First and foremost, Birchwood counselors must have a fun-loving disposition and sincere desire to be a strong and caring mentor who enriches the lives of boys. Being a camp counselor is incredibly fun and rewarding - and it demands a lot of energy, patience, and kindness!
It is essential to have a great attitude for all eight weeks of the summer and to be an excellent team player. Counselors must have the ability to take the initiative, lead groups of boys effectively in a variety of wilderness settings, communicate openly and honestly, and maintain healthy relationships with peers.
Experience caring for children is required for this position. Employees must be willing and able to promote our specific vision after extensive training and on-going support. Counselors must be able to complete all of their responsibilities each day with a positive attitude. Preference is given to applicants with proven skills in one or more of the daily activities/wilderness trips we offer, though training is available in every skill.
We hire a small team of 15 college-age men each summer. Applicants must be able to commit to the entire summer season, including our staff week that typically begins the first weekend of June. We prefer applicants who have completed at least one year of secondary education and have taught children in a hands-on, experiential setting.
Applicants interested in teaching waterfront activities require additional certification as trained lifeguards. We provide lifeguard training prior to staff week.
All staff positions require visual and listening skills sufficient to keep campers safe and the physical and emotional strength to work the long hours that are part of the camp counselor position.
As for daily life at Birchwood, counselors live in a cabin with six campers, aged seven to seventeen years old, and one other adult counselor. Counselors are expected to take groups of campers on canoe and hiking trips ranging from three to seven days.
Counselors must be in appropriate health to carry a canoe over portages, willing to cook on a campfire or camp stove, and lead in-camp activities such as; fishing, riflery, archery, rock climbing, arts and crafts, wilderness cooking, canoeing and kayaking. We don’t expect every counselor to be an expert in all of these, just be willing to learn and try new things.
Camp is located at the end of the Gunflint Trail in northeast Minnesota. We are accessible by water only. This position will require the right applicant to be comfortable in a wilderness setting. Cabins do not have electricity and the shower/bathroom is a short walk down the path.