Employment at Camp Chewonki

Lead, Learn, and Have Fun in the Outdoors

What is Camp Chewonki?

Camp Chewonki began in 1915 as an all-boys saltwater adventure camp. Since then we have become an educational non-profit organization offering summer programs for all genders in the form of Camp Chewonki for Boys, Camp Chewonki for Girls, and Leadership Expeditions, and year-round school programs for local children, schools, and students from around the country. Every program focuses on personal growth, connection to the natural world, and developing community in small and large groups. Our summer camp programs range from 10 days to 5 weeks in length and serve children from just down the road and around the world.

Who works at Camp Chewonki?

Camp Chewonki staff members come from a variety of backgrounds:

  • Passionate educators, explorers, and artisans looking to share their craft with the next generation.
  • Former participants of a Chewonki program: Camp Chewonki, Maine Coast Semester, the Outdoor Classroom.
  • International staff employed through the J-1 visa program or those who are eligible to work in the U.S. with proper work authorization.

What are the dates of the camp program?

The employment period for Camp Chewonki is for nine weeks in the summer.

2021 Camp Season Dates:

  • Staff Training:
    • Trip Leaders, Coordinators, and Activity Heads: Saturday, June 12 – Saturday, June 26
    • Cabin Leaders: Saturday, June 15 – Saturday, June 26
  • Session 1: Sunday, June 27 – Monday, July 19
  • Session 2: Friday, July 23 – Saturday, August 14
  • Staff may leave by noon on Monday, August 16 once all end-of-season tasks are completed
  • Coordinator Team Debrief: Monday, August 16
  • Coordinator Team members may leave after Debrief or by noon on Tuesday, August 17

Staff are expected to arrive and move-in the evening prior to their first day of work.

What certifications do I need?

All of our in-camp staff are required to be certified in Wilderness First Aid (this includes basic first aid and CPR) at the minimum. Courses are available at Chewonki before staff training begins, but we strongly encourage counselors to take these courses locally before the start of the summer. Lifeguarding and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) are other useful and sought-after certifications.

Our Leadership Expedition trip leaders are required to be trained as Wilderness First Responders. Many of the Chewonki trip leaders are also Registered Maine Guides.

Chewonki is offering the following certification courses prior to staff training in 2020:

  • Wilderness First Responder (minimum requirement for all trip leaders)
    • June 7 – June 11
  • WFR Recertification
    • June 9 – June 11
  • Lifeguard Training (minimum requirement for waterfront staff)
    • June 10 – June 12
  • Wilderness First Aid (minimum requirement for all staff)
    • June 16 – June 17

What is the daily schedule?

Click here to learn about a typical day at Camp Chewonki.

Where will I be living?

Cabin leaders live in cabins or yurts with a group of 6-8 campers and a co-leader. These cabins have no electricity or running water. Bathroom and shower facilities are located nearby.

Activity staff and coordinators live in yurts, small cabins, or dorm-style housing in our year-round buildings. Non-cabin staff are usually grouped by age and gender, with four to six staff members sharing a living space and occupying single or double accommodation rooms.

Trip leaders live in yurts with 4-6 other trip leaders before, after, and between sessions. Yurt accommodations are not equipped with electricity or running water; there are communal social spaces and restrooms located centrally on campus.

Will I have time off?

Yes! We all need time off in the summer to stay well-rested and healthy amidst a very busy schedule. Overnight camp staff have 2-3 days off per camp session while trip leaders take their time off between trips or sessions. There are a variety of fun and interesting things to do in Mid-Coast Maine in the summer: play a round of mini-golf in Boothbay, pack a lunch and take a hike in the nearby Camden Hills, or have a taste of fresh Maine lobster at Wiscasset’s world-famous Red’s Eats. If you use your time off well, you will return to camp feeling refreshed and recharged.

We expect all staff to behave in a responsible and professional manner while on time off; though you may not be on campus, you are still a representative of Chewonki and are expected to follow all state and federal laws.

What is the salary?

Compensation is based upon position, experience, and qualifications. Benefits include room and board and laundry facilities.

Are tobacco/marijuana/vaping products allowed on campus?

Chewonki has a non-smoking/tobacco-free campus; this includes vaping products and marijuana. These are expectations for both staff and campers while on campus or on scheduled trips.

How do I apply?

Visit the Employment Opportunities page to complete our online Camp staff application.

How do I keep in touch at the end of the summer?

Each staff member will have a check-out meeting at the end of the summer with the appropriate program director to debrief and discuss plans for the next summer. A great way to keep in touch during the year is to attend a Camp Gathering and Reunion in your area or participate in a staff gathering in the winter. (Keep your eyes peeled for invitations for bowling, pizza, and other fun events in your area!)

  • If you are interested in returning to work at camp next summer, contact Camp Chewonki for Boys Director, Charlie Fear at cfear@chewonki.org.
  • If you are interested in working for Camp Chewonki for Girls, contact Camp Chewonki for Girls Director, Emily Bell-Hoerth at ebellhoerth@chewonki.org.
  • If you are interested in working for Leadership Expeditions, contact Director of Outdoor Programs, Jen Adams at jadams@chewonki.org.
  • If you are a Chewonki alum, drop us a line and let us know what you are up to at alumni@chewonki.org.