Summit staff are individuals who come from within the USA as well as all over the globe to provide our campers and travelers with an excellent, safe, positive summer experience.
Summit hires staff that work in a variety of capacities:
Counselors; individuals who are 20+ years of age, have experience working with special populations, and demonstrate a belief in the inclusive, human-centered approach to working with children and special needs individuals.
Specialist Instructors; individuals who are 19+ years of age that have experience in teaching or coaching a specific skill set such as arts, computers, sports, swimming, drama, daily living skills, social development, and more.
Program support staff; individuals who are 19+ years of age that help support our camp programs- lifeguards, photographers, certified belay instructors, assistants to our head counselors, art teachers, and more.
Camp support staff; individuals 19+ who work in the maintenance, kitchen, office, and housekeeping essential areas.
Medical staff; licensed professionals including RN/LPN that provide medication management and distribution on camp as well as treating illness, injury, and generally being supportive to the camp community.
All staff coming to our camp complete a thorough application, which includes skype or in person interview, reference and background check, and examination of skill in the area applied (such as providing a current certification).
International staff must receive a cleared background check from their country of origin and a J1 counselor or support staff VISA approved by the US State Department. Returning International staff will also undergo additional FBI fingerprint background check on a 3 year basis.
American staff will be given a series of background checks required by Summit in addition to those required by the State of Pennsylvania, starting at the initiation of their application:
-US State Department National Sex Offender Database Clearance
-National Criminal Conviction Database Clearance (based from SSN & State of Origin)
-Childline Child Abuse History Clearance
-FBI Fingerprint Background Check Clearance
-PA State Criminal Check Clearance
Once at Camp: Orientation
As our staff come to our camp to work in a variety of roles, there are also a variety of orientation programs and start dates that relate to the specific role they will perform at camp.
Senior staff, such as supervisors, area heads, and directors will arrive in early June to work intensively on goal programs for the upcoming season, setting up the physical location of camp, and engage in dialogue and training related to the supervisory goals for the summer season.
Support staff and medical staff will arrive as many as 2.5 weeks earlier than any other staff to begin a logistical and technical orientation in addition to beginning the set up of the physical camp location.
All waterfront and adventure program staff will arrive one week prior to general camp orientation to participate in a certification program (American Red Cross Lifeguarding and Ropes Course Certification) specific to their team. Employees must complete the certification course regardless of whether they are currently certified elsewhere, and/or certified at Summit the year before; it is considered a fundamental part of the training and team building required to successfully support these program areas.
Specialist teachers will arrive 4 days prior to general orientation to receive time to appropriate coordinate their location and better learn the logistics of the teaching role requirements.
General Orientation will begin 1 week and 1 day prior to the start of the camp season for campers. General orientation will cover, for new counselors, a logistical component of learning about our facilities and programs; intensive training on our mission in working with children and teens, team building, and additional activities that confirm the suitability of the staff for our program. Returning counselors will be given leadership duties to encourage professional development, will help in providing team building and other necessary aspects of the camp program, and will receive updated and fresh opportunities to renew and improve knowledge of working with special populations.
During Camp Season
Once camp season is near to begin, the staff will receive the first of their weekly full days off. Counselors and specialist program staff will be given their assigned unit, bunk groups, and supervisor as part of the orientation process, so they will coordinate and compose the structures for the bunk prior to the campers’ arrival.
Counselors work in trio groups assigned to a bunk of 8 campers. At least two counselors live in the bunk with the campers; a female counselor may be assigned to a male bunk and live in nearby staff housing, as well. Specialist staff are also assigned to live in a bunk and help with daily bunk duties: helping children prepare themselves for activities, daily hygiene, keeping the bunk tidy, and so forth.
It is the aim for a working staff trio or group to remain consistent throughout the summer to whatever extent possible, however, if bunks shift from one session to the next session there are opportunities where staff will need to shift as well. Parents are always informed of counseling groups and will receive updates directly from their camper’s staff by phone during the session.
General Outlook on Staffing
It is our goal in creating a community for our campers and our staff that is inclusive, open, positive, and in which all members feel appreciated and valued for their unique contribution. Providing a staff environment that condones these values is one of the primary factors in teaching and enabling staff to provide this to our campers and travelers. All members of our community, therefore, are given- and expected to show- respect for themselves, one another, and the campers in their care.