Camp Foster is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

Step 1: Watch the Staff Expectations Video (below): Grab a pen or pencil and make sure you watch the entire video. There is a question in the video that you will need to answer for your application.

Step 2: Fill out an on-line application!


Step 3: Check your email for the next part! Once you have submitted an application one of the Camp Foster staff team will email you with the next part of the application process and to set-up an interview.

Questions? Please contact Abbie Parker at abbie.parker@campfosterymca.com or 712-336-3272.

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.

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 8:45 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!

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.

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. Almost every staff will be granted a week-off during the summer. 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 work 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 may be dismissed if you break our policy.

Camp Foster’s summer schedule is based on 10.5 week 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):  May 29-June 15, 2019
First Day of Camp: June 16, 2019
Last Day of Camp: August 10, 2019

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. 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.

Minimum Age marked with (*) = Or completed a year of college, whichever comes first.

Camp Counselor 19* $215/week Responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of campers. Provide supervision, direction, and example in the camp environment. Counselors will work in both our overnight and day camp programs.
Overnight Camp Program Director (PD) 20 $250/week Must be flexible and able to motivate others. Assist in running the day-to-day operation of overnight camp alongside the camp director. Supervise staff, do scheduling, and create all-camp programs that are fun and exciting.
Day Camp Program Director (PD) 20 $250/week Must be flexible and able to motivate others. Assist in running the day-to-day operation of day camp alongside the day camp director. Supervise staff, do scheduling, and create all-camp programs that are fun and exciting.
Program Operations Coordinator 21 $250/week Assist the Summer Camp Director with supervising program areas and the coordinators that lead those areas. Would lead a leadership training and help with program area training during staff training. Must be flexible and be able to motivate others. Position would start in early May.
Project 130 Coordinator / Camp Counselor 19* $215/week POSITION FILLED
Ranch Coordinator 20 $220-$250/week Ultimately responsible for the total operation of the Ranch program. Care of 25+ horses, supervising staff and campers, instruction of our riding program, maintenance, and leading trail rides.
Assistant Ranch Coordinator 19* $220/week POSITION FILLED
Wrangler / Camp Counselor 19* $215/week Work with horses daily! Lead trail rides, help with our riding program, and care for horses. Will also have camp counselor duties.
Waterfront Coordinator 20 $220-$250/week POSITION FILLED
Assistant Waterfront Coordinator 19* $220/week POSITION FILLED
Waterski Instructor / Camp Counselor 19* $215/week Responsible for instructing campers on how to waterski, wakeboard, knee board, etc. Will also have camp counselor responsibilities. Must be a lifeguard or willing to be certified and familiar with Iowa boating regulations.
Sailing Coordinator / Camp Counselor 19* $215/week POSITION FILLED
Pool Coordinator 20 $220-$250/week Direct total operation of a large, outdoor pool. Instruct morning programming, supervise lifeguards, and perform routine maintenance. Must be lifeguard certified or willing to be lifeguard certified.
Climbing Coordinator 20 $220-$250/week Responsible for total operation of the challenge course (low & high ropes). Will teach and/or supervise staff in operation of low and high ropes facilitation. Will also have counselor duties.
Shooting Sports Coordinator 20 $220-$250/week Responsible for total operation of Camp Foster’s archery, riflery, bb guns, atlatls, and paintball programs. Will teach and/or supervise staff in operation of these program areas. Will also have counselor duties.
Dining Hall & Dish Dawg coordinator 19* $220-$250/week Oversee the daily operations of the dining hall. Train staff and campers on waiter duties, composting, and cleanliness. Manage the dish washing staff each week by creating their weekly schedule, training, and jumping in where needed. All while maintaining a fun and safe program.
Rec Lodge Coordinator 19* $220/week POSITION FILLED
Media Coordinator 19* $215/week Responsible for taking photos and videos, updating social media, and uploading photos to Foster’s photo site. Will help create end of the week slideshows and creating promotional material for off-season use.
Traveler Coordinator 20 $225-$250/week Responsible for our 6-10 year old campers. Will supervise traveler activity facilitators, traveler programming, and check-in on tween counselors daily. Will have traveler counselor duties.
Tween Coordinator 20 $220-$250/week POSITION FILLED
Teen Coordinator 20 $220-$250/week Responsible for our teen campers. Will organize PG-13 program sign-ups, supervise teen activity facilitators and programing, and check in daily with teen counselor. Will have teen counselor duties.
TEAM Leader Coordinator 21 $220-$250/week Assist the Summer Camp Director with providing direction to our TEAM Leader program that serves our 17 year old campers. Would create weekly schedules, facilitate leadership trainings, and organize community service activities. Will also have summer camp counselor duties.
Foster Corps Coordinator 21 $220-$250/week Assist the Summer Camp Director with providing direction to our Foster Corps program that serves our 18 year old campers. Would create weekly schedules, communication prior to camp for Foster Corps members, and daily check-ins. Would lead leadership training for Foster Corps members while here on site. Will also have summer camp counselor duties.
Health Coordinator 19* $215/week Responsible for the day to day operations of keeping Camp Foster safe and healthy. Work alongside the volunteer nurse in providing first aid, relaying health needs of campers to staff, and creating a nurturing environment in the health lodge and around camp.
Store Coordinator 19* $215/week Responsible for organizing the store, keeping track and ordering merchandise, and managing camper store accounts. Will also have counselor duties.
Care Package/Mail Coordinator 19* $215/week POSITION FILLED
Bus Driver 20 Dependent on hiring status Responsible for the day to day bussing needs of Camp Foster. Position can be hourly OR can be a summer salary (live-on site) position.
Head Cook 21 Dependent on hiring status Responsible for the total operation of Camp Foster’s kitchen and food service. Will work in all facets of the kitchen. Will create a safe, fun, and team oriented atmosphere. Must have Servsafe certification, or willing to obtain. Living on or off-site is an option.
Kitchen Staff 18 Dependent on hiring status Will help in all areas of the kitchen operation from food preparation, serving, and clean-up. Must have Servsafe certification, or willing to obtain. Living on or off-site is an option.
Seasonal Programming Positions 19* Dependent on hiring status Join us in May as we provide programming to school groups, family camps, and others. Program facilitators will lead programs such as archery, riflery, canoeing, horseback riding, climbing, low ropes, team building, and more. Training is provided and mandatory — Dates TBD. Ideal candidate can start in early May.