Job Title: Program Counselor

Classification: Volunteer

Reports to: Program Director

Position Purpose:

Program counselors are staff whose primary duty is to run the programming at camp (i.e.., Freethought Activities, electives, free time stations, etc.). The program counselor will be given standardized curriculum and will be responsible for implementing these programs at camp.  Each program counselor is paired with a cabin counselor in a cabin.  Program counselors have a secondary responsibility in their cabin for setting a good example as a role model and assisting in guiding campers in their personal growth and daily living skills. Finally, like cabin counselors, program counselors are responsible for generally enforcing camp rules, behavioral coaching and problem solving.

Essential Job Functions:

1. Prepare adequately to lead specific assigned activities at camp. This includes:

  • Read assigned activity documents and notify program director if you have any issues running the assigned activities at camp. This allows program director to shuffle assignments as needed.
  • Work with program director on a plan to acquire all required supplies. Plan in place by June 15. Many basic supplies will be ordered by program director, but some specialized supplies, like picture printouts will be your responsibility to print and request reimbursement.
  • Have all supplies you are responsible for in your possession by June 30.
  • Have done one practice run-through of all assigned activities in your backyard /living room at least once before June 15. Play your role and imagine the campers’ actions.

2. Run specialized programming at camp. This includes:

  • Being on time to program staff meetings. If an emergency arises and you cannot attend, notify program director before meeting.
  • Arriving at activity locations ten minutes before activities and setting up
  • Engaging campers in documented activities. You will make minor tweaks to facilitate the program, using your own words for introductions, etc. However, you will run the standardized activities. If you are assigned an ethics activity, you will not teach rocketry instead.
  • Project contagious enthusiasm and excitement about the activities you are running.
  • Working effectively with any assigned program co-leaders
  • Working effectively with cabin staff attending activities as support, giving them polite and meaningful specific direction to enable them to contribute and support the activity.

Secondary Job Functions:

1. Assist with basic cabin supervision

  • Apply basic youth development principles in dealing with campers. Be sensitive to their needs
  • Apply standard camp supervision protocols
  • Maintain high levels of health and safety

Other General Duties:

1. Be a role model to campers and staff

  • Follow all rules yourself
  • Deal with situations calmly.
  • Contribute to good camp morale

2. Be alert to safety hazards

  • If you see a problem with staff, facilities or the campers themselves. Intervene to prevent immediate harm. Report issues to supervisor so issue can be resolved long term.
  • Enforce safety rules for all campers – not just your cabin or your program
  • Ensure all campers’ needs are met. If you see something – help if you can. If you can’t, alert another staff or management so camper can be assisted (making friends, staying out of trouble, taking a shower, etc.)

3. Miscellaneous

  • Contribute to verbal and written evaluations, and communication as requested.
  • Assist in the planning of any special events.
  • Identify other tasks or duties that this position may be expected to perform but are not necessarily the primary focus of this position.
  • Any other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: (Minimum Education and Experience)

  • Must be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma/GED.
  • Must be able to obtain or become certified in First Aid/CPR.
  • Ability to interact with all age levels.
  • Successfully pass Camp Quest West applicant screening process including phone interview, LiveScan Fingerprinting (resident of CA) or background check (non-resident of CA), and reference checks.
  • Successfully complete all training required: EOT, In-Person, and Pre-Camp Day.

Physical Aspects of the Job:

  • Physical ability to respond appropriately to situations requiring first aid. Must be able to assist campers in an emergency (fire, evacuation, illness, or injury) and possess strength and endurance required to maintain constant supervision of campers.
  • Endurance such as prolonged standing, some bending, stooping, walking long distances, hiking, climbing, and stretching. **
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity to manipulate outdoor equipment for camp activities.
  • Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate camper activities/programs and the ability to lift supply boxes up to 20 lbs. **
  • Willing to live in a camp setting and work irregular hours with limited or simple equipment and facilities.  Willing to be exposed to the sun, heat, and animals such as bugs, snakes, bats, etc.

** Note: accommodations can be made for excellent staff who may not be able to meet all physical requirements. These accommodations must be worked out with management before camp, when position is accepted. 

Other Job Duties: 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Understand the development needs of youth.
  • Ability to relate to youth and adults in a positive manner.
  • Ability to communicate and work with staff and campers of various age and skill levels.
  • Ability to observe camper behavior, assess its appropriateness, enforce appropriate safety regulations and emergency procedures, and apply suitable behavior-management techniques.
  • Ability to observe staff behavior, assess its appropriateness, and discuss concerns with camp management.
  • Visual and auditory ability to identify and respond to environmental and other hazards.


  • Approximately one-third of our campers are either African-American, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Latino/Hispanic. We are very proud of our ethnic diversity. You should be prepared to work with campers from across the racial and socio-economic spectrum.