While there are plenty of jobs out there for college students, take it from us, firsthand, there is no job better than working at camp!
No matter where you’re from or what your ability level, if you love kids and enjoy the out-of-doors, there are any number of summer camp positions for which you may be qualified. Camp Kamaji is only as good as its summertime staff who, as camp’s most important and invaluable asset, make Kamaji happen.
What do we look for in our staff? As succinctly as possible Kamaji looks for staff who are friendly and concerned, reliable and responsible, creative and patient, supportive and respectful, dedicated and committed, understanding and caring, fun and upbeat, generous and child-like. Kamaji’s staff must have initiative and enthusiasm, energy and a positive attitude, maturity and sensitivity. While Camp Kamaji’s staff come from a wide range of life experiences and demographics, all must have the desire to work with children, be able to put campers and camp first and a willingness to immerse themselves totally into camp life! Following is a short anecdote that best describes what we are looking for in our camp staff:
While a group of campers and their counselor are heading back to their cabin after a heavy rain, they come across a large mud puddle. The campers, of course, want to play in the puddle. A not-so-good counselor tell the campers they can’t because they’ll get dirty. An okay counselor, after making sure the puddle is safe, says “Alright!” and stands by watching the campers play. A Kamaji counselor, after checking the puddle, says “After me!!” and is the first one to jump in the mud.
Simply put, we want our counselors to be “child-like” without being childish. Spending your summer at Camp Kamaji will no doubt be the “toughest job you’ll ever love!”
One last word: Working at a summer camp can be one of the most fun, exciting, and rewarding jobs you’ll ever do: the personal growth, the invaluable skill set for your resume, the reward of making a positive impact on the life of a child, the fun and excitement of being a part of a kid- centered community and the close friendships that you form will stay with you long after the summer ends. That is the magic of working at Camp Kamaji!
Hope to see you this summer!
Positions that are available at Camp Kamaji:
• Cabin counselors who teach one of the following:
Sailing, Swimming, Canoeing, Paddleboarding (Stand-Up Paddling), Water-skiing, Windsurfing, Fishing, Sea-Kayaking, English Horseback Riding, Tennis, Archery, Drama, Guitar, Ceramics, Arts and Crafts, Ceramics and Pottery, Manual Photography, Fitness, Dance, Outdoor Living Skills, Low Ropes Course and Climbing Wall. (Women only)
• Wilderness Trip Leaders who lead trips from two to nine days long. (Women or Men)
• Maintenance and Housekeeping Workers. (Women or Men)
• Cooks and Kitchen Assistants. (Women or Men)
• Administrative Office Assistants/Camp Drivers. (Women or Men)
• Nurses and Nursing Assistants. (Women only)
Below are the most frequently-asked questions about Camp Kamaji and their answers!
What is Camp Kamaji?
- A girls’ camp located in Northern Minnesota, about 200 miles north/northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 110 miles west of Duluth and 15 miles east of Bemidji.
- A summer “home” to 150 girls, ages 7 to 15, and 90+ staff members.
- A residential camp that offers both a four – and eight – week session.
- A camp accredited by the American Camping Association.
- A safe, structured, supportive, supervised and positive place.
- A place where diversity is valued — where differences are celebrated and similarities discovered.
- A place where a camper is judged by her behavior rather than by her beliefs or her appearance.
- A place where campers are treated as individuals, not as stereotypes; where they are respected, trusted, encouraged, praised, loved and, most importantly, valued.
Above all, Kamaji is a joyous, fun-filled, child-centered community — a place where kids come first.
Where is Camp Kamaji?
Camp Kamaji is located in the beautiful Northwoods of Minnesota in the town of Cass Lake right on Big Wolf Lake. We are 4.5 hours north of Minneapolis/St. Paul and 20 minutes from Bemidji, MN.
Who are the owners and directors of Kamaji?
Kat and Jason Nelson have been the owners and directors of Kamaji since the fall of 2013. Before that, Kat was a camper, then counselor, then summertime administrator and then the Associate Director for over 10 years.
While Kat’s focus at camp revolves mostly around the campers, staff, the infirmary and the activity program; Jason’s area of expertise lies with camp operations, the Wilderness Trip Program, the camp kitchen and bookkeeping.
This is quite literally our “mom and pop” business (in addition to being summertime parents to our campers, we are parents to our son, Caleb), we commit our heart-and-souls to providing a safe and fun summertime experience for both our campers and staff.
What is Camp Kamaji’s philosophy?
We are proud to be the current stewards of a camp that is rich in heritage and steeped in traditional, “old-fashioned” values.
We are committed more than ever to Kamaji’s founding principles:
to be a place where kids can absolutely, completely be kids; where childhood is embraced, nurtured, respected and valued; where our campers can grow and develop, learn new things, do things they can’t do at home, and cultivate friendships unlike any they’ve ever had – friendships that last a lifetime.
What are Kamaji’s campers like?
Kamaji’s campers are energetic, fun-loving, friendly and excited about new experiences. They are quiet, loud, reserved, outgoing, short, tall, athletic, artsy, theatrical, bookish, adventurous… okay, okay, truth is, we cannot define a Kamaji camper as any one “thing”. As a matter of fact, the only prerequisites first-time campers need to join Kamaji’s summertime family are the desire to have fun, the willingness to try new things and the wish to develop life-long friendships.
Kamaji is a community which values diversity. We work hard to ensure that Kamaji includes girls – and staff– come from all over the United States (and other countries, too) and of all religious, ethnic, cultural, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. What better place than summer camp to learn that each person should be judged by her behavior rather than by her beliefs or her appearance?
Our campers are the essence of what makes Kamaji the place that it is. Without them, Kamaji would simply be a physically beautiful place; with them, Kamaji is a magical place.
Who works at Camp Kamaji?
Kamaji’s staff, like its campers, is a diverse group. Each summer we hire a staff of over 80 to help us run camp. Included in that number are 60 cabin counselors and LTs (former campers now participating in a Leadership Training Program), an on-site licensed doctor and three nursing assistants, activity program specialists including our six wilderness trip leaders. Add to that our full complement of support staff including administrative, kitchen, office and maintenance staff.
Many of our staff return year after year. In fact, lots are former Kamaji campers! Ninety percent are college-aged or older. Our staff join us from cities not only from the United Sates but also from several other countries; countries often represented in Kamaji’s staff line-ups included England, Ireland, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
While nearly half of our staff members return summer after summer, we think it is important to include new staffers each summer who can bring their fresh, fun and creative ideas to camp to make our program even better!
What staff positions are available?
- Cabin counselors who teach one of the following: Sailing, Swimming, Canoeing, Paddleboarding (Stand-Up Paddling), Water-skiing, Windsurfing, Fishing, Sea-Kayaking, English Horseback Riding, Tennis, Archery, Drama, Ceramics, Art and Crafts, Ceramics and Pottery, Photography, Aerobics, Dance, Outdoor Living Skills, Low Ropes Course and Climbing Wall. (Women only)
- Program Specialists in one of the activities listed above. (Women or Men)
- Wilderness Trip Leaders who lead trips from two to nine days long. (Women or Men)
- Maintenance and Housekeeping Workers. (Women or Men)
- Cooks and Kitchen Workers. (Women or Men)
- Administrative Office Assistants/Camp Drivers. (Women or Men)
- Nurses and Nursing Assistants. (Women only)
Qualifications, experience and age requirements vary from staff position to staff position at Kamaji. Feel free to contact us for specific Job Descriptions for any of the positions listed above.
What is the time off policy?
Staff get one full day off (a consecutive 24-hour period) as well as one full night off (a consecutive 14 hour period beginning at dinnertime) a week. Staff use this time to rest, re- energize and spend time with their friends.
We are lucky in that we have the advantage of being tucked away in the woods while at camp but are also only 15 miles from Bemidji (the largest city in a 130 mile radius) which allows staff access to the town’s restaurants, bowling alley, movie theater, parks, beaches, various stores/shops and a number of fun things to do on time-off.
Can I get school credit for working at camp?
Yes! Talk with your Internship Coordinator at your college or university to find out if it’s possible for you to receive credit for your employment at camp.
We will happily fill out the necessary paperwork in order to ensure you receive credit for all of your hard work.
What is the salary?
Salaries range from $2100 to $2800 for the minimum employment period of around June 10 through August 14th .
Additional compensation is provided in the form of room and board and a transportation allowance ranging from $200 to $400.
What are the dates of employment?
The minimum employment period is about 9 weeks of the summer. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for current camp employment dates. It is typically around June 10th– August 14th.
There are additional employment opportunities to earn more money working at camp. Each summer we will need help unearthing camp from the winter. You can come up to do some manual labor during our “Work Week” which begins June 1st.
We also need help running our Family Camp which is about a week-long commitment over the first weekend after the camper season ends.
How would I get to camp?
There are several options:
- Drive: All staff who have access to a car for the summer and live within a reasonable driving distance are encouraged to drive to camp.
- Fly: There is an airport in Bemidji (BJI), we can easily pick you up from the airport at any time. Since it is a smaller airport, tickets tend to be a bit pricier. You can also look into flying into Minneapolis (MSP) which is less expensive. For a reasonable price, Kamaji arranges a pick-up from the Minneapolis airport (typically 2 days before your contract begins).
- Bus: Megabus does run to Minneapolis (www.megabus.com) and Jefferson Bus Lines runs from Minneapolis to Cass Lake (www.jeffersonlines.com) where, again, we can easily pick you up.
Most importantly, you are not alone in making arrangements to get to camp — we are here to help!!