Backpacking Counselor / Trip Leader
Don't take it from us. Here's what our staff say:
“Working at GAC is an amazing experience. I study at a university full of incredibly driven students competing for the best internships and entries for their resumes. Coming here, I realized that a resume full of internships isn’t everything. Getting away from it all and spending nine weeks here at camp with an awesome group of people is one of the best things I’ve done in years. You can’t go wrong with the people you meet here. After all, it takes a special kind of person to become a counselor at GAC.”
“After living 2 months in the sunny sierras it grew up to feel like my second home. I had the best time of my life, made amazing friends, but mostly, I felt like I was making an impact on campers, and it was the most amazing thing to watch them grow, learn, make friends, and have fun.”
“Camp creates such an environment where everyone is well supported and is set up for success.”
“I loved being disconnected from the outside world, you forget when you’re 7,500ft up a mountain what the outside life is like and that’s something I really enjoyed. I loved sleeping under the stars every night, having campfires and being so close to nature. ”
“I also really appreciate the daily routine of camp. At camp I consistently eat well, go to bed at a reasonable hour and get lots of exercise. I love being in the outdoors and on the lake. I love how I am always making an impact on somebody else’s day. Gold Arrow Camp cultivates good habits and I am very grateful for that.”
“In a nutshell, get ready for the best summer of your life and get ready to go all-out, all day, every day! You will have the opportunity to positively impact kids’ lives while undoubtedly being positively impacted yourself.”
Additional Job Details
- International Applicants Allowed?
- Work Visa Sponsoring Available
Backpacking counselors at Gold Arrow Camp are responsible for leading a group of 8-10 campers on an amazing overnight experience in the beautiful Sierra National Forest, near the famous John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails. Backpacking counselors are responsible for navigation, helping with water purification, cooking, and bear prevention. Counselors work with a group counselor to supervise the campers. Backpacking counselors are also responsible for teaching campers about Leave No Trace themes, as we are a LNT accredited program.
The primary responsibility of Gold Arrow Camp counselors is the care and safety of all campers. We are looking for counselors who are positive role models, who enjoy working with kids and being outdoors, who genuinely want to invest in the lives of young people and commit to their growth, happiness, and friendship.
Counselors live in a rustic cabin or large tent with 8-10 campers and at least one other counselor in the cabin. There will be a lack of privacy some people aren’t used to, but you will have your own bed and area to store your personal items. In addition to a lack of personal privacy, this job is 24/7 and hard work. There are other summer jobs that will be less demanding and maybe even offer higher pay. You have to ask yourself why you want to be a camp counselor – if it is to have a fun, easy job this summer, you want to rethink what you consider easy and fun.
We do structured activities at Gold Arrow Camp, which means that campers go to activities in the morning and afternoon with their cabin groups. We’ve found that campers, when faced with a challenging activity, are more likely to push themselves if they’re around people they know and trust who are going to encourage them. In each activity, our main focus is always on the camper. While we do offer a wide range of fun, challenging activities, the primary goal of each activity is the growth and development of our campers. While waterskiing is a fun activity, it’s about the life lessons they’re learning – failure hurts, attitude is everything, growth and accomplishment takes work.
We pay a stipend for either WFA ($400) or WFR/Wilderness EMT ($600) as well as a travel stipend. We provide housing, laundry, and food at no cost to you.
You must be available to work the whole summer (9 June - 12 August). If you have prior commitments, please contact us directly to ask. We can accomodate certain short commitments you may have already made.
We ask staff to cover their tattoos.