Camp Counselor Job Description

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What is a Camp Counselor?

A camp counselor is an individual responsible for supervising and ensuring the well-being of campers during a summer camp or recreational program. Their primary role is to guide and engage campers in various activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, team-building exercises, and outdoor adventures. They also promote positive social interactions, provide emotional support, and maintain a safe environment for the campers.

Camp counselors typically work in the leisure, hospitality, and education industries. They are commonly employed by summer camps, recreational centers, youth organizations, schools, and government agencies that organize camp programs. Additionally, some camp counselors may work for religious institutions, special needs camps, or as part of community-based organizations.

What does Camp Counselor do?

As a camp counselor, your day-to-day responsibilities may vary depending on the type of camp and its specific activities. Here is a general idea of what a camp counselor typically does:

  1. Supervision and Guidance: You will provide supervision and ensure the safety of campers throughout the day. This includes overseeing their activities, meals, and rest periods.

  2. Activity Planning and Implementation: You will plan and lead various games, sports, arts and crafts, nature exploration, and other activities to keep campers engaged and entertained.

  3. Instruction and Skill Development: Depending on the camp's focus, you may also be responsible for teaching specific skills, such as swimming, canoeing, hiking, or team-building activities.

  4. Camper Support: You will provide emotional support and guidance to campers, helping them build self-confidence and develop positive relationships with others.

  5. Behavior Management: You will enforce camp rules and address any behavioral issues that may arise. This may involve providing discipline and resolving conflicts among campers.

  6. Team Collaboration: You will work closely with other counselors and camp staff to ensure coordination and smooth operation of daily activities.

  7. Communication: You will communicate with campers' parents and guardians, providing updates about their child's participation, progress, and any concerns that may arise.

  8. Role Modeling: As a camp counselor, you are expected to be a positive role model, demonstrating good sportsmanship, leadership, and responsibility.

  9. General Camp Duties: Depending on the camp, you may also assist with meal preparation, cleaning, equipment maintenance, and other general camp duties.

Remember that each day can be dynamic and full of surprises, making adaptability and flexibility essential qualities for a camp counselor.

What skills are needed to be a Camp Counselor?

Leadership: Camp counselors need strong leadership skills to guide and motivate campers, as well as lead group activities and enforce camp rules.

Communication: Strong communication skills are essential for effectively conveying instructions, providing feedback, and resolving conflicts between campers.

Problem-solving: Camp counselors should be skilled at finding solutions to various challenges that may arise, whether it's a disagreement between campers or planning alternative activities in case of inclement weather.

Flexibility: Flexibility is important in adapting to changing circumstances, including adjusting activity plans, accommodating individual camper needs, and handling unexpected situations.

Teamwork: Camp counselors often work together as a team, so it's important to collaborate effectively, support colleagues, and contribute positively to the camp's overall goals and objectives.

Creativity: Being able to think creatively and come up with inventive activities, games, and crafts is valuable in keeping campers engaged and entertained.

Organization: Camp counselors need strong organizational skills to plan and prepare activities, keep track of schedules, ensure camper safety, and maintain a clean and orderly camp environment.

Responsibility: Counselors are responsible for the well-being and safety of campers, so being reliable and accountable for their actions is crucial.

Patience: Working with children requires patience, as counselors need to understand and address the different needs, behaviors, and emotions of campers.

Energetic: Camp counselors should possess a high level of energy to keep up with the demands of a camp setting, while also being enthusiastic and able to lead campers in various physical activities.

Camp Counselor duties and responsibilities

Top 3-7 Duties of a Camp Counselor:

  1. Supervision: Ensure the safety and well-being of campers by supervising their activities, taking attendance, and addressing any behavior issues that may arise.
  2. Instruction: Teach campers various skills and activities, such as swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, and team-building exercises.
  3. Leadership: Serve as a positive role model for campers, leading by example and demonstrating good sportsmanship, empathy, and respect.
  4. Counseling: Provide emotional support to campers, offering guidance and resolving conflicts between them in a fair and constructive manner.
  5. Teamwork: Collaborate with fellow camp counselors and staff members to plan and implement camp programs, activities, and special events.
  6. Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with campers' parents or guardians, keeping them informed of their child's progress, challenges, and achievements.
  7. Camp Maintenance: Assist with general camp maintenance tasks, including cleanliness, organizing equipment, and ensuring the overall safety of the campgrounds.

Qualifications required to be Camp Counselor

The specific qualifications required for being a Camp Counselor may vary depending on the camp and its regulations. However, here are some general qualifications that are often sought after:

  1. Age requirement: Most camps require counselors to be at least 18 years old, while some may prefer or require individuals who are 21 or older.
  2. Experience with children: Previous experience working with children, such as as a babysitter, camp counselor, tutor, or volunteer with youth organizations, is highly valued.
  3. Leadership skills: Camp counselors need to be able to guide and lead campers effectively, so having strong leadership skills is important.
  4. Passion for outdoor activities: Many camps focus on outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, and team sports. Having skills or a passion for these activities is often beneficial.
  5. Good communication skills: Counselors must be able to communicate effectively with campers, parents, and fellow staff members.
  6. Safety training: CPR and First Aid certifications are often required, as counselors may need to respond to medical emergencies or injuries at the camp.
  7. Background check: Due to the nature of working with children, most camps require counselors to undergo a background check to ensure their suitability for the role.

It's important to note that these are general qualifications, and each camp may have specific requirements. It's always a good idea to research and review the specific qualifications of the camp you are interested in working at.

Camp Counselor Job Description Template


Job Brief

We are looking for a Camp Counselor to supervise young campers and make sure they learn and have fun.


  • Plan outdoor activities or sports for groups of campers
  • Create weekly or daily schedules taking into account children’s age groups and interests
  • Lead recreational and educational activities (such as swimming, caving or crafting)
  • Escort and oversee children
  • Educate campers through games and explorations
  • Set up and maintain equipment (like camping sets)
  • Resolve occasional fights between children and address behavioral issues
  • Make sure all safety rules are followed
  • Ensure camping site is clean and that campers don’t litter recreational areas or nature
  • Perform first aid or take care of injuries as needed
  • Keep accurate incident logs


  • Proven experience as Camp Counselor or similar role working with children
  • Familiarity with camping and various outdoor activities
  • Patient and reliable
  • Organizational and communication skills
  • A love for children
  • Energetic and positive personality
  • Ability to meet the physical demands of the job (strength and stamina to follow strenuous activities like hiking, running, crouching or carrying children)
  • First aid- and CPR-certified preferred
  • High school diploma
  • You may need to pass a drug or background test according to local laws

What are some qualities of a good Camp Counselor?

A good camp counselor possesses several key qualities that contribute to a positive and successful camp experience for all participants. Firstly, strong leadership skills are crucial. A counselor should be able to guide and motivate campers, ensuring their safety and well-being while encouraging them to try new things and develop new skills. Communication skills are also essential as counselors must effectively interact with campers, parents, and fellow staff members. Good listening skills help counselors understand individual needs and concerns and address them appropriately. Moreover, creativity and adaptability play a significant role in a counselor's role, as they often need to come up with unique and engaging activities to keep campers entertained and stimulated. A sense of patience and understanding is also important when working with children of varying ages and personalities. Lastly, a good camp counselor should be energetic, enthusiastic, and positive, inspiring campers and creating a positive camp environment. By embodying these qualities, a counselor can make a lasting impact on campers' lives and contribute to a successful camp experience overall.

What are the salary expectations of Camp Counselor?

The salary of a camp counselor can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the type of camp. In general, the average salary for a camp counselor is between $10 to $15 per hour. Some camps may also provide additional benefits such as room and board, which can offset the lower hourly rate. It's important to research the specific camp you are interested in and inquire about their compensation package before making any salary expectations.

Who does Camp Counselor report to?

A Camp Counselor typically reports to the Camp Director. They work closely with other Camp Counselors, as well as with camp staff members responsible for various areas such as activity coordinators, lifeguards, nurses (if applicable), and maintenance personnel. They may also collaborate with the camp administrative team, including the camp office staff and leaders in charge of scheduling and programming.

Last Updated 28 Sep, 2023

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