Summer Camp Jobs

A Message from Amy;

Hiring Staff is a work in progress. You are always hiring, and you are always saying goodbye, and you are always hiring again. Every year come January, I started actively searching for the right combinations that make up a winning camp for the coming up season. For the next 6 months I will interview, mull over, ask others, and read over applications trying to find the perfect matches for the jobs I have available. Eventually I will come up with 10-15 new family members that I will be spending the next several months with. The work is hard, the weather often hot, and I can only promise you two things: At least once you will wonder why you ever took this job, and in years to come you will look back at it as one of the most rewarding, growth experiences you ever had. You will make new friends and you will experience things that will stay with you the rest of your life. So check us out. If you find what you read interesting and have more questions, contact me and I will see if I can answer your questions. Otherwise, Fill out the Staff application and send it back to me.

Hope to be hearing from you,

Amy Edwards
Cedar Lodge
PO Box 218
Lawrence, MI 49064
Camp Phone: (269)674-8071    Camp Hiring Manager Ashley: (269)539-1144

E-Mail – [email protected]

Summer 2023 Dates:

Staff training week: This is mainly for riding instructors and water front staff. June 11-17

Staff Orientation week: Mandatory for all new staff, June 18-25

Camp dates: June 25th – August 6th + 2 days of staff camp clean up.

**We are looking for staff members who can attend the full length of the summer, however, we also can negotiate partial summers for the right candidate.**

To Apply:

Fill out Staff Application. Be sure to include 3 references (complete with full address and phone numbers or E-mail) and complete work history.

Cedar Lodge Staff Philosophy:

Cedar Lodge is not one or two people, but a small dedicated group of individuals, all very different people. They all have a variety of skills and talents and yet all hold the same unique ideas together; the love of camping out doors and a desire to teach that love to children. Although our camp family may change from year to year, our ideals remain the same. That’s what makes us strong, and that’s what makes us last.

We believe in creating a low pressure, noncompetitive atmosphere where children choose how to spend their day, one day at a time. Though riding and swimming are scheduled activities, no activity is mandatory, and though encouraged, no child is forced to participate if they decide not to. One of the unique parts of camp is the ability to give children the chance to experiment with areas of expertise that they may have not had the opportunity, or been too frightened to try before. How special to teach a child to ride a bike for the first time, to sit on a horse, or stand up and perform in a play. To try playing an instrument and be part of a rock band, to shoot and arrow, to swim competently in deep water, to sleep under the stars, or to investigate tracks in the woods. All those things and many more are possible when a child comes to summer camp. All those things have been firsts for many children that come here. Some, have made life long changes that will effect them forever. If you are hired here, you very well might be part of those changes.

Our motto is “we’re flexible”, and we keep that motto all summer long.

We believe in the importance of campers learning how to make their own decisions and being responsible for carrying out these ideas to their conclusions. We believe that we are not only here to teach, but we are also here to learn.

About Being Staff:

Room, board, and laundry are all included in summer salaries. Senior staff must be at least 18 years of age with preferably one year of college. Though there are occasions that 18 and 19 year olds hired, because of demands of the job, the maturity level required, and skills required of all department heads, most counselors range in age from 20 and up.

All staff salaries are based on age, training, and certifications. Written references are required of all staff members.

Counselors live in cabins with 5-10 campers (larger cabins have two staff) and are responsible for teaching programs during the day related to their skills for at least 5 program hours a day. At least once each week they are responsible for leading an evening program. During the rest of the week, they assist other staff leading their evening programs. Evening programs are decided on Sunday evening during the weekly staff meeting.

The real low down:

For a new staff member, the decision to take a camp staff job is one that should not be taken lightly. Over the years I have found that staff come for the experience of camp counseling for many different reasons. Certainly, number one is usually not the money:) but the first question I ask a staff member (and the question that you should now be asking yourself) is why do you want a job at a summer camp? The answer to this simple question could make all the difference in the world to whether you are happy for your 2 1/2 months at Cedar Lodge or not. There are no right answers to that question but rather, there are some answers that are righter than others. For instance, if you are considering a camp job because you want to travel, meet new people your own age, work outside, take a summer off, you thought it would be “cool” , you’ve alway wanted to do it, you’re friend did it and had a great time, or a million other similar responses, you may work at a camp and have a great summer, but I think you should also consider this: What if your reason for coming doesn’t happen? What if you want to make new friends and you form no strong bonds? How will you fair on that 95 degree day in the middle of July, well into week 6 when you get that beginner group of swimmers that refused to learn to float? Is working outside all it’s cracked up to be with mosquitoes, shared showers and the darn walk up the hill for the 5th time today because you forgot your bathing suit? Those are the realities of camp life, and time and time again, I sadly see counselors apply for camp jobs for not wrong reasons, but reasons that if they don’t come true are bound to lead to their disappointment.

The reasons that won’t get you in trouble, and the only one(s) that I can guarantee, are the kids. Period. Our kids at Cedar Lodge are great (and our parents are pretty great, too). They are the one thing that I can guarantee every year at camp. So if you want a job at camp because you love kids, because you want to live with kids, because you want more experience teaching kids, THAT I can supply and that you won’t be disappointed in.

If you are thinking of applying for the other reasons, you may have a good summer, or even a great one, but I can’t guarantee it. For those reasons, I suggest you may want to think long and hard about applying.

My words are tough and I am sorry if I have backed you off. But please consider this. Camping is our way of life. Every year, we put together a new family unit which we will be living with for over 2 months. By the end of 1 -2 weeks of training we guarantee to our parents that these young adults are worthy care givers, safe, mature, responsible keepers of the welfare of their children. We guarantee that they are here for the right reasons and will help their children make their stay at Cedar Lodge memorable for the right reasons. Those are definitely large and selfless goals, but those are the facts. A unhappy staff member can make unhappy campers and unhappy other staff members. We are just too small a camp, and every one person is too important part of our over all team to have anyone unhappy. My job is to make this one, big, happy, cohesive family unit, and I take that job very seriously.

Job Descriptions and Salaries:

Want to Apply? Fill out Staff Application. Be sure to include 3 references (complete with full address and phone numbers or E-mail) and complete work history.

Program Staff Jobs:

Cedar lodge may be small, but not only do we boast all the activities found in a general camp program, we offer them at an exceptionally challenging level. What’s more, we offer a variety of programs, some every year, and some varying years, that campers will find few other places. All our staff live in a cabin with a group of campers. All program staff members will be responsible for a cabin of campers. Program Staff will have one or two major areas that they can lead and be responsible for at camp, and several secondary areas that they can lead or assist in. Having a variety of interests and skills is a plus. It gives staff a bag of tricks to draw from when dealing with campers day to day.


Room, Board and Laundry service are included into all camp salaries. Senior Staff Members average age is 20-22 with at least a year of college. Occasionally younger staff are hired, especially in support positions, but rarely in program staff or riding staff. Because of the extreme demands of the job, we have found that rarely are under 20 year olds prepared for the demands of a full staffing job. That being said, exceptions have been made, and certainly all are welcome to apply. All staff salaries are based on age, experience, training and certifications. Written references are required of all staff members. Before considering a job at Cedar Lodge, all students should visit our page on Rules and Procedures for Staff members, to make sure that they feel that they can follow the rules set out at Cedar Lodge.

Types of Staffing Jobs and Salaries

Program Staff:    $2800-3500

These positions are available in arts and crafts, drama, dance, music, waterfront, nature skills, and sports. Other camp skills are welcome and are listed in the application! 

Please click on General Camp Programs for a list of Cedar Lodge guaranteed summer programs

Counselors will be living in cabins with 5-10 campers that will be under their care(cabins of 10 will have an additional staff). They must have sufficient expertise to lead several programs at camp and assist with others. They will be responsible for teaching programs 5-6 hours every day, 6 days a week. Program staff must be able to lead large and small group games(active and passive). They will be responsible for leading 1-2 evening programs every week, leading one full camp activity on at least one Saturday afternoon, and assisting in others. Potential counselors should come to camp with a wealth of ideas, tons of energy, positive attitudes, maturity, honesty, good ethics, a love a children, a desire to teach, and a real love for the out of doors.

Riding Staff:    $ 2800-3500

Please click on Camp Riding for a list of Camp Riding Programs.
Our horses are a very strong draw at Cedar Lodge. We maintain a good reputation for our horse program. Because of the demands of this position, riding staff do not have cabin responsibilities, except when other staff members are on their days off. When requested to sleep in a cabin, they have responsibility for the campers in that cabin. Riding staff will usually be housed in summer camp cabins.

Riding Staff at Cedar Lodge should come prepared to teach or assist ring lessons and teach, monitor or assist in barn 4-6 hours a day, 6 days a week. They must be willing to take at least one horse overnight a week with another instructor. They must be willing to help in the feeding, first aid and management of the Cedar Lodge Horses, the general cleaning and up keep of the barn and the day to day organization.

Riding instructors must be able to come a week earlier than orientation week and attend a special teaching program geared just for riding staff. Waterfront staff have the same requirement. There is no extra salary for this week, but there is no fee,either.

On occasion, riding staff are asked to assist with an evening program. Most evenings they have free time. When horses are available they can ride during this time if they desire. Cedar Lodge is a year-round hunter and jumper show stable, so lessons are often being taught in the evening. Staff is invited to join these lessons at the discretion of the riding instructor in charge. Even though they are not directly involved with campers, riding staff are on duty and must stay on camp grounds in the evenings.

All riding staff must come to Cedar Lodge with an honest love of horses and teaching children as well as an extremely good work ethic to be truly happy in this very demanding job.

Kitchen Staff:

Head Cook:
Responsible for putting out three meals a day with the help of one or two assistants. Normal breakfast type meals, large noon meal and a small soup and sandwich type supper. They must be self starters, hard workers, able to give directions to coworkers and run the kitchen in an efficient and cheerful manner. Prior experience a must. Living on grounds not always mandatory.

Second Cook:
Assist with the preparation of meals, cleaning up and doing dishes, pots and pans. Kitchen staff rarely have cabin responsibilities, but may be housed in cabins. Must be prepared to take over cooking responsibilities when head cook is gone. Must be punctual, organized,hard working, with good communications skills and good attitude.

Maintenance Staff and Barn Help:

General camp maintenance including familiarity with tools and vehicles. General maintenance jobs may include but are not limited to; mowing,painting, digging, weed whacking and basic construction. Barn help jobs may include but are not limited to; all above, feeding, and cleaning stalls. Previous horse experience helpful but not necessary. Current Divers license a plus. Applicants need good work ethic, ability to work on their own, hard working, good attitude, maturity, responsibility. Drivers license and good driving record helpful. This position may also have pre and after camp work availability.