Camp Foster YMCA is a 100+ year old program that allows kids to be kids! As a staff member you get to play outdoors, work with people from all over the world, spend every waking moment with children, and rise to the challenges of being a professional role model by following the values of respect, responsibility, caring, honesty, and fairness. You’ll learn important on the job skills that you will use in ANY future career. Camp is a great addition to your resume. It is a job where YOU get to make a different in the world!

OUR MISSION: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

What kind of experience with kids do I need?

As long as you enjoy being around kids, you do not need lots of experience. We require all staff to attend trainings before the kids get here that will teach you the ins and out of Camp Foster and how to best work with kids.

I need an internship, can working at Camp Foster count?

Absolutely! We think camp is the best internship you will ever have! We will work with you to meet your needs for an internship. We just ask that you work with your advisor to get us what you need to make it happen. Whether that is connecting us with your program of study, getting us the correct paperwork, or setting up an appointment to discuss how camp can fit your internship needs. We will work with ANY major of study to create an internship as long as it helps meet our program goals.

What kind of programs and activities do you offer at Camp Foster?

At Camp Foster we have both an overnight camp and a day camp. Overnight camp is a week-long camp for kids ages 6 to 17. Most camper’s only come for one week at a time. Day camp is a week-long program where kids ages 4-13 come daily from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We offer a variety of activities to our campers each day. Campers can enjoy climbing, canoeing, arts & crafts, archery, riflery, 9-square, gaga ball, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, riding horses, outdoor living skills, sports, science activities, cooking, pottery, makerspace, dance, drama, music, teambuilding, and much more. As a staff member you will elect different activities to learn how to facilitate and then be scheduled weekly to share these skills with campers.

Tell me about the kids…

Our campers come from all over the country and the world! Many are multi-generational campers and some are coming for the very first time. We serve kids from age 4 all the way to age 18. As a member of our team we try our best to have you work with a variety of age groups throughout the summer so you can have different experiences. Each age group brings different challenges and rewards!

Is this a paid job? (It sounds too good to be true!)

Yes! We expect you to play, have fun, and enjoy working with kids all while earning a salary. You also will have room and board provided for you throughout your contracted period of employment.

Do I get time off? What about days off?

Yes. Each Camp Foster staff member gets time off during our weekly session. You get a break each day and a 24-hour time period off during the weekend.

While we prefer to hire camp staff who can work for the entirety of the contracted season, we know you have events outside the camp calendar. We will work with you and your schedule to see how it will meet our needs and yours. If you need time off during the summer please indicate that in your interview. We will work with you in the event of any emergencies that happen during the summer season.

What’s the living situation like?

Camp counselors who are assigned to live in a cabin with kids will share a space with up to 12 campers and another camp counselor. Most camper cabins are carpeted, air conditioned, and many have a bathroom facility in them. All cabins are a short walk from the centrally located bathroom and shower facility. Staff not assigned to an overnight cabin will live in staff housing, which is separate from the campers. Housing is available for all staff.

Are meals provided?

Yes! Anytime camp is in session you will enjoy meals prepared by the kitchen staff alongside the campers. Vegetarian options are available and we will work with you on any other dietary needs. Our camp is peanut free! If you have any food allergies, please let us know right away so we can let our kitchen staff know.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Yes and no. On certain days of the week (like check-in for example) we will provide you with a camp staff t-shirt and name tag that is to be worn with your own khaki colored bottoms. Other than that, you can wear your regular clothes during the camp week. We just ask that it is activity and kid appropriate. You are a ROLE MODEL and the kids will wear what you wear…

What does going “unplugged” mean?

At Camp Foster we have an unplugged policy that means any wifi connected device (cell phone, tablet, laptop, kindle, etc.) are not allowed at camp. We want our campers to create REAL relationships and have ACTUAL conversations without the glow of a screen. As a staff member this means we want you to help role model this and then enforce the rule with campers. So we ask that you keep your wifi connected devices out of sight so they are out of mind. You may keep your electronic devices in non-camper areas such as our staff lounge so you can have access to it on your breaks.

What is your drug and alcohol policy?

Camp Foster is a drug, alcohol, and tobacco/vaping free place of employment. We work hard day in and day out and being under the influence is not something we tolerate as it will affect your work performance. You will be dismissed if you break our policy.

Camp Foster’s summer schedule is based on 11 weeks of employment. Staff training is required to attend. A one-week vacation (unpaid) is available to most staff positions. We will be flexible with time off.

Staff Training (Mandatory):  June 2-12, 2021
First Day of Camp: June 13, 2021
Last Day of Camp: August 7, 2021

Training Opportunities:

Camp Foster offers the following FREE certifications as a benefit to selected staff members. If you are interested in these opportunities please note that on your application.

Challenge Course: This training will teach you to safely lead the high ropes challenge course at Camp Foster. Learn to belay, facilitate debriefing conversations, and set-up/tear-down of the challenge course. Must be comfortable with heights. This is a 4-day course.

Lifeguarding Course: Through hands-on practice, you’ll learn teamwork, rescue and surveillance skills, first aid and CPR/AED and other skills to become a waterfront certified lifeguard. Lifeguard training participants must be able to complete the pre-req swim test of 550 yards, tread water for 2 minutes using just legs, complete a timed swim event, and swim submerged for a short distance. This is a blended learning class, with pre-course work done on-line prior to the start of staff training. The skill portion of the class will be onsite. This is a 6-day course (which includes the on-line training).

Waterski Instructor Course: Through hands-on practice, you’ll learn how to be a Camp Foster water sports instructor. You’ll get boat driving experience and learn Iowa boating regulations. Must be a certified lifeguard to go through the training (you can become lifeguard certified at CF to go through this course). This is a 2-day course.

Ranch Training Course: Learn how to safely handle and instruct Camp Foster’s riding program and horses. This is a 2-day course.

First Aid/CPR/AED Training: Gain your certification in this Red Cross class. This a 1-day course.

Staff positions at Camp Foster YMCA require a positive attitude, willingness to put the needs of others ahead of your own, be flexible and creative, willing to work hard for long periods of time, and be a team player. Camp Foster is an equal opportunity employer.