Summer Staff

Our cabin staff is made up primarily of college students from across the world. A majority of the staff were once Coniston campers themselves, which gives Coniston a great sense of tradition and community.

Staff are chosen for their unique personality traits, maturity, flexibility, enthusiasm and commitment to children’s growth. All counselors have completed at least one week of specialized training before the campers arrive.

The staff with management roles come to camp early to assist in the camp opening and for lesson planning and leadership training. Our staff attain programmatic certifications before they arrive for designated positions such as Riflery Director, Aquatics Director, Asst. Waterfront Directors, Ropes Director, Horseback Director, Archery Director, Watercraft Directors and Trip Leaders.

All staff, from every part of camp and every age of staff also participate in Expert Online Training. These trainings offers the voice and experience of youth development professionals outside of Coniston and support all of our efforts and help bring home the teachings and high standards we are driven to teach in staff training each June.

Join the Summer Camp Staff

Coniston is a co-ed resident camp on 1600+ acres of land surrounding Lake Coniston.

As a non-profit service organization with a focus on youth, YMCA Camp Coniston creates experiences that build spirit, mind and body for all.

Our summer Overnight Camp is a traditional program for children 8-15 that stresses caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Our program areas are non-competitive allowing youth to develop at their own pace and develop skills that interest them.

Our Adventure Camp offers youth ages 12-15, the opportunity to have exciting adventures in spectacular locations during one-week trips throughout New England and Canada. These trips focus on climbing, hiking, white water rafting, sailing and biking.

Our Service Trips allow high school aged students to engage in community service experiences and adventure teambuilding experiences during a 12-day trip around the Northeast.

Staff Selection Process


  • December 1st: Program Director, Boys Camp Director, Girls Camp Director, CIT Director, Trip Leaders, those interested in the Fellowships, International returners, Aquatics Director, Overnight Coordinators Nurses, Kitchen, Support Staff (including alumni staff interested in leading a trip or working Session 5 only)
  • December 15th: LITs
  • January 2nd: Any Counselor who can work the entire summer (this means through Session 5 - August 24th)
  • January 2nd: Any Program Area Director from the previous summer who wants the same Director position for the upcoming summer and Asst. Waterfront Directors
  • February 1st: All others

Hiring will occur in the same order as the application deadlines.  People who can work the entire summer (this includes Session 5) get priority because all of camp needs to be fully staffed in order to run for the whole summer.  Keep in mind, if you apply in November but meet the criteria for the February 1st deadline, your application will not be looked at until February.  Our hope is to be as open about the hiring process we can be.  We understand the opportunity to work at camp is important to you. We hope to make decisions as quickly as possible to make sure you are able to plan for summer.


We ask for (3) letters of reference.

  • Two of your references should be from someone who can advocate for your level of responsibility, leadership experiences or skill capabilities for example: employer, youth group supervisor, academic advisor, club supervisor, rabbi, etc.
  • One of your references must be personal this includes family and friends (18+).

The online application will ask for the people you choose to give you a reference and the camp will send them an automated email request once you submit your completed application. We always recommend that you talk to your references so they know what you are applying for and are not surprised when we email them.


All staff must be at least 18-year-old to be considered for a live-in summer position. All staff must get their first aid & CPR certifications before the start of the summer.


New Staff: Local applicants may be asked to come to camp for an interview. Phone interviews and other arrangements can be made for those at a greater distance.

Returning Staff: Interviews may be necessary if leadership positions change. All staff will at least have a phone interview before contracts are offered.


Contracts will start to be offered for supervisory staff in December and continue through the spring months. Contracts are traditionally 9-10 weeks but may be 10+ weeks for specific leadership/administrative positions.


Hiring over 160 staff for the summer takes a lot of time due to the volume of applications. The screening and interviewing process usually takes several months. If you face a time limit with another position, please let us know.


If you or someone you know is 18 years or older, not a US citizen, and is interested in working at Coniston, have him/her look at the following organizations that Coniston works with for hiring and work visas: – Camp Leaders – 3 Adventures


Once you have worked for a summer at Coniston, the “return counselor” forms through your same organization are much easier. Contact camp before contacting your host organization. The web site of your organization will have forms for you to download and complete.

Positions Available


This is a live-in position with the campers. There are between 2 and 4 counselors per cabin depending on cabin size. This staff member needs to be sensitive to child developmental levels, a positive role model, assist in teaching and leading a program area as assigned, assist in emergency drills and situations, participate in running evening programs, chapel, Sunday program, and all aspects of running a quality residential summer camp for boys and girls. Additional responsibilities to those interested are campfire coordinator, chapel coordinator, and camp bugler.

Current Program Areas:

All program areas have a director of the program who is responsible for the safety of the campers, safety of the equipment, quality of the instruction and camper interactions, supervision of staff, coordination of coverage for days off, and administrative evaluations of program and staff. Most program area directors are in-cabin staff.

All instructors in the following program areas are in-cabin counselors:

  • Archery
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Basketball
  • Campcraft
  • Canoeing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Ecology
  • Games for the Mind
  • Gymnastics
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding (English)
  • Kayaking
  • Landsports
  • Paddle-Boarding
  • Photography
  • Riflery / Skeet
  • Ropes
  • Sailing
  • Snorkeling
  • Soccer
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Swim Team
  • Tennis
  • Woodshop


Some of our staff positions during the summer require extra efforts, and have hours that conflict with the cabin-counselor positions and live in group housing by gender at camp. They are on call for any issues around the clock with campers and staff.

  • Girls Camp Director
  • Boys Camp Director
  • Program Assistant/Director
  • Horseback Director & Instructors
  • Overnight Coordinator & 2 overnight staff
  • Drama Director
  • Ropes Director
  • Aquatics Director


Two leaders are responsible for each adventure trip. The trips have 10-12 campers. Each trip has one 15-passenger bus for all of the travel which the trip leaders share driving time.

This is a full-summer employment contract.

As a team the leaders need to be knowledgeable in hiking, white water rafting, rock climbing, biking, camping and general wilderness safety.

Trip leaders must be at least 21-years-old with a clean driving record, Wilderness First Aid, CPR and Lifeguard certifications, and a valid passport.


Two leaders are responsible for leading the Service/Adventure Trips. The trips have 10-12 campers. Each trip has one 15-passenger bus for all of the travel which the trip leaders share driving time.

This is a full-summer employment contract.

As a team the leaders need to be prepared for in camping, campfire cooking, hiking, general wilderness safety, water safety and community service work.

Trip leaders must be at least 21-years-old with a clean driving record, Wilderness First Aid, CPR and Lifeguard certifications.

Support Staff


Coniston has 3 Registered Nurses working each session. The infirmary staff works together with a charge nurse to originate, update and monitor health care, maintain records, and keep up-to-date reports on each child and staff member for ACA standards, NH resident camp standards, YMCA standards and insurance purposes.

These positions can rotate for one session only or for multiple sessions. Often our nursing staff utilizes the camp benefit of their children gaining the full Camp Coniston experience.


Our kitchen staff has their own scheduling system. Positions include cook, baker, prep-cook, dining room manager, and dishwashers. We have international staff living at camp and working on the team. We have many staff that live on-site, but also have other staff who live locally and commute to camp either full time or part time.


Our out–of-cabin campers counselor is a day-sitter for children of camp staff that are too young to be in the traditional camp program (8-years and younger). This staff member can utilize the camp facilities as long as it does not interfere with the programs happening throughout the day.

Close communication with program directors about available activities is helpful. The daytime hours are 9am-5pm, and include eating meals with the children when needed. This position is Monday through Friday.


Other positions include vehicle drivers, laundry, security, and maintenance.