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Work at Camp Michigania

Working at Camp Michigania in northern Michigan could very well be one of the most memorable jobs of your life. Meet and network with U-M alums, get to know children and adults who will change your life, and make friends you’ll keep for a lifetime.

Work at Camp Michigania

Working at Camp Michigania in northern Michigan could very well be one of the most memorable jobs of your life. Meet and network with U-M alums, get to know children and adults who will change your life, and make friends you’ll keep for a lifetime.

Each summer, 75 passionate people are hired to help ensure Camp Michigania remains the special place it has been for over 50 years. 

Staff members are hired to work in a specific program area and share responsibilities for the effective functioning of the camp as a whole. You can expect to work six days per week, and even though working at a family camp offers more off-work hours than a kids camp might, you are expected to be a role model 24 hours per day.

Questions about the application process? Contact [email protected].

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice

At Camp Michigania, we are looking to hire individuals who are committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ), as defined by the Alumni Association’s DEIJ strategic plan:

We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, age, (dis)ability status, and political perspective. We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment, and discrimination. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status.

We commit to pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that the Alumni Association (including Camp Michigania) is a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard, and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by building a critical mass of diverse groups on campus (and at camp) and creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage the resources of diversity to advance our collective capabilities.

We know that historically, Camp Michigania has not been representative of the diverse University of Michigan community among its campers or staff. This is why we are being deliberate in our recruiting efforts to not only support our DEIJ plan but also to help better represent the University community as a whole.

Basic Requirements for Employment

  • All hired staff members must be at least 19 years of age or have completed their first year of college when summer starts.
  • All first-year staff members must be able to stay for the entire contract period listed below to be considered in the first round of hiring.
  • All hired staff must be CPR/AED and first-aid certified before the start of the contract. Specific areas may require other specialty certifications (e.g., Swimming and Boating require Lifeguard Certification).
  • All hired staff must commit to training requirements before the summer, during the winter and spring semesters.

Important Dates for the Upcoming Season

Early Decision*
First Round
Second Round
Apply by:
Oct. 31
Jan. 31
Feb. 1 or after
Interview:
November-December
January-February
March-May
Decision by:
Feb. 1
March 1
Rolling basis

*Early Decision timeline available for returning staff and new staff available for the full summer.

Term of Employment

Dates are subject to change based on various calendar and schedule considerations.

Summer 2024 Employment Dates (tentative/subject to change)

  • Area Leadership Staff: May 21–Aug. 24, 2024
  • Ropes/Riding/Riflery/Boating Staff: May 24–Aug. 24, 2024
  • All other program area staff: May 28–Aug. 24, 2024

Applications are accepted for candidates unable to commit to the entire term of employment. Please indicate and address this in your interview. New candidates are not eligible for a first-round job offer unless they’re available for the entire term of employment.

If you are hired as a program staff at Camp Michigania, plan on moving to camp the day before your start date. Your first day of work will begin at 8 a.m. on your start date — unless otherwise listed on your employment agreement — and will end after the end of the final workday. Move-out is not required until the following day. Due to the importance of Staff Training and the fact that we expect all weeks at Camp to be at capacity, strong preference will be given to candidates who are able to work the complete term of employment.

Staff Responsibilities

Program Staff

Program staff members are responsible for ensuring a successful and enjoyable experience for all campers. The main responsibilities of program staff include:

  • Teaching skills and facilitating educational and recreational experiences for campers.
  • Enforcing safety rules and guidelines for each area.
  • Collaborating with and reporting to their Area Leadership.
  • Assist in different areas, or even be reassigned, as needed.

Area Leaders

Area Leaders are responsible for the program in their specific areas. They report to the Associate Director. Area Leaders supervise and work with other staff members in their areas. Being an Area Leader will require additional training and preparation prior to camp, starting as early as January.

The Area Leadership Retreat typically precedes camp and starts as early as mid-May for the upcoming summer. Otherwise, the Area Leadership term of employment for each position corresponds to their area’s start date or is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Lead Roles

Some areas are led by a Lead role, supervised by a Coordinator, or due to the size of the area or scope of the program, have Lead roles that report to their Area Leader. These roles are important to the operation of camp and aid in the supervision and execution of their program area’s responsibilities. Lead roles can vary year to year and area to area.

Coordinators

Area Coordinators complete work in addition to that of a typical Area Leader, either programmatically or logistically. They may directly supervise staff in more than one area or complete tasks outside of the scope of the Area Leader role. All former Coordinators had at least a bachelor’s level education already completed — though not required, some areas (Infirmary, Staff Care Coordinator) require advanced education. They also serve on a rotation for on-call response. In the past, there were 4-5 Coordinators who typically supervise 1-2 program areas.

Networking & Internships

Working at Camp Michigania provides an unparalleled opportunity to tap into the U-M alumni network. Camp provides a recreational setting that allows for many informal networking opportunities with more than 1,100 alums and their families throughout the summer. Through our Mentor Matching program, campers volunteer to be matched with staff who have similar career interests while they are at camp. Many summer staffers leave camp with professional connections that result in job-shadow opportunities, interviews for internships, or jobs, mentors, and introductions in their field.

Camp is able to work with candidates on designing internship experiences. As an intern at camp, you can gain the skills and networking experience of a classic internship but with beautiful Walloon Lake as the backdrop. Some schools or colleges have requirements for internships to receive credit, and Michigania’s full-time staff are committed to helping students fulfill the necessary requirements through projects, mentoring, and performance evaluations. Indicate your interest in an internship on your application and/or contact [email protected] to investigate the options available to you.

Wellness

While working at Michigania, the wellness of our staff is of the utmost importance. As a member of the Camp Staff, you will have access to:

  • A Staff Care Coordinator and Infirmary Staff to assist with various health needs.
  • Digital and phone access to CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) for anyone needing professional support.
  • An array of fitness activities, including yoga, weights, and special classes just for Camp Staff.
  • Best of all, the camp atmosphere is very serene and relaxing. When not working, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the camp scenery and take care of yourself. Whether it be running, reading, or just recharging, there is something for everyone.

Facilities & Housing

At camp, you will live in staff cabins with your fellow colleagues in an area that is dedicated to Camp Staff.

  • Generally, each staff member will have a roommate and share a bathroom between 2-4 people depending on their housing assignment.
  • In your free time, staff members have access to use camp facilities.
  • WiFi is available in most camp buildings, including staff housing, program areas, and the Education Center. There are camp computers available for staff use in the staff-only lounge in the Education Center.

Camp Life

Living at camp provides a lot of opportunities to build long-lasting connections with friends and your network of U-M alums and staff.

Typically, Program Staff work six days a week, with workdays starting at 8:15 a.m. and regular work hours ending at 4:45 p.m. Outside of these typical hours, there will be times each week when staff will be assigned to work programs in their primary area and general areas of camp in the evening.

Staff are provided with t-shirts and sweatshirts to wear as uniforms, and camp has free laundry facilities.

All meals are provided. Trust us, the food is great!

Employment Areas

Below you will find information on each individual seasonal employment area. When applying, you will have the opportunity to select your top choices and alternative program areas. You will also be able to share what experience or skills you have in those areas.

Boating staff work with the Michigania fleet of 50+ boats (butterflies, hobie cats, flying scotts, ensigns, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, windsurfers, and a walloon). The staff teach lessons, lead excursions, skipper boats, and maintain the Michigania fleet.

It is required that boating staff become lifeguard-certified on their own before their start date at Camp Michigania.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 9-10 staff were hired to work Boating.

Staff working in the camp store interact with campers of all ages when they come to purchase candy, ice cream treats, postcards, travel toiletries, and many kinds of Michigania clothing and merchandise.

Store staff are expected to engage campers and oversee the use of our camp point-of-sale system. No experience is required.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 1-2 staff were hired to work in the Camp Store.

CAC staff provide programs for both adults and children on a daily basis (including ceramics, silk painting, batiking, glass fusion, beading, lanyards, leatherwork, etc.). The staff demonstrate and teach these crafts while maintaining the supplies and equipment in the area.

CAC staff will be internally trained to work with ceramic and glass kilns and to teach all crafts.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 7-9 staff were hired to work CAC.

Ropes staff provide a challenge-by-choice program that includes low-ropes group initiatives, a high ropes course, and several additional elements, including a giant’s swing, two racing zip-lines, the leap of faith, the giant’s ladder, and a climbing wall.

Ropes staff are trained and certified at camp to belay and maintain the course, including the use of clic-its for the ropes course, an auto-belay system on the climbing wall, and a device that simulates free-fall as an exit to the ropes course.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 5 staff were hired to work Ropes.

Field Sports staff run campwide athletic events, field games, and the archery field and range (recreational archery lessons are given, and achievements can be reached by campers). Field sports include soccer, softball, sand volleyball, bocce ball, table tennis, golf chipping, dodgeball, etc.

Archery/Field Sports staff will be internally trained on archery safety guidelines and rules to all sports offered at camp.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 3-4 staff were hired to work Archery/Field Sports.

Our fitness program has included yoga, yoga-pilates fusion, cardio drumming, Zumba, aerobics, water aerobics, kayaking, paddle boarding, the Michigania Mile race, hikes, running, dance, and collaborations with other program areas (cardio tennis, fitness ropes, etc.) or supervision of our fitness facilities.

Fitness staff are expected to have some relevant experience and may require certifications depending on the offerings. Staff hired to teach yoga must be certified before arriving at camp.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 2-3 staff members were hired to work Fitness/Yoga.

Riding staff (and our 20-30 horses!) provide a recreational riding program of various level lessons and trail rides as well as various special events.

Riding staff are expected to have experience with horses and will be trained internally on safety expectations and camp-specific programming.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 7-8 staff were hired to work Riding.

Housekeeping staff provide cleaning and supply distribution for camper and common spaces to ensure clear and clean spaces. Additional staff join the team to turn over after each week and aid in cabin cleaning led by the Housekeeping staff.

Kids Programs provide structured programming for kids ages 0-9. Age groups are split into 0-2 years old, 3 and 4 years old, 5 and 6 years old, and 7-9 years old.

Kids Programs staff are expected to have some experience with children and will rotate through the age groups from week to week.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 14-15 staff were hired to work Kids Programs.

Kitchen staff, including “front of the house” hosts and kitchen staff, cooks, and dishwashers, ensure that three meals a day are provided to all campers and staff. Meals include salad/deli bars, desserts, coffee/drinks, hot food, and made-to-order meals like omelets. Kitchen staff are fully trained and most roles do not require any previous knowledge or training.

Maintenance staff assist with groundskeeping, repairs, and other daily camp tasks for upkeep of the facility and grounds. These staff members serve on call some evenings to take care of any camper concerns that come up. Staff hired for maintenance are required to have a valid U.S. driver’s license. 

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 2 seasonal staff members were hired to join our full-time Maintenance team of 4.

Nature staff provide nature hikes, educational programs, boat trips, crafts, demonstrations, astronomy programs, and rock polishing. Staff members also work with the camp recycling program, composting/food waste program, the Michigania garden, and other educational opportunities.

Nature staff are trained internally on an ongoing basis and learn about the fauna and flora that surround the beautiful Walloon Lake and Camp Michigania in addition to the various crafts, programs, and projects the staff provide.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 4-5 staff were hired to work Nature.

The Office staff provides service for campers in the camp main office and supports the full-time administrative staff that handles all camp billing, records, logistics, communication, and other administrative functions.

Experience working in an office is not necessary but preferred.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 2-3 staff were hired to work Office.

Riflery staff run a .22 range for both kids (5th grade and up – typically ages 10+) and adults as well as a trap range for shotguns (ages 15+), including specialty events to challenge excellent marksmen.

Riflery staff will be internally trained in gun safety and care. NRA certifications are provided if no staff hired have existing certifications.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 2-4 staff were hired to work Riflery.

The Staff Care Coordinator provides support for the staff’s mental, social, emotional, and physical well-being. They act as an advocate for the staff and provide resources to support wellness. They provide leadership, coaching, and support to program staff at Michigania. They work to design, implement, and think creatively and collaboratively about programming to support staff wellness.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, one Staff Care Coordinator was hired.

Swim staff guard the Michigania swimming area and provide swimming lessons. In addition, they provide special events and activities for campers of all ages (water carnival, inner tube water polo, water aerobics, etc.).

It is required that Swim staff become lifeguard certified on their own before their start date at Camp Michigania.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 3-5 staff were hired to work Swimming.

Teen staff provide evening programs for campers ages 10-17 (Preteens: ages 10-12, Maize teens: ages 13 and 14, Blue teens: ages 15-17), including events like capture the flag, outdoor movies, improv games, and bonfires.

Teens/PM Staff also support in program areas in the afternoons, as well as with family events in the evenings. Their work schedule involves working in the afternoons and after dinner.

In the past, 6-8 staff worked at Teens/PM Staff.

Tennis staff provide recreational tennis instruction for all ages, including pickleball lessons and tournament, host tennis tournaments, and maintain the various tennis courts across camp.

Tennis staff are expected to have tennis experience and ability. Teaching experience is preferred.

See above for terms of employment. In the past, 2-3 staff members were hired to work at Tennis.

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