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Staff

At the heart of Camp Wise is a compassionate and energetic team of 150 staff members. Our staff is comprised of dedicated leaders, working together to create a vibrant and comfortable Jewish community for our campers. Working at summer camp is demanding, with long hours, little privacy, and high intensity. The rewards are great – the joy of helping a child, the beauty of living in nature, and the excitement and fun of working as part of a hilarious, energetic team. Working at Camp Wise is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Selected for their experience, skills, and dedication to kids, our counselors and specialists understand that they are the key to a successful camp experience for each child. Their caring and sensitivity create the foundation for a warm, welcoming home away from home. Our low staff-to-camper ratio ensures that each camper receives attention and guidance.

Summer Job Descriptions

General Counselor

Position Summary

A counselor’s primary responsibility is their group of campers. Counselors are responsible for facilitating the daily routine; planning, leading, and participating in activities and programs for campers. Counselors serve as a mentor, coach, and teacher to campers are responsible for the physical, social, and emotional health, safety, and well-being. A successful camper summer is almost always tied directly to the relationship they develop with their counselor. Counselors must have patience, empathy, enthusiasm, and creativity as well as great listening and communication skills.

Responsibilities

  • Model the expectations staff set for each other and our campers
  • Participate in required staff training prior to camp and staff meetings
  • Serve as the primary live-in caretaker and counselor for 10-14 campers
  • Responsible for facilitating the daily routine, including planning activities, and implementing programs for campers in the cabin, village, or entire camp community
  • Know where campers are and need to be at all times– making sure they are on time to meals and programs
  • Create a cabin culture that feels unique through care, special cabin activities, rituals, and traditions
  • Have an intimate knowledge of and take responsibility for each individual camper’s social, physical, and emotional health, safety, and well-being
  • Encourage and support each camper in meeting their goals as related to their personal development
  • Manage camper behaviors using positive behavior management techniques, enforce appropriate safety policies, emergency procedures, and camp rules
  • Communicate, share responsibilities with, and work as a team with your co-staff
  • Train and mentor the Staff-In-Training who are a part of your cabin
  • Contribute to and participate in all camp activities (swimming is mandatory) as well as camp-wide community rituals, traditions, programs
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by Camp Director and Assistant Director

Qualifications:

  • Must be 18 years old by June 3rd and have experience working with children ages 6-15
  • Must be caring, empathetic, patient, hard working, and diligent professional who exhibits sound judgment
  • Must take initiative and be creative, enthusiastic, open-minded and high-energy
  • Must possess strong communication skills and comfort in communicating with children and peers
  • Must have ability to function both independently and as part of a team
  • Previous experience in a camp or similar setting preferred
  • Must be available for full training and summer: June 3-August 1
  • Must be high-energy, enthusiastic, creative, and open-minded!

Program Area Specialist

Position Summary

The Specialist is the primary instructor in the Program Area who is responsible for planning and facilitating daily activities for small and large camper groups. The Specialist is responsible for designing meaningful and enriching skill-based activities for campers and building strong relationships with campers and staff. The Specialist’s primary role in camp is to run their program area, but they also have responsibilities to their cabin and village. The Specialist has two supervisors – one for your program area, and the other for your village duties.

Program Areas: Pool (Lifeguarding), Waterfront/Lake (Lifeguarding), Basketball, Soccer, Archery, Mountain Biking, Yoga, Tennis, High & Low Ropes/Outdoor Adventure, Arts & Crafts, Pottery, Horseback Riding, Nature (Teva), Drama, Dance, Guitar, Songleader, Video, Radio/Multimedia, Photographer, Israeli Culture/Dance, Judaics

Responsibilities

  • Serve as a positive role model in the camp community and represent camp values
  • Participate in required staff training prior to camp and staff meetings
  • Foster an atmosphere of positive energy and enthusiasm about your specialty area
  • Prepare materials, supplies, and/or equipment for all specialty area activities in advance
  • Create and implement activities for campers that align with overarching program curriculum integrating fundamental skill development with Camp Wise values and balance creativity with challenge
  • Ensure accommodations or alternative activities are provided for campers can learn and grow their skill set at their own pace and create back-up plans for rainy days
  • Facilitate activities in a way that engages campers at all times and fosters the development of respect,  creativity, self-confidence, and positive social relationships
  • Manage program area space and equipment including maintenance and inventory
  • Support campers in developing positive attitudes toward learning new skills and refining old ones
  • Responsible for creating a fun, supportive, enriching space  for staff and campers to learn and refine new skills
  • Manage camper behaviors using positive behavior management techniques, enforce appropriate safety policies, emergency procedures, and camp rules
  • Be an active staff member in your cabin and village, including but not limited to wake up and bedtime, evening programs, meals, and night-time supervision
  • Train and mentor the Staff-In-Training who are a part of your specialty area
  • Create a write-up of all activities and resources to turn into the Program Area Supervisor at end of the summer
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by Camp Director

Qualifications:

  • Must be 18 years old by June 3rd and have experience working with children ages 6-15
  • Must have demonstrated ability to instruct and lead a group of children in specialty area activities
  • Must be caring, empathetic, patient, hard working, and diligent professional  who exhibits sound judgment
  • Must take initiative and be creative, enthusiastic, open-minded and high-energy
  • Must possess strong communication skills and comfort in communicating with children and peers
  • Must have ability to function both independently and as part of a team
  • Previous experience in specialty area instruction in a camp or similar setting is strongly preferred
  • Must be certified in specialty area, where applicable, prior to camp, (i.e. pool/waterfront staff must be lifeguard certified by approved trainer)
  • Must be available for full training and summer: June 1-August 1

Village (Unit) Supervisor

Position Summary

The Village (Unit) Supervisor is primarily responsible for supervising and mentoring a group of staff as well as ensuring the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, safety and well-being of all campers in their assigned unit. The Supervisor is fully involved in all aspects of the campers’ day including village programming, group management, community experience, and scheduling for campers and staff. The Village Supervisor will work in tandem with the Assistant Director and broader summer leadership team at camp to ensure the positive resolution for any and all camper, staff, and parent issues that may arise. This position requires a person with a variety of skills and abilities to transition from one situation to another, quickly and intuitively, while also showing compassion and empathy for campers and staff. It is essential that the Supervisor is compassionate and patient, and should have extensive experience working with children as well as previous experience in a supervisory role.

Villages (Units): 2-5th grade, 6-7th grade, 8-9th grade, and 10th grade

Responsibilities

  • Serve as a positive role model in the camp community and represent camp values
  • Participate in required staff training prior to camp
  • Responsible for overseeing the timeliness of village, the placement of campers in chugs (electives) cabin and village-wide programming, and building a strong village culture through traditions, rituals, and special events
  • Supervise all village staff and responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of all campers in their village
  • Create strong relationships with campers, staff, and other Supervisors to ensure positive outcomes for any and all camper or staff issues that may arise by being present at chugs and activities
  • Serve as the lead in handling all camper care and staff issues, including but not limited to behavior management, interpersonal disputes, homesickness, hygiene, and safety based on daily check-ins and observation
  • Communicate and collaborate with camp social worker and infirmary manager to ensure campers’ and staff success
  • Oversee evening program development and execution, collaborate with village programmers to create schedule, and support the staff to see the programs through from inception to completion
  • Facilitate and participate in staff meetings for the village and all camp, and create weekly programs and moments of appreciation to encourage high staff morale
  • Manage schedules for village staff (counselors and specialists) for night patrol, off periods, and days off
  • Provide staff with feedback and support, and conducting written and oral performance evaluations
  • Make parent phone calls and send emails as necessary with approval and support from the Assistant Director
  • Supervise, contribute to and lead all-camp activities, including but not limited to meals and Shabbat prep
  • Create a binder of all Village information and resources to turn into the Camp Director at end of the summer
  • Serve as a general member of the supervisory staff team
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by Camp Director and Assistant Director

Qualifications:

  • Must be 21 years old by May 27th with at least two years or equivalent experience working with children
  • Must have extensive experience instructing or teaching children ages 6-15 in the program area
  • Must be caring, empathetic, patient, hard working, and diligent professional who takes initiative and is creative, enthusiastic, open-minded and high-energy
  • Must possess strong communication skills and comfort in communicating with children, young adults, and parents
  • Must have ability to function both independently and as part of a team
  • Previous experience in a leadership position supervising staff at a camp or similar setting preferred
  • Must be available for full training and summer: May 27-August 3

Program Area Supervisor

Position Summary

The Program Area Supervisor is responsible for the development of specialty-specific curriculum and overseeing the daily facilitation of the program and activities. The Supervisor play a key role in creating a vision and defining success for their program area which includes designing the daily schedule for program area staff as well as evaluating the program and staff on a regular basis. The Supervisor is a member of the broader summer leadership team at camp who are responsible for building strong relationships with campers and staff and ensuring positive outcomes for all in the camp community.

Program Areas: Pool, Lake/Waterfront, Sports, Ropes Course, Arts & Crafts, Horseback Riding, Nature (Teva)/Camping, Performing Arts, Media, Judaics

Responsibilities

  • Serve as a positive role model in the camp community and represent camp values
  • Participate in required supervisor and staff training prior to camp
  • Develop and implement a progressive program area curriculum that integrates fundamental skill development with our Camp Wise values, and may include special event days, clinics, tournaments, and workshops
  • Responsible for designing accommodations or alternative activities (such as rainy day programs) so campers can learn and grow their skill set at their own pace every day
  • Delegate responsibilities to program area staff in regards to activity creation, preparation, and facilitation
  • Supervise and mentor program area staff by providing them with weekly feedback and support as well as conducting performance evaluations to ensure their success as specialists
  • Create weekly activities and moments of appreciation to encourage high staff morale
  • Facilitate and participate in staff meetings
  • Ensure your program area has necessary supplies and meets accreditation standards in regards to health, safety, and instruction; Organize and maintain equipment and supplies
  • Manage schedules for program area specialists and arrange for time off and planning periods
  • Responsible for creating a fun, supportive, enriching space for staff and campers to learn and refine new skills
  • Manage camper behaviors using positive behavior management techniques, enforce appropriate safety policies, emergency procedures, and camp rules
  • Supervise, contribute to and lead village and all-camp activities such as evening programs and all-camp events
  • Create a binder of all activities and resources to be turned into the Camp Director that includes inventory and recommendations for program enhancements
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by Camp Director

Qualifications:

  • Must be 21 years old by May 27th with at least 2 years or equivalent experience working with children ages 6-15
  • Must have experience instructing, teaching, or supervising activities and projects in the program area
  • Must be caring, empathetic, patient, hard working, and diligent professional who takes initiative and is creative, enthusiastic, open-minded and high-energy
  • Must possess strong communication skills and comfort in communicating with children and young adults
  • Must have ability to function both independently and as part of a team
  • Previous experience in a leadership position supervising staff at a camp or similar setting preferred
  • Must be certified in specialty area, where applicable, prior to camp, (i.e. pool/waterfront staff must be lifeguard certified by approved trainer)
  • Must be available for full training and summer: May 27-August 3

Social Worker

Position Summary

The camp Social Worker, in tandem with the Director, Assistant Director, and summer leadership team, is responsible for ensuring the positive resolution for any and all camper and staff issues that may arise during the camp season. The Social Worker is expected to provide campers and staff with meaningful and critical guidance to make healthy, responsible, and respectful choices. The Social Worker plays a key role in training staff on topics including but not limited to: fostering positive social interactions, managing challenging camper behaviors and interpersonal disputes, identifying and supporting campers with special needs, homesickness and self-care. The Social Worker embodies Camp Wise’s core values in their interactions and decisions regarding camper care and is a positive, contributing member of the summer leadership team. The Social Worker is expected to create strong relationships with campers and staff alike and exhibit excellent written and verbal communication skills.

This position requires a person with a variety of skills and the ability to transition from one situation to another quickly and intuitively while also showing compassion and empathy for campers and staff. This position does not have programmatic responsibilities but will be involved in and responsible for facilitating pre-camp training sessions and ongoing staff development throughout the summer.

Responsibilities

  • Serve as a positive role model in the camp community and represent camp values
  • Participate in required supervisor and staff training prior to camp
  • Serve as the lead professional in determining appropriate responses to all camper and staff issues related to social, emotional, and mental health, safety, and well-being, including but not limited to: anxiety, behavior management, interpersonal disputes, homesickness, hygiene, and diagnosed disorders
  • Communicate with Director, Assistant Director, Village Supervisors, and infirmary staff to monitor and support the physical, social, and emotional health, safety, and well-being of campers and staff
  • Act as liaison between infirmary, , summer leadership team, directors, and parents to identify and address patterns or concerns with camper and staff behaviors based on daily check-ins and observations
  • Develop training modules and ongoing staff development opportunities that give staff the necessary tools and skills to provide proper camper care ranging from identifying special needs, to responding to challenging camper behavior, providing interventions and accommodations, and managing escalated and crisis situations
  • Supervise the camper care specialist(s) which includes providing targeted training, managing scheduling and caseload(s) and conducting performance feedback and evaluations
  • Assist staff members with challenging camper situations and provide ongoing support to staff to respond to campers behavioral, emotional and mental health needs
  • Consult with Director and Assistant Director about significant concerns and issues that arise to determine appropriate response for campers, staff, and parents
  • Observe and document camper situations/incidents, design behavior intervention and/or management plans, and monitor and report on progress
  • Be aware of camper and staff behavior, enforce appropriate safety regulations and emergency procedures, and apply appropriate behavior-management techniques
  • Debrief and provide guidance to campers and or staff after crises or stressful and traumatic events
  • Provide staff with support for camper, camp and personal-related concerns
  • Work with campers and staff individually or in groups, as needed
  • Make parent phone calls and send emails as necessary
  • Create a binder with resources, best practices, and suggestions for future CW camper care staff to turn into the Camp Director at end of the summer
  • Serve as a general member of the supervisory staff team
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by Camp Director
  • Be present and available throughout the camp day

Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, Counseling, Psychology, Mental Health or Similar Fields
  • Demonstrated clinical knowledge of a myriad of treatment techniques
  • Previous experiences in a camp setting or similar environment is preferred
  • Experience with children, teenagers, and adult mental, social, and emotional health
  • Must be able to think critically and act swiftly in high stress situations
  • Attention to detail in documentation and maintaining records
  • Must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills and comfort in communicating with children, young adults, and parents
  • Must be caring, empathetic, patient, hard working, and diligent professional who takes initiative and is creative, enthusiastic, open-minded and high-energy
  • Must have ability to function both independently and as part of a team
  • Must be available for full training and summer: May 27-August 3

Staff Training and Development

Most of our staff have been training for their jobs since they were a first-time Chalutzim camper. Over 85% of our staff members grew up at Camp Wise themselves and help carry on camp traditions like silly skits, Shabbat melodies and village cheers.

We invest in the development of our seasonal staff and we see the direct benefits that additional training has on the campers and our camp community. We send our staff on a Taglit-birthright Israel trip planned specifically for JCC camp staff, to workshops designed to train them on the latest in their specialty area (like teva and nature), to the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Cornerstone Fellowship (providing Jewish educational training to exemplary returning bunk staff), and more.

Our supervisory team consists of young adults and professionals with specific training related to the area in which they work at camp. In addition to our home-grown staff, staff members also join us from all across the United States and Israel, and we even have staff from as far away as Australia, Mexico, and the UK.

Staff Frequently Asked Questions

What are the important dates for the Summer 2018 camp season?

TENTATIVE TRAINING DATES

  • Supervisor Training starts: May 27
  • Specialist Training starts: May 27 – June 1, depending on position
  • Staff Training starts: June 3
  • Campers arrive: June 10
  • Last day of camp (Staff): August 1
  • Last day of camp (Supervisors): August 3

What are the qualifications you look for when hiring staff?

We look for significant experience working with kids, beyond babysitting. We look for people who have sought out leadership opportunities during the year, and want to make a difference for others. Our staff members have graduated high school. Our junior staff members have completed our Staff-in-Training program and are entering 12th grade. Some positions require additional certifications and/or training. We want staff members who can take a crappy rainy afternoon and make it the best day ever for their campers. We want someone who will go with their kids to the pool for swim lessons on a chilly day and strip down to their bathing suit and jump right in. We look for those staff members who are into being part of a team, and want to support the goals and the mission of Camp Wise.

Do staff have days off? What about breaks during the day?

All program staff receive five 25-hour days off during the summer. Support staff will have one day off per week. Daily breaks are built into every staff member’s day. This is time to nap, unwind, chill out, exercise, read, call family or friends, or go for a walk.

What is the application process?

All staff, even returning staff, must apply and have an interview. All new applicants are required to submit 3 references at the time of their application. You should call the Camp Wise office to schedule your interview one week after you have submitted your completed application. Interviews are conducted in person or over Skype.

When is the deadline to apply for next summer?

There is no deadline, however returning staff applications and new applications received prior to November 1 will be given priority.

If I am a specialist do I still live with campers?

Yes, at Camp Wise all of our program staff live in bunk with their campers. Counselors follow the daily schedule of the campers while specialists teach in their area during the camp day. Counselors and specialists share the responsibility of managing their bunk.

What is the housing like?

All of our cabins have electricity. Some of them have bathrooms and showers attached to the building and for others the bathrooms and showers are in a separate building just outside the cabin. Staff sleep in the cabin with campers in a separated or designated area.

I’m not Jewish. Can I still work at Camp Wise?

Of course! We understand that our campers come for diverse backgrounds and it is important that we represent those cultures at camp as well. While we are a Jewish camp and our programming is based on our 6 core Jewish values we know that the sometimes the best soccer specialist will not be Jewish but will bring with her a wealth of new and creative ideas. We ask our staff to participate in Jewish life and culture at camp to the level which they are comfortable.