Staff F.A.Q

Staff F.A.Q.

The  skills learned at Manitou on staff can uniquely position you to thrive in college/university and post graduate school. More importantly you will benefit from life long skills that will be critical to the success of your future career! The Dean of Admissions of Princeton University has specifically recommended that their students return to summer camp to take on senior leadership positions (rather than working at a typical city job) during their summers while attending university because it would best prepare them for their future vocation. It’s nice to know that working at summer camp is not only one of the most fun jobs in the world but the people skills (emotional intelligence, leadership, communication, etc) you learn there will benefit you for life!

Because we have 200 staff, there are many new staff of all ages. (Often age 17 to 30, and sometimes older!). Head staff such as Unit Heads or Activity Heads can range from age 21 to 30 and sometimes even a few older people leading our activities. Counsellors usually range in age from 17 to 25. The average age of a Manitou counsellor is about 20, with at least two counsellors per cabin, usually a ‘Junior Counsellor’ who is 17 or 18 years old and a ‘Senior Counsellor’ who is 19-25 years old.

Yes! While the demographics change a lot from summer to summer, we usually have approximately 20% “new staff” in any given year which would usually translate into 50 to 60 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 or outdoor education.

While these certifications are not required to be considered for a staff position, they do add credibility to an application. We train all of 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.

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 canoe tripping and waterfront staff require current Bronze Cross certification, at minimum. Our canoe trippers also require a Wilderness First Aid certification. 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.

We have two distinct wooded areas in camp that serve as “boys camp” and “girls camp” with a large field (Main Field) separating them.

We have at least two counsellors in every cabin, although in lots of cases 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 to different cabins and/or age groups, especially over changeover.

We encourage small stereos or clock radios as the camp radio station (90.3 FM) can then be turned on in the cabins. Most other electrical appliances are not allowed in camp at all. Hair dryers and hair straighteners are a fire hazard and prohibited at camp. Heaters and fans, kettles and hotpots can also pose an electrical/fire hazard and are strictly forbidden. Televisions, DVD and Blu-Ray players, video game consoles etc. are not appropriate for camp and should be left at home. The only electronics we permit is an mp3 player for the purpose of listening to music in your 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, and more 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, and staff have an incredible staff snack each night at 10:45pm.

Absolutely! We try to organize three Staff Recs per week (and often more!) with a special snack and some type of activity. There is also usually one game of “Win Mark & Jeff’s Money” each week (a trivia game show type tournament in which all staff compete), campfires, movie nights, and more!

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 and graduation 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 or if your graduation falls during pre-camp, please let us know, and we may be able to make a special arrangement to allow you to return home for a day to write the exam or attend graduation.

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 $125 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 on your day off. Many staff also share their camp laundry bag so it costs half the price.

Yes, but only at night. We have two phones for staff in our staff lounge. They are opened each day at 10:30 PM until 1:00 AM. If you require phone access at another time for course selection, medical appointments, or in case of emergency, you can speak to the office for special arrangements.

If a staff chooses to bring a cellphone to camp, they can use it after 10:45pm, but never in front of campers or in their camper cabin.

Yes, but only at night. We have two computers with Internet access located in our Staff Lounge. They are opened each day at 10:30 PM until 1:00 AM. If you require computer/Internet access at another time for course selection, medical appointments, or in case of emergency, you can speak to the office for special arrangements.