YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley
  • 19-May-2023 to 09-Jun-2023 (CST)
  • Camp Staff
  • Buffalo, IA, USA
  • 480.00 per week $480/week stipend
  • Other
  • Seasonal

Seasonal summer employees enjoy a free individual Y membership and participation in the Y retirement program! (must meet hourly eligibility requirements)

What You Will Learn

Besides finding real human connection and reacquainting yourself with nature, you will find that working at summer camp is a true leadership boot camp, and you will leave knowing you had an impact on the future.

You can expect to gain valuable employment skills such as: oral communication skills - you will be expected to communicate effectively with people at every level of the organization, from campers to directors and parents; critical thinking and problem-solving - you will be challenged to think on your feet; interpersonal and leadership skills - you will model professionalism and compassion by managing groups of campers; collaborative skills - you will receive on-the-ground, practical, real life training in how to work with a team and build the culture of your camp community; creativity - you will develop innovative and fun ways to engage an audience of 2 to 200! You will leave a changed person, better prepared for your chosen career path, and most importantly, you will have impacted the lives of others.

Perks of working at the Y!

  • Free individual YMCA membership! Discounts on programs
  • Free Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Program
  • Y Retirement Fund: Y pays 12% after employee meets eligibility requirements
  • Eligible to participate in 403B savings account through Y Retirement Fund
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Competitive Wages
  • Career Development

PAY RATE: Stipend $480/week

Counselors are the primary caregivers for each camper. The Counselor is responsible for planning, teaching, coordinating, and carrying out activities and guiding campers in their personal growth and daily living skills. Counselors guide and ensure the safety of children as they engage in camp activities.


  1. Serve as a role model to campers, members, and Y staff and, modeling proper behavior and attitude and at all times live the mission, vision and values of the YMCA movement.
  2. Actively participate as a member of the camp community and in all program areas as assigned.
  3. Be reliable and able to build good relationships with children are two essential traits of a Camp Counselor.
  4. Ensure that every program activity promotes the core values of the YMCA: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility and that every camper receives a positive learning Experience.
  5. Apply basic youth development principles in working with campers through communication, relationship development, respect for diversity, involvement and empowerment of youth.
  6. Monitor campers and respond to incidents, such as behavioral problems or accidents, log events and maintain records relating to activities, and discuss camper participation and concerns with Camp Branch Exec.
  7. Maintain and ensure high standards of health and safety are practiced in all activities for campers and staff.
  8. Ensure utilization, proper care, and maintenance of equipment and facilities is adhered to; report needed repairs promptly to the Program Director.
  9. Plan events and program lesson plans to ensure the learning and positive experience by campers.
  10. Participate in camp clean up at the beginning and end of camp sessions.
  11. Be positive, proactive, and caring while focusing on giving campers a fun, safe camp experience.
  12. Conduct weekly meetings with Cabin/Program Heads to discuss concerns and solutions.
  13. Be organized and possess strong leadership skills. There is a high level of responsibility and accountability in this position.
  14. Assist in completing all forms and reports so that all incidents and actions are properly documented whenever necessary.
  15. Maintain cleanliness at all program areas. This includes fire pits, decks, pavilion, lake, game fields, lodge, etc.
  16. Participate in and solicit others to participate in necessary YMCA financial development efforts, specifically the Annual Campaign.
  17. Maintain certifications listed under Certificates and Other Requirements.
  18. Adherence to all policies and procedures of YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley.
  19. Understand and follow all safety rules and regulations including knowledge of emergency procedures and location of emergency equipment.
  20. Regular and timely adherence to respective schedule/meetings.
  21. All other duties as assigned by the Branch Executive.


  1. Prior experience working with youth is preferred.


  1. Must be able to pass background check.
  2. CPR/First Aid/AED certification*
  3. Mandatory Reporter certification*
  4. Certain program areas require specific trainings provided by camp. In order to lead those program areas, training by a trained camp staff member is necessary.

*Note: The * noted certification training programs are provided by the YMCA staff and must be obtained within 30 days of hire, if not currently certified.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Some physical requirements of the Counselor position could be endurance, including prolonged standing, some bending, stooping, walking long distances, hiking, climbing, and stretching; requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity to manipulate outdoor equipment and camp activities; requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate appropriate camper activities/programs and the ability to lift up to 50 lbs.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: While performing the duties of this job, the employee will experience daily exposure to outdoor conditions which will vary depending upon the weather, including but not limited to, sun, heat, humidity, rain, cold, etc. Must be willing to work in a camp setting and be exposed to outdoor plants and animals such as poison ivy/oak, bugs, snakes, bats, etc. on a daily basis.

YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley
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