We usually have about 20-30% new staff in any given year for summer positions, and all ask great questions while making their decision for the summer. We have gathered together some of the questions we get asked most frequently during the year. Hopefully, you will find some of the answers to your questions bellow. If not, do not hesitate to e-mail or call us in the office.
QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR STAFF
How old are the majority of the counsellors?
Because we have over 150 staff, there are many of all ages from 17 to 30 and often beyond. Counsellors will usually range in age from 17 to 25 and sometimes even beyond. The average age of a Manitou counsellor is about 20, and we will have at least one, and sometimes both, counsellors in every cabin over the age of 19.
Are there lots of new staff every year?
Yes. While the demographics change a lot from year to year, we usually have at least 35 - 50% "new staff" in any given year which would usually translate into 50 to 80 new people. As we draw in a lot of older staff, (early 20's and beyond) with strong programming experience, we tend to have a lot of people that are looking for a year or two of experience and then move on to programs like Teacher's College.
Do you require staff to hold C.P.R. or First Aid Training?
While these certifications are not required to be considered for a staff position, they do add credibility to an application. We train all our staff in pre-camp with a basic level of first aid and safety training, but we like to have a large group of previously certified staff that we can count on in an emergency. Therefore these certifications will only help you in the application process.
Are there any required ages or certifications required of any program staff?
Generally, we prefer to have experienced instructors in all of our program areas. This can be demonstrated either by certifications, course completions or by illustrating previous experience relating to that program. In most cases, there are no specific requirements and often, activity experience is secondary to being able to work well with children. The exception would be that all tripping and waterfront staff require current Bronze Medallion certification, at minimum. For swimming staff specifically, we require our staff to hold both Instructors and N.L.S. certification. There are no age restrictions in any program areas.
QUESTIONS ABOUT ACCOMODATION
Is there a separate camp for boys and girls or just separate cabin areas?
We have two distinct wooded areas in camp that serve as "boys camp" and "girls camp" with a large field (Main Field) separating them.
Do the staff sleep in the same cabin as the campers?
All counsellors sleep in the same cabins as their counsellors. Some have separate back areas, while others do not. Most head staff (activity & unit heads) live in separate accommodations.
How many counsellors are assigned to each cabin and is that our cabin for the entire summer?
We have at least two counsellors in every cabin, although sometimes we will have up to three. While we try to keep counsellors with the same cabin and/or campers for the whole season, there are situations in which we are forced to move staff, especially over changeover.
What appliances can I bring for my cabin?
We encourage small stereos or clock radios as the camps radio station (92.3 FM) can then be turned on in the cabins. Most other electrical appliances are strongly discouraged or not allowed in camp at all. We discourage hairdryers because they are a fire hazard and we allow no more then one in each cabin. Heaters and fans, kettles and hotpots can also pose an electrical hazard. Televisions, VCRs, computers, video game consoles etc. are not appropriate for camp and should be left at home.
Can I keep food in my cabin?
Because of the wildlife that would want to share your treats, we ask that campers and staff keep food out of their cabins. Ants, mice, squirrels, etc. are among the critters that you would quickly have sharing your space if you stored food in your cabin. We also feel it is unfair to allow staff to have food in cabins when campers cannot. In addition to meals, snacks are available throughout the day if you find that you're hungry.
QUESTIONS ABOUT STAFF PROGRAMS AND POLICIES
Are their staff "Recs" at night after lights out?
Absolutely! We try to organize two Recs per week with a special snack and some type of activity.... but there are also usually 2 games of "Win Mark & Jeff's Money" each week (a trivia game show type tournament in which all staff compete), campfires, movie nights and a snack provided every night.
Pre Camp starts June 21... what if I still have exams to write?
Pre Camp is a critical part of our staff program and we require our staff to be present for the duration of the training period. In some cases, we know that our younger staff may run into conflicts with high school exam schedules. We suggest talking to your teachers or school administration right away if there is a conflict. Sometimes it's possible to write an exam earlier in such cases. If it is impossible to reschedule an exam, let us know, we may be able to make a special arrangement to allow you to return home for a day to write the exam.
How can I get my laundry done?
You have two choices. You can opt into the service we use for our campers in which case you are charged at cost which works out to about $100 for the full season. With the service, you get your own bag and it gets picked up once a week and returned the next day washed and folded. If you would prefer to worry about laundry on your own, you're welcome to bring it to town.
Are there telephones for staff to use?
Yes, but usually only at night. We have four payphones for staff in a special phone booth within our staff lounge. They are opened each day at 10:30 PM until 1:00 AM.
Can I bring my cell phone to camp?
We generally discourage cell phones coming to camp. Most importantly, they don't work very well at camp as we are outside the service range of most carriers. Therefore cell phones usually have no use and can always be lost in a busy cabin. Also, campers are not allowed to bring cell phones, and we feel that to be fair, staff shouldn't bring them either.
Is there computer or Internet access for staff?
No. Unfortunately with the number of staff we have at camp, we can't possibly accommodate them all in terms of e-mail etc. You can visit the town library on a day off if you need to stay in tough and we can sometimes make an exception for staff that need to get online "one time only" for university course selection etc. But usually, staff take a vacation from e-mail for the summer.