Staff Frequently Asked Questions
- Camp Kippewa–The Basics
- Can you describe the role of a Kippewa counselor?
- Where will I be living?
- What do staff members wear?
- Will I get any time off?
- How do I get to camp?
- What is the daily schedule like?
- Is there internet access and phones at camp?
- What else should I know about being a counselor?
- It sounds great, but how hard do I really have to work?
Camp Kippewa—The Basics
Camp Kippewa is a traditional 3 ½ -week summer camp for girls. Kippewa is located in the beautiful Maine wilderness, on the shores of Lake Cobbosseecontee. Kippewa is an hour north of Portland, Maine and about three hours from Boston, Massachusetts.
Each session, we have approximately 190 girls who come to camp to create new friendships, develop new life skills, explore new activities, and most importantly, have fun! The camp program is designed for instruction in many activity areas, from water skiing, sailing, and kayaking, to horseback riding, fine arts and crafts, and athletics.
Can you describe the role of a Kippewa counselor?
All Kippewa counselors take on a dual role during the summer: activity instructors and bunk counselors. Counselors work under the supervision of our Head Counselor, as well as Division Heads who oversee all aspects of bunk life in a particular age group, and the Activity Head, who oversees the activity area in which a counselor is teaching. Our Group Leaders and Activity Heads are teachers and coaches who have tremendous experience working with kids. They provide their staff with a great set of resources for teaching, coaching, and dealing with problems.
Where will I be living?
All of our counselors live with a group of children during the summer. A typical cabin set up at Kippewa has 8-11 girls (depending on age) living with 2-3 staff members. The cabins typically have bunk beds for the campers and staff. The cabins have bathrooms and showers. You will have your own space for clothes and personal items. Staff are living in the same room as a group of campers during the summer so privacy is at a minimum. During staff orientation, we evaluate you to place you in a cabin for a good-fit that ensures an enjoyable summer for you and your campers.
What do staff members wear?
Staff members work each day in neat attire that is appropriate to the activity in which you are working. The days can be warm and the evenings cool. Shorts and tee shirts are most often worn during the day but sweats may be needed some evenings (especially in mid-August). Counselors are required to wear 1 piece bathing suits in black or dark blue. Staff are given 2 staff shirts that are worn on opening day and closing day or when chaperoning campers on trips out of camp. Our camp laundry is available for staff to use free of charge at night once you are off duty.
Will I get any time off?
Staff members will have 6 pre-scheduled days off during the course of the summer (which is approximately one per week). Additionally, staff members will have a period off each day. Counselors have two out of every three nights off. The third night is spent in the bunk with the campers. On nights off, counselors are free to leave camp after campers lights-out.
Counselors have a curfew at 1:00 AM on nights off and sign in at the office before returning to their cabin. Staff members should use their time off to “recharge their batteries” because we expect our staff to perform their duties to the best of their abilities and a full nights sleep is essential.
How do I get to camp?
Counselors arrive at camp by either their own cars, by plane, or by bus. Counselors traveling by plane usually arrive at the Portland, Maine airport, whereas counselors who travel by bus arrive at the Augusta, Maine terminal. We will arrange for you to be picked up at the airport or bus terminal upon your arrival.
What is the daily schedule like?
On a typical day at Camp Kippewa wake up is at 7:30am followed by flag raising at 8:00am and breakfast being served at 8:15am for the entire camp. After a cabin clean-up, activities begin at 9:15am. Lunch is served at 12:30pm and is followed by a rest hour and mail call that lasts until 2:00pm. The afternoon consists of three program periods. In the middle of the afternoon activities, the entire camp gathers for snack, or Cookie Call. At the close of the activity day, we have shower hour followed by flag lowering. Dinner is at 6:15pm and then there is an evening activity every night. Lights out varies by age group, and ranges from 9:00pm to 11pm.
Is there internet access and phones at camp?
Yes. There are computers with internet access and WiFi available in the staff lounge. We also have phones in the staff lounge that are free of charge anywhere in the US or Canada. If staff members need to use cell phones they must use them in the staff lounge. Cell phones are prohibited in the bunks.
What else should I know about being a counselor?
Staff members must come to Kippewa with a true love of children, a great patience level, and a solid work ethic. Working with kids is one of the greatest experiences in the world that comes with tremendous rewards, however, working with kids can also bring stress and frustration at times. Staff members must understand that kids don’t always say what they mean and often ask “why” instead of saying “yes.” As a summer surrogate parent, kids often show their frustrations with you, the staff member, the same way they would their own mom and dad. Working at Kippewa gives staff members a sense of great satisfaction from helping kids grow that comes only with a lot of hard work.
It sounds great, but how hard do I really have to work?
Anyone that has ever been a camp counselor would agree, it is the hardest job you’ll ever love! The safety (physical, social, and emotional) of our campers is our number one priority. Kippewa counselors must show dedication and commitment to their campers 24 hours a day, however, being a counselor is an incredibly rewarding experience. The bonds and friendships you form with campers and fellow staff members simply cannot be described to those that have not experienced it.