Have questions about being a summer camp counselor?


Below are some frequently asked questions about being a summer camp counselor at YMCA Camp Kern:

What kind of experience with kids do I need?

If you enjoy being around kids, you do not need anything else. We require all staff to attend trainings before the kids arrive, and we will teach you the ins and the outs of Camp Kern and how to best work with campers.

I need an internship. Can working at Camp Kern count?

Absolutely! We think camp is the best internship you will ever have! We will work with you to meet your needs for an internship. We just ask that you work with your advisor to get us what you need to make it happened. Whether that is connecting us with your program of study, getting us the correct paperwork, or setting up an appointment to discuss how camp can fit your internship needs. We will work with ANY major of study to create an internship if it helps meet our program goals.

What kind of programs and activities do you offer at Camp Kern?

At Camp Kern, we have both an overnight camp and a day camp. Overnight camp is a week-long camp for kids ages 7 to 17. Most camper’s only come for one week at a time, though there are opportunities for campers to attend multiple weeks. Day camp is a week-long program where kids ages 5-10 come daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We offer a variety of activities to our campers each day. Campers can enjoy climbing, canoeing, arts & crafts, archery, riflery, gaga ball, riding horses, outdoor living skills, sports, drama, team-building, and much more. As a staff member, you will elect different activities to learn how to facilitate and then be scheduled weekly to share these skills with campers.


Tell me about the kids...

Our campers come from all over the country and the world! Many are multi-generational campers, and some are coming for the very first time. We serve kids from age 5 all the way to age 17. As a member of our team, we try our best to have you work with a variety of age groups throughout the summer, so you can have different experiences. Each age group brings different challenges and rewards!

Is this a paid job? It sounds too good to be true!

Yes! We expect you to play, have fun, and enjoy working with kids, all while earning a salary. You also will have room and board provided for you throughout your contracted period of employment. Base pay is $480 per week for a resident counselor, and weeks run Sunday - Friday.

Do I get time off? What about days off?

Yes. Each Camp Kern staff member gets time off. You will get an hour off a day Monday – Thursday and you Friday night off until 1pm Sunday

While we prefer to hire camp staff who can work for the entirety of the contracted season, we know you have events outside the camp calendar. We will work with you and your schedule to see how it will meet our needs and yours. If you need time off during the summer, please indicate that in your interview. We will work with you in the event of any emergencies that happen during the summer season.

What’s the living situation like?

Camp counselors who are assigned to live in a cabin with kids will share a space with up to 10 campers (some cabins can hold 12) and another camp counselor. Camper cabins are air-conditioned. All cabins are a short walk from the centrally located bathroom and shower facility. Staff not assigned to an overnight cabin will live in staff housing, which is separate from the campers. Housing is available for all staff.

Are meals provided?

Yes! Anytime camp is in session, you will enjoy meals prepared by the kitchen staff alongside the campers. Vegetarian options are available, and we will work with you on any other dietary needs. Our camp is peanut free! If you have any food allergies, please let us know right away, so we can let our kitchen staff know.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Yes and no. On certain days of the week (like check-in, for example) we will provide you with a camp staff Polo and name tag that is to be worn with your own khaki-colored bottoms. Other than that, you can wear your regular clothes during the camp week. We just ask that it is activity and kid appropriate. You are a ROLE MODEL, and the kids will wear what you wear...


What does going “unplugged” mean?

At Camp Kern we have an unplugged policy that means any Wi-Fi connected device (cell phone, tablet, laptop, kindle, etc.) are not allowed at camp. We want our campers to create REAL relationships and have ACTUAL conversations without the glow of a screen. As a staff member, this means we want you to help role model this and then enforce the rule with campers. So, we ask that you keep your Wi-Fi connected devices out of sight, so they are out of mind. You may keep your electronic devices in non-camper areas, such as our staff lounge, so you can have access to it on your breaks.

What is your drug and alcohol policy?

Camp Kern is a drug, alcohol, and tobacco/vaping free place of employment. We work hard day in and day out and being under the influence is not something we tolerate as it will affect your work performance. You will be dismissed if you break our policy.

Have more questions not covered here? Feel free to reach out to one of our program directors for more information:

Teen, Leadership & Fully-Immersive Camps - MacKallie Householder (Teen & Family Director) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - (513)932-3756 ext. 1530

Traditional Camp & Day Camps - Jesús Castaño (Summer Camp Director) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - (513)932-3756 ext. 1528

Ranch Camps - Jessica Mullins (Equestrian Director) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - (513)932-3756 ext. 1531

Ready to apply?

Visit the YMCA of Greater Dayton's employment opportunities page (linked below) and scroll down to the Camp Kern section of the listings:

Apply to be a summer camp counselor!



‘It is the Vision of YMCA Camp Kern to unleash the potential in all through enriching outdoor experiences.‘

Employment 1

YMCA Camp Kern is always looking for hard-working, dedicated and passionate people to help serve the thousands of guests that come to camp each year. We have a tradition of excellence and only those who are willing to go the extra mile for the kids and guests will be considered. To better understand the type of applicant we are looking for, please take a look through our staff Commitment to Excellence. We are a flexible employer with a great training program in all positions and we offer competitive compensation.  


Employment 2


To view a list of our current openings, click here. Positions with the location listed as "Oregonia, Ohio" will be at Camp Kern. At various times of the year we have full-time, part-time and seasonal positions available in the following areas:

  • Barn Staff & Equestrian Lesson Intructors
  • Outdoor Educators 
  • Kitchen Staff & Camp Cooks
  • Activity Leaders / Facilitators
  • Zipline Tour Guides

Remember that our needs change regularly so please revisit our current openings regularly to see what positions are available. To view a list of our current openings, click here to navigate to the YMCA of Greater Dayton Employment Opportunities Page. Opportunities at YMCA Camp Kern will be located in Oregonia, Ohio. 

Have questions about being a summer camp counselor?

Visit our summer camp counselor employment FAQ to learn more about being a summer camp counselor at YMCA Camp Kern:

Summer Camp Counselor Employment FAQ 

The YMCA of Greater Dayton is an equal opportunities employer and does not discriminate against any employee or job applicant because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.