Staff training runs June 6-18, 2022. Camp starts June 19 and ends August 6. You're also welcome to help us open camp (May 25-June 5) or close camp (August 7-13), for additional pay of course.
Deer Crossing attracts staff with a love for wilderness living and a desire to provide youth with opportunities to learn and grow in an atmosphere of adventure and fun. Because of our focus on skill development, we don't hire counselors; we hire Instructors with counselor abilities. We look for experienced instructors in our core activities—rock-climbing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, and technical tree-climbing. "Experienced" typically means at least 100 hours in your primary activity and the ability to teach from beginner to advanced levels.
In the counselor role, you will teach map and compass skills and lead backpacking out-trips, lifeguard open beach, supervise volleyball games or fishing excursions, oversee daily activity board sign-ups, head dining room tables, conduct morning tent checks, and more. In our small camp environment, all staff also help with camp chores and maintenance.
Instructional staff must have strong swimming skills, and if not already certified lifeguards, must be capable of being certified during staff training. Backpacking experience is a major plus. Skills in guitar, archery, and other activities are also a plus. We look for staff who are outgoing and friendly, high energy, adventurous, helpful, caring and thoughtful, willing to help with camp chores and maintenance, and capable of following the rules of our wilderness facility.
Support staff include our cooks and kitchen staff. The two cooks keep everyone at camp well-fed and happy. Must be 19 years+ and have some group cooking experience. They provide 3 delicious meals a day using our pre-planned meal menu, that are served family style; place weekly food orders; monitor water quality and refrigeration temperatures; supervise and assist in packing food for out-trips; and keep the kitchen and food storage clean. (Dishwashing is done by campers and/or other staff.) Must be capable of passing the California Food Safety test. Experience with generators is a plus. The kitchen assistant handles dishwashing (cooking pots and pans, and serving dishes and utensils), supervises camper dishwashing teams, and helps in the kitchen as needed.
And COVID? In 2022, we require all campers and staff to be up-to-date on their Covid vaccinations before arriving at camp. As we get closer to the summer season, we'll determine what else will be required for being at camp, such as pre-camp testing, wearing masks, dining indoors or out, assigning campers and staff to "pods" for meals and tenting, etc. We know we'll wash our hands a lot. We know we'll test anyone who shows symptoms of Covid. We'll all stay healthy!
Dates: 6/6/22-8/6/22. We seek two cooks with experience cooking for 50-80 people.
We hire two cooks each year. They should be at least 19 years old and have experience cooking a variety of foods for large groups. They prepare 3 delicious meals a day (2 on Sundays) that are served family style. Our pre-planned menu accommodates vegetarian as well as lactose- and gluten-intolerant diners. The cooks place weekly food orders, which are delivered to the lake, ferried to camp by boat, and then hauled to the lodge with the help of campers and staff. Our wilderness location sometimes requires cooks to be creative when the wrong food item is delivered or an oven goes on strike. Each day, the cooks monitor water quality and refrigeration temperatures. They supervise and assist in packing food for out-trips and are responsible for cleaning and care of the kitchen and food storage, equipment, and supplies. They pack lunches for campers and and staff on the bus taking campers home. (Dishwashing is done by campers and/or staff and supervised by the kitchen team.) Our indoor kitchen has stainless steel counters and an 8-burner, 2-oven gas stove; no electrical appliances. Cooks must be capable of passing the California Food Safety test. Experience with generators is a plus.
Cooks are part of the Deer Crossing family, eating with and sleeping among the rest of camp. When you're not working, you may participate in all camp activities. Past cooks have learned to swim, windsurf, and rock-climb, and led volleyball games.
Pay is $5,040 for 9 weeks of staff training and camp (based on $14.00/hour minimum wage). Cooks work a 40-hour week across 6 days each week, plus some overtime. Includes room and board. All staff receive one 24-hour day off each week plus periods through the day and evenings.
Dates: 6/6/22-8/6/22. WFR certification good through 8/13/22 gets you another $300. Course completion or certification in kayaking adds $100.
In addition to general counselor activities, instructors teach beginning to advanced classes--in this case, in kayaking. Teaching is done on Loon Lake in decked boats. Ideally, you have 100+ hours of experience kayaking in decked boats, preferably in whitewater, and the ability to do multiple consecutive Eskimo rolls. If not already lifeguard certified, you must be capable of being certified during Staff Training.
Dates: 6/6/22-8/6/22. WFR certification good through 8/13/22 gets you another $300. Course completion or certification in canoeing earns $100.
At Deer Crossing, every first-time camper takes a daily canoe class where they learn proper seating, captain and first mate responsibilities, multiple strokes, canoe rescues, and even deep-water resuscitation. We play lots of games so campers practice new skills while giggling and laughing. Canoe Instructors may also lead canoe-camping trips around the lake. We look for 100+ hours of experience canoeing, including single- and double-downs rescue ability. If not already lifeguard certified, you must be capable of being certified during Staff Training.
Dates: 6/6/22-8/6/22. WFR certification good through 8/13/22 gets you another $300. Course completion or certification in small boat sailing earns another $100.
Along with general counselor activities, Sailing Instructors teach campers how to sail Lasers in Loon Lake's consistent winds, from beginning to advanced. We look for 100+ hours of experience in sailing, including full knowledge of equipment use and care, and capsizing and righting small boats. More technical skills like sailing without a rudder, sailing backwards, or flipping a boat and walking the hull while righting it are a major plus. If not already lifeguard certified, you must be capable of being certified during Staff Training.
Dates: 6/6/22-8/6/22. WFR certification good through 8/13/22 gets you another $300. Course completion or certification in windsurfing earns $100.
In addition to general counselor activities, Windsurfing Instructors teach campers how to windsurf using a proven curriculum that starts on a land-based sail simulator board. Subsequent lessons involve sailing while leashed to an instructor sitting on a moored board, sailing in a small area right off shore, and finally open lake sailing. We look for 100+ hours of experience in windsurfing, including full knowledge of equipment use and care. Ability to do tricks is a major plus. If not already lifeguard certified, you must be capable of being certified during Staff Training.
Dates: 6/6/22-8/6/22. WFR certification good through 8/13/22 gets you another $300. Course completion or certification in rock-climbing or climbing safety earns $100.
In addition to general counselor activities, Rock-Climbing Instructors must have a solid, advanced-level foundation--represented by 100+ hours of experience. We climb on real rock, not artificial walls, which requires plenty of experience in:
- Setting top-rope protection without bolts already being in place
- Setting cams, nuts, chocks, doing wraps on boulder/trees, etc
- Setting up self-equalizing anchor systems, such as cordelettes
- Belaying on real rock
- Lead climbing and/or cleaning wall after lead climber
- Rock rescue
- Climbing at 5.7+ on Yosemite rating system
Rock Instructors may also have the opportunity to learn to teach technical tree-climbing. At our small camp on the shores of Loon Lake, all instructional staff must be capable of being certified as a lifeguard during Staff Training, if not already certified.
How to Apply
Submit an online application. We may ask for more details on your activity background. We may schedule an interview. And we'll go from there.