Being a counselor is no ordinary job and we are not looking to employ just ordinary people. When we hire staff for the summer we look for people that will form the foundation that we base our entire community on. We look for people that we believe would make strong, positive role models in the lives of our campers and be leaders and mentors within our small community. The residential setting means that every choice you make will be observed and potentially replicated by the girls in your care. Do you feel that your behavior is role model worthy? We want counselors who are role models, but also not afraid to be silly and have fun! By applying to camp you are expressing an interest in helping children to develop in a caring, nurturing, and fun environment. You will be giving up a great deal of privacy and comfort, working long and demanding hours, adhering to camp policies which you may find very limiting (curfews, time on, time off, lack of privacy, no smoking, no drinking alcohol, etc). We look for people who will not see this as a "setback" but rather as a "set up" for a great working environment. If you believe that you have what it takes to lead and help shape the next generation of young women, then drop us a line or apply today.
How much will I get paid?
You could never be paid enough money to represent your value within the camp community. The work you do with children and the lessons that you learn about yourself and others is PRICELESS!! The salary that we do offer is competitive within the market and reflects the skills and experience that you bring with you. We will be able to calculate your salary better once we receive and assess your application. Base salaries begin at $225 a week and increase according to experience and certifications. Accommodations, food, and laundry are all included so you have the potential to save all of your salary.
Where is Keystone?
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, we are approximately one mile from downtown Brevard, population 7,000, and approximately 40 minutes from Asheville. We are lucky to be situated in an amazing location; Pisgah National Forest is only 15 minutes from our front gate. Needless to say we take full advantage of our surrounding area.
Driving times from surrounding cities, to Keystone Camp, Brevard NC 28712:
From Charlotte, NC: 2 1/2 hours, West
From Atlanta, GA: 3 hours, Northeast
From Greenville, SC: 1 1/2 hours, Northwest
What are the campers like?
Our campers range from seven to fourteen years of age. Once they go above the ninth grade they enter our Leadership, Aide and Counselor-In-Training programs.
Living arrangements are divided into three grade groups; Elves (K-4th); Pixies (5th-6th); Dryads (7th-8th). Though they may live in groups according to their grade, their activities are absent of age divisions. We encourage our girls to work and play with those both older and younger.
Our two longer sessions have a return rate of typically 80%. Many girls are the daughters and even granddaughters of Keystone Alumnae. Our shorter sessions usually attract girls who are new to Keystone and camp in general. It is a real mix.
Where will I live?
If you are a cabin counselor you will live with another counselor in a cabin with about 8-10 campers. We operate on a 4:1 ratio of campers to counselors.
The cabins are permanent wooden structures with screened in windows. Although fairly rustic, each cabin has its own shower, two toilets, two sinks, and hot water. Please note that there is no air-conditioning, just clean, green, mountain air. Your living quarters, affectionately known as the "Pig Pen", are separate from the campers' bunk room but are still in close proximity and often a hive of camper activity.
What will be my schedule?
At Keystone, no two counselor schedules will be the same. The campers have their own individual schedule, as do you. In general, you will teach or assist in 7 periods a day. You will need to be adaptable, for all activities are 45 minutes long and your schedule has the potential to be different everyday. Take a look at our daily schedule to get a better idea of what a daily routine holds.
Sunday is different. Scheduled activities run from Monday through Saturday. On Sunday we have a vesper service, which includes discussions and workshops of our core values (Friendship, Leadership, Integrity, Respect, Trust, and Community), songs and games, and even readings from Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstien and other such books about caring, sharing, friendships and other life lessons. This is a non-denominational service as we have many girls from different religious backgrounds. The rest of the day is then spent with both cabin chat time and whole camp activities, from carnival to celebrating all the holidays in one day.
What if I've never taught before?
Most of our staff are not professional instructors and have never taught before. They are just strong, enthusiastic, adaptable leaders who have a passion for their hobby/sport and an even greater love for children. We will provide the training to help you pass on your knowledge and skills to children so that they can learn in a fun, safe environment. All you need is a positive attitude and a willingness to share yourself.
At the end of the day you will be amazed at what a lot of enthusiasm and praise can do for a child's growth. Remember, you are not only teaching them a specific skill, you are also teaching them life lessons through leading by example.
What about time off?
During the course of your ten-week employment at camp you will have one 24-hour break and one evening break per week. 24's run from 5:30 p.m. one day until 5:30 p.m. the following day. The evening leaves run from 5:30pm until midnight. We have a fully furnished living area (the Counselor's Room) which is made available to all counselors each night from 10pm until midnight. The Staff Director may designate other time-off.
What about training?
General Staff Orientation occurs just before the first session opens in June. During this time we will acquaint you with Keystone, our philosophy, our expectations, and our goals. We will do this in a variety of ways.
First, we will take the skills that you bring to camp and teach you how to apply these into lessons that are safe, non-competitive and fun for the campers! Then we will let you practice your newfound abilities on each other by running class simulations. This can range anywhere from being hilarious to disastrous; either way it is great icebreaker and a very non-threatening way to discover your teaching capability.
You will also get to do some of the activities that you will do with your cabin, such as tubing down the French Broad River and camping out. This week before the longer sessions begin is especially important so that you can get to know the people that you will be working with for the rest of the summer.
There are also professional workshops available for many of the activity areas that we are happy to send our counselors to. Many of these occur in late May just before the camping season begins. If you know of trainings in your area that would be beneficial to your Camp Counselor experience, let us know about them we can possibly send you at our expense.
What are mealtimes like?
At Keystone, we eat all three meals together in our dining hall. We start each meal by singing a blessing then we sit at a table of 10, with you and another counselor at the head of the table.
The food is served in modified cafeteria style. Side dishes, drinks and condiments are at the table and our cooks will serve you your entree at the hot bar. There is always a vegetarian selection.
In addition, at breakfast there is always fresh fruit, cereal, and bagels. At lunch, there is always a salad bar and good ole PB&J!!!! At dinner there is also a full salad bar and there are always cooked or uncooked vegetables to have with your meal with dessert to follow.
How old do I have to be and what are the essential requirements?
To become a counselor you will need to be at least 19 years of age and have finished a freshman year in a tertiary education facility or have equivalent work experience. You have to be physically adequate to fulfill the requirements of a cabin and activity counselor.
I never got to be a camper as a kid. My only experiences of camp have been in the role of counselor at Keystone, and given how much I love it I can only imagine being a camper is that much better. Helping to make camp fun, seeing campers achieve goals they never thought possible, being part of an amazing community, and so much more make summers at Keystone the best part of my year.
Working at Keystone Camp is like being part of a family. You always have endless support and encouragement from all staff members any time of the day. Being a part of this family has given me the opportunity to form life-long friendships, learn new skills, and make a lasting impact on campers’ lives. At camp you are always encouraged to be the best version of yourself, to be there and to love one another and I think that’s what makes Keystone such a special community.
For me, Keystone was a place where I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and finally find a place where I belonged. I met amazing people and built everlasting friendships that I will be forever grateful. Keystone will always be a special place for me, and I cannot wait to spend another summer there!
I think what you all do, and the things that you stand for, are incredible.