Working at Summer Camp
All seasonal staff positions have been filled for 2023. Please use the below info for reference only.
Submit your application in November of this year for the 2024 season.
MSSM STEM Summer Camp
Want a rewarding summer job working with curious young minds?
Every year we hire 30+ seasonal employees for the MSSM STEM Summer Camp. Below are the positions and qualifications. Both Mentors and Counselors should read the duties listed below.
Mentors are usually ex-campers at least age 15 and Counselors are often ex-Mentors and over 18. Below are some of the duties so you can make sure you fully understand the job. It is different in many ways in that, to some degree, you are always “on” or in work mode. Even on your days off or during your off time, campers may ask you questions or even need help.
Pay: Around $450 per week for four weeks. Working fewer than four weeks is possible, but it puts you at the bottom of the hiring list. We need people there the whole time.
Time frame: Camp starts June 25th (Sunday), but you will need to be on campus the Friday before (June 23rd), the time will be announced. We will do training and preparation on Friday and Saturday. You can depart no earlier than noon on Saturday, July 22nd. After, and during, the final check out, there is a thorough sorting and cleaning of the dorm. You will get your final check at noon. From the point of arriving for training, to leaving Saturday
July 22nd, you will not need money for food, but should bring some for your days off.
Time Off: You will either get one day off per week or two half days. That will be decided at the start of camp. You are completely off these days, but can still eat meals or you can leave campus. It is very difficult to accommodate staff taking random unscheduled days off during camp to go down state to a wedding or some other event, but if you let us know at the time of hiring (in March), we MAY be able to work with you. Letting us know when you arrive at camp that you need a new day off will be difficult to accommodate.
- Make sure your camp family is awake and ready to depart for breakfast.
- Take campers to classrooms after meals. Counselors take over after lunch.
- Some Mentors will need to stay in the classrooms while others may be working on other tasks for the staff.
- Help clean the classroom and take the trash bags to the dumpsters.
- Make sure classrooms or kitchen areas are clean after each use.
- Ensure the safety of campers at all times. Always know where campers in your camp family are when you are on duty.
- On Sundays, help with Check-in. Do not have ongoing conversations and make loud jokes with other staff members during check in. We must show the families we have hired young adults, not children, to care for their campers. If you see a parent, go up and ask if they need help. Greet campers as if they are VIPs. Ask if they have been to camp before, if so, thank them for returning with something like “we’re glad you are back, it’s going to be fun.” If they are first timers, reassure them that they will have fun and meet people.
- On Fridays, help with packing and getting rooms ready.
- On Saturdays, help with the check-out process and then clean the dorm as instructed by the Director of Residential Life.
- You should participate in all theme days and evening activities.
- Tell me three things you would change about camp. Don’t hold back here. Things won’t change for the better if we don’t know what’s broken. Skip this part if you’ve never been to camp.
- Tell me an activity you would be willing to run.
- Tell me your idea for Monster Night. Note that creating an impossible monster that only gives out 2 signatures frustrates campers and we consider that a failure. The ideal monster has a challenge that takes 2-3 minutes and is possible and then gives out most signatures. One or two groups not getting a signature is perfectly fine. Only one or two groups getting a signature is not.
- Although we won’t know classes until April, tell me some class we have had in the past in which you would like to attend (or interesting STEM classes you would like to see).
- The importance of first impressions. On Sundays, parents are dropping off their young children, seeing the facility, and meeting the staff. They are wondering, at that moment, if we hired children or young adults to look over their campers. Tell me your thoughts on how staff should be acting and behaving during check-in.
- Tell me your thoughts on staff walking around staring at their phones rather than interacting with campers.
- Make sure your email address and email name are professional. It's not a good first impression to get an email from "I am The Master", "I Fight Donkeys", "The Ultimate Magic Monkey". These are real names from past applicants and often went straight to the spam folder.
*Monster Night is an evening activity where the staff dress as monsters and have a 2-3 minute challenge for campers. We prefer a STEM activity, but anything is fine.
To Apply: Email Ryan McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the subject line “Mentor at Summer Camp”
We prefer this process to be applicant driven, as we may employ you, the teen, and not your parents. We are happy to CC parents on emails as you are a minor, but we would like to have more conversations with the applicants. There will be a parent permission form if a position is offered explaining more expectations and rules.
Counselors are similar to Mentors and many duties overlap, but should be over 18. Here are a few of the other duties that are not the same:
Pay: Around $475 per week for four weeks. Working fewer than four weeks is possible, but it puts you at the bottom of the hiring list. We need people there the whole time.
Counselors must be willing to ride a school bus to and from Portland to drop off / pick up campers. They depart on Saturday and return Sunday evening. There is a paid hotel room and a meal stipend.
Counselors run many of the afternoon and evening activities. We will have a run through of how to do each one before camp starts during training.
Take campers to classrooms after meals. Counselors take over after lunch.
To Apply: Email Ryan McDonald at email@example.com
Use the subject line “Counselor at Summer Camp”
We prefer to hire instructors that have a bachelor's degree (or higher) and are teachers in a STEM field. After that we have allowed college students to be instructors on occasion.