Top four (of endless) reasons to work at summer camp

Spend your summer having a blast and making a difference!

Read Time 4 minutes

When summer camp season rolls around each year, we’re more excited than ever for outdoor adventures, gaga ball, Sharks & Minnows, the giant swing—but most of all—to meet the campers!  To create a truly magical experience for youth each year, we gather the best summer camp team of counselors, lifeguards, activity specialists, and more who bring their passions and talents to Tanadoona each day.

“I think the Tanadoona counselors have all been fantastic for my son, and I hope that he is interested in becoming a counselor in his future to give back to the community that has given so much to him,” says one camper’s parent.

Why work at camp? We heard from a handful of our 2021 summer camp staff what they’re looking forward to most and why YOU should join our summer camp team.

Read on for the top four (of many) benefits to working at camp.

1. Build new relationships

The people make the experience, that’s for sure. Not only will you bond with campers, you’ll come away with many new friends from the camp staff team. There’s nothing that brings people together like singing silly camp songs at the top of your lungs.

Emma, Counselor: I’m excited to bring positive energy and enjoy the great outdoors all summer with some amazing people!

“Hip”, Counselor: I’m looking forward to meeting the new team! Even if you’re kind of nervous and have never worked at camp, it’s so great because you have such a supportive staff.

2. Help youth thrive

At Tanadoona, we create opportunities for youth to discover their spark through nature. Counselors and other staff members help campers set goals, encourage them to try new things, and build resilience. Youth leave their week at camp with more self-confidence—and having a caring camp team has a lot to do with that.

“It’s not every day that you get to leave your job feeling like you made a massive difference in somebody else’s life. But at Tanadoona it is literally every day. Counselors can always leave a workday knowing they made an impact and set an example for someone who might really need it,” say Camp Fire’s Outdoor Programs Coordinator (and former counselor), Jayna Davis.

“Buckwheat”, Counselor: I was a Tanadoona camper. I was kind of a nervous child but camp brought me out of my shell and helped me experience new things that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own.

“Exploradora”, Counselor: I am most excited for meeting new campers and giving them many new experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives.

“Hip”, Counselor: Being a big sister made me want to work with youth—I just love all their curious questions or their new ideas and watching their eyes light up when they find something they really like doing. It makes me happy to know that I am making the summer special for these campers. It really is magical to work with kids because they’re the future.

Nicole, Outdoor Living Skills Specialist: I feel it’s important to pass on knowledge about the environment to our future generation, and youth remind me how amazing and fun the world can be.


3. Experience outdoor adventures!

Set on Lake Minnewashta with 103 acres of woods, prairie, and wetland, Tanadoona has no shortage of places to explore and catch a summer glow. We believe that time in nature is essential to mental and physical health—with a full days of sunshine and activity, you’ll enjoy summer to its fullest.

“Buckwheat”, Counselor: As a Tanadoona camper, I learned so much about the wilderness and found a love for being outdoors. I developed new skills such as archery, rock climbing, arts and crafts, and survival skills. The thing that excites me as a counselor is that I don’t have to be stuck inside all day—I get to be out exploring nature.

Nicole, Outdoor Living Skills Specialist: I look forward being able to spend a lot of time outside enjoying beautiful Minnesota!

Not to mention, you’ll get to try some pretty awesome outdoor activities. “It’s not every workplace that you get to bounce on a water trampoline, go on a giant swing, and climb a rock wall all in the same week,” says Jayna.

4. Leadership development

New to camp life? No problem. We provide a comprehensive staff training and ongoing teambuilding sessions. During training, staff learn about camp activities, behavior management, parent communication, how to work with youth of all ages and backgrounds, the importance of developmental assets, and proper health and safety guidelines. Whether or not you work with youth after camp is over, you’ll find yourself using your new leadership skills in your next job, school, or everyday life.


Did we mention referral and signing bonuses?

2021 staff (including newly hired) receive a generous referral bonus for each new hire they refer. To be eligible, referred candidates must be hired and remain on staff for the 2021 season. Lifeguards and the Waterfront Coordinator will also receive a $500 signing bonus. Click here for more information and to apply online.

“If you like getting outside and being active, getting creative, and having goofy conversations, I think it’s the perfect job,” says “Hip.”

There are endless more reasons to work at camp over the summer! Learn more about working at Tanadoona’s summer camp here.