atlanta, and Mad Science Group. Currently, Bright Horizons has 52 camp counselor job openings, while there are 25 at Ymca Of Metropolitan Atlanta and 21 at Mad Science Group.

    If you're interested in companies where camp counselors make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at University of California, Berkeley, The Chicago High School for the Arts, and Boston College. We found that at University of California, Berkeley, the average camp counselor salary is $41,091. Whereas at The Chicago High School for the Arts, camp counselors earn roughly $37,551. And at Boston College, they make an average salary of $36,130.

    View more details on camp counselor salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire camp counselors from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include CampCo, Ymca, and Jewish Community Center Inc.

    The industries that camp counselors fulfill the most roles in are the non profits and education industries. But the highest camp counselor annual salary is in the education industry, averaging $29,249. In the government industry they make $27,192 and average about $26,158 in the hospitality industry. In conclusion, camp counselors who work in the education industry earn a 10.6% higher salary than camp counselors in the non profits industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious camp counselors are:

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    What Recreation Assistants Do

    A recreational assistant is responsible for performing administrative support tasks while under the supervision of a recreational manager. Their duties revolve around planning various activities that align with the company's vision and mission, such as sporting events and other fun games. They also participate in arranging equipment and supplies such as tables and stages, facilitating programs, securing necessary permits and documentation, responding to calls and inquiries, and assisting participants. Furthermore, it is essential to coordinate with all workers and adhere to company policies and regulations.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take recreation assistant for example. On average, the recreation assistants annual salary is $6,700 higher than what camp counselors make on average every year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between camp counselors and recreation assistants are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like cpr, leadership, and safety rules.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A camp counselor responsibility is more likely to require skills like "kids," "summer camps," "role model," and "child care." Whereas a recreation assistant requires skills like "customer service," "mds," "recreation programs," and "patients." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Recreation assistants really shine in the health care industry with an average salary of $29,963. Whereas camp counselors tend to make the most money in the education industry with an average salary of $29,249.

    Recreation assistants tend to reach similar levels of education than camp counselors. In fact, recreation assistants are 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Activities Leader?

    An activity leader's main duty is to offer sports programs and exercises that are riveting in a positive manner. The activities typically assigned to leaders are the ones they understand for the smooth promotion and planning of events. Usually, hotel resorts and summer camps seasonally employ activity leaders to make time for different exercises throughout the year. Working as an activities leader can also be viewed as a way to practically enhance a person's teaching or coaching skills, leadership and communication skills, and marketing skills when it comes to publicizing upcoming events.

    Now we're going to look at the activities leader profession. On average, activities leaders earn a $5,989 higher salary than camp counselors a year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both camp counselors and activities leaders are known to have skills such as "cpr," "role model," and "incident reports. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real camp counselor resumes. While camp counselor responsibilities can utilize skills like "kids," "summer camps," "child care," and "core values," some activities leaders use skills like "direct supervision," "homework assistance," "physical stamina," and "after-school program."

    Activities leaders may earn a higher salary than camp counselors, but activities leaders earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $28,776. On the other side of things, camp counselors receive higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $29,249.

    In general, activities leaders study at similar levels of education than camp counselors. They're 1.2% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Camp Counselors In The Next 3-5 Years?


    Tom Rosenberg

    President and CEO, The American Camp Association’s

    In COVID-19, camp parents and camp staff are expected to undergo additional pre-camp screening, as well as frequent testing (where applicable), and daily monitoring and surveillance. Camps have been employing innovative technologies to assist with communicable disease prevention and management, and we see this trend continuing and expanding. In summer 2021, the improvement of PCR, antigen and antibody tests will increase in their efficacy, availability, and pricing; making them a very helpful nonpharmaceutical intervention. The ACA Field Guide for Operating Day and Overnight Camps in COVID-19 has a new chapter on Technology and Controls, as well as a new chapter on Testing. For many of these nonpharmaceutical interventions (or layers of protection), there continues to be new research on relative efficacies, technologies that will influence the development of innovations.
    Environmental Health, Industrial Hygiene, medical technology and public health research science helped in the development of the ACA Field Guide for summer camp operations - available to all!
    Computer programmers and tech professionals for virtual camps (especially among camps who serve immunity compromised camper populations). Between sessions of camps, we see camps continuing to offer supervised connected online programming for camp friends to enjoy together during the off-season. We expect to see considerable improvements in safety and security components of these platforms, as well as program innovations. Just today, I was on the phone with a VR technologist who is interested in helping camps creating VR experiences to help prospective campers taste camp activity experiences.
    We have seen our camps who needed to operate their programs online or in a virtual format really make impressive innovations. Zoom, YouTube, social media and more, were just a few of the ways that camps were able to interact with their camper communities in unique ways. This was especially the case for camps in states and localities where their in-person camp programs were not permitted to operate due to public health official ruling OR for camps who served immune compromised camper populations. While most camps will likely shift back to in-person programs (albeit covid-19 adapted) in summer 2021, we see camps continuing to employ various online connectivity platforms to engage campers, families, and staff members in additive, year-round community building and learning through the use of these technologies for years to come.
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    How a Recreation Aide Compares

    A recreation aide is responsible for assisting with the planning of recreational activities, following the supervision of a recreational manager. Recreation aides prepare all the resources, guide the participants, maintain the activity equipment, facilitate the program, and reiterate the guidelines for the safe execution of the activity. They also ensure the cleanliness and orderliness of the facilities to be used. A recreation aide must have excellent communication and organizational skills, responding to the participants' inquiries and concerns, as well as performing administrative duties as the recreational manager advises.

    Let's now take a look at the recreation aide profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than camp counselors with a $4,416 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several camp counselors and recreation aides we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "cpr," "leadership," and "safety rules," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from camp counselors resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "kids," "summer camps," "role model," and "child care." But a recreation aide might have skills like "customer service," "rehabilitation," "cleanliness," and "recreation programs."

    Additionally, recreation aides earn a higher salary in the government industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $29,131. Additionally, camp counselors earn an average salary of $29,249 in the education industry.

    Recreation aides typically study at similar levels compared with camp counselors. For example, they're 2.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Site Leader

    A site leader is responsible for managing the staff's performance, ensuring the smooth delivery of daily operations, and guiding the successful project completion by maximizing the staff's productivity within the specified timeframe and budget goals. Site leaders work closely with the clients, together with the site manager, to identify their specifications and requirements, as well as providing progress updates and suggesting design adjustments as needed. A site leader also performs safety inspections, making sure that all the staff follows the required operational procedures and regulations to prevent hazards and delays in project deliverables.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than camp counselors. On average, site leaders earn a difference of $40,546 higher per year.

    While their salaries may vary, camp counselors and site leaders both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "cpr," "incident reports," and "powerpoint. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a camp counselor might have more use for skills like "kids," "summer camps," "role model," and "child care." Meanwhile, some site leaders might include skills like "customer service," "project management," "logistics," and "patients" on their resume.

    Site leaders reach similar levels of education when compared to camp counselors. The difference is that they're 4.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Camp Counselor Does FAQs

    How To Be A Good Camp Counselor

    To be a good camp counselor, you must develop the right skills, including strong leadership, decision-making abilities, and good communication. Here are the top skills and other qualities you should develop and hone to be a good camp counselor:

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