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  • Writer's pictureJoe Richards

Kickstart Your Summer: A Guide to Becoming a Camp Counselor at Traditional Overnight Camps in Ontario

Are you a student between the ages of 16 and 21 looking to make your summers more impactful while developing valuable leadership skills? Becoming a camp counselor at a traditional overnight summer camp in Ontario, such as Pearce Williams Summer Camp, could be your perfect opportunity.

Step 1: Understand the Role

First, understand what being a camp counselor involves. Counselors are not just supervisors; they are role models, friends, and educators. At a camp like Pearce Williams, which typically runs one-week programs with weekends off, you'll engage children in activities, ensure their safety, and foster a fun and inclusive environment.


Step 2: Check the Requirements

Most camps, including Pearce Williams Summer Camp (learn more at, look for energetic, responsible, and caring individuals. While previous experience as a counselor isn't necessary, having a background in working with children, whether through babysitting, tutoring, or volunteering, is a plus.

The camp website will often have the requirements and an online application. You can also look for camps and camp jobs at the Ontario Camps Association or by looking at the Ontario Job Bank or the Canada Job Bank


Step 3: Gain Relevant Skills

Enhance your resume by gaining skills relevant to camp counseling. First aid and CPR certifications are often required. Additionally, skills in sports, arts, and outdoor activities can boost your application. Leadership workshops and courses in child psychology or education can also give you an edge.


Step 4: Apply to Camps

Start your application process early, as positions fill up quickly. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your experience with children and any special skills or certifications. Make sure to express why you’re passionate about working at an overnight summer camp.

It is never too late to try and apply as many camps are looking for various positions right up to the beginning of the summer.


Step 5: Prepare for the Interview

If your application catches an eye, you’ll likely be called for an interview. Prepare by thinking of examples that demonstrate your leadership, problem-solving skills, and ability to handle responsibility. Be ready to discuss how you would manage various camp scenarios.


Step 6: Continuous Learning

Once hired, continue learning and adapting. Be ready to learn. Each camp season is different, and being open to feedback and new experiences will help you grow as a counselor.


Becoming a camp counselor is not just a summer job; it’s an opportunity to create lasting memories and develop skills that will benefit you throughout your life. Whether at Pearce Williams or another wonderful camp in Ontario, your journey as a camp counselor is sure to be enriching and exciting.

Joe Richards, Executive Director & Guitar Guy



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