How much time off do I get?
Campers leave camp each Saturday morning around 11:00, after which we clean up, eat lunch together, debrief the week, and wrap up everything early afternoon. Time off begins at that time and ends when we gather back again to prep for the coming week around dinner on Sunday. Each counselor also gets one night a week off, from the end of dinner until the beginning of Cabin Time, which typically starts around 9:30.
Can I leave every weekend?
As a general rule, staff must remain together at camp through the weekend. However, we understand that everybody has weddings to attend, friends in town, siblings leaving the country, or another special event that they need to attend. So, each staff member gets one weekend of their choice over the summer to leave, in addition to one of the weekends either before or after July 4th (depending on the year), when all of our staff leave for a slightly longer weekend.
I have to be gone for some portion of the summer, should I still apply?
There really isn't a good answer to this question; though we get it all the time. Simply put, we do give preference to applicants that can be with us the entirety of the summer. We love that some staffers are interested in going on mission trips, or do other outstanding things during the summer, but the reality is that our staff is at it's best when you're able to be plugged in and engaged at camp from the beginning of staff training until the end of the last program. If you're going to miss a few days in the middle of the summer because of a family trip that's been planned since the beginning of time, we're likely to accommodate for it. However, if you're not able to make staff training (the last two weeks of May), for example, the chances of being hired are remarkably smaller. Either way, feel free to shoot us the question with whatever relevant specifics, and we'd be glad to talk it through!
Can I do laundry at camp?
Yes, we like it when our leaders have clean clothes!
Will I get any sweet outdoor gear as a staff member?
Most every summer, our staff get a couple of t-shirts and a water bottle. Also, depending on the year, we have pro-deals with gear companies where you can get nice things at a significant discount (hammocks, sandals, climbing gear, etc), but these are always in flux and never guaranteed. Feel free to ask about them when you arrive for staff training!
Can I use my laptop or cell phone during the week?
Our summer staff are not allowed to have their personal electronics with them during the week. Simply, it is a distraction to how we desire to influence our campers through the week. Staffers are welcome to use those things only during their time off and away from campers.
What's the application process and when will I find out if I got the job?
We have a rolling application process. Once we've received your completed application, you'll be notified fairly quickly of an interview. Within a few days after the interview, you'll be notified whether or not you've been hired. We do not wait until a certain date to let all of our staff know that they've been hired.
Am I expected to fit somebody in a climbing harness?! Do I get any training for that?
All of our summer staff members get training in the necessary portions of their jobs. During the two weeks of staff training (wow, that sounds like a long time but it's honestly not enough!), you'll spend plenty of time in the ropes course, learning to belay (if relevant), guiding a raft down the Nantahala, and faclitating team-building activities.
What are the facilities like; will I sleep inside and get warm showers?
Our cabins are beautiful and the showers are nicer than most people have at home, not to mention warm. You'll get a bed in a cabin with 12 beds (two for leaders and 10 for campers), the cabins are nicely shaded but are open-air with no air conditioning.
How many summer staffers do you typically hire, and how many campers come through in a summer?
We have a capacity of around 120 campers a week and it takes about 40 summer staff members to create the incredible experience and service that we want for our campers. In addition to those summer staffers, we have 6-8 full-time Camp Highland staff members serving as well.
Do I specialize in one activity, or do all of them, or none of them and just hang out with kids?
In the past, we've typically not had activity "specialists" and all counselors were able to be trained in each activity so that they were able to run them with their cabin. As Camp Highland grows, we're beginning to divide out activity "specialties" to specific counselors/roles, but are not 100% there yet (and may never want to be!). Our counselors for the summer of 2013, will still be trained in things like basic challenge course facilitation (high and low), belay skills (for the climbing tower and pamper pole), white water rafting for the Nantahala, and a handful of other things. We will be hiring activities staff with specific skills in rock climbing, high course lead facilitator, rappelling, riflery, and mountain biking.
Will I need a car through the summer?
A car is not necessary, but past summer staffers would say that it sure is handy for your time off. Ellijay and Chatsworth, the closest towns, are each about a 25 minute drive from the gates of camp and are frequented by staffers during their time off all summer. With that said, it has been rare that staffers go anywhere by themselves so, if you don't bring a car, the chances of being able to catch a ride with somebody that has one are pretty good.
Are there any times that I can come up to check out camp before coming on staff?
Absolutely!! We have a lot of programs through the spring and fall, many on weekends, where you're welcome and encouraged to come to camp and help us serve a group. In fact, the single fastest way to breeze through the application process for summer staff is to have been to camp before, gotten to know our staff and allowed us to get to know you. It's easy to hire somebody that we know well, has already been to camp, and can't get enough of it!