How can a job at Walden help build your future?

Working at a children’s overnight summer camp is a great resume builder for any future professional endeavor. As a Child Development Specialist, you’ll build and hone skills in:

  • Team building and Collaboration
  • Leadership and Decision Making
  • Problem Solving and Behavior Management
  • Communication with people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds
  • Creativity–develop innovative and fun ways to engage an audience.

Internships/College credit

Because of the vast skill set required of a camp counselor, we can fashion internships for virtually any major, from accounting to forestry management. Scott and Liz both have master’s degrees and can supervise learning contracts as needed. Internships are paid.

In some quarters the job of summer camp counselor is seen as “taking a summer off” or perhaps doing something before you get “serious.” In fact, when you come to Walden you will be working as a Child Development Specialist–a job that provides a challenging and formative experience where you will have a major impact on the lives of your campers. At the same time you will be gaining invaluable life and job skills, building your resume and forming meaningful, life-long relationships.

To be eligible to work at Walden for summer 2023, applicants must be fully vaccinated against covid-19, including any recommended booster doses, by June 1.

Walden Counselor/Activity Instructor 2023 job description

June 17 to August 12

Walden counselors live with their campers and co-counselors and are responsible for mentoring and caring for the campers in their assigned cabin.  In addition to cabin life, counselors will teach at activity periods during the day.  Counselors are generally hired for their particular skill set in one or more of the following areas:

Athletics—Tennis, Baseball, Basketball, Softball, Archery, Fencing, Soccer, Lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball
Waterfront—Canoe, Kayak, Sailing, Stand-Up Paddle Board, Ski/Wakeboard, Swim Instruction
Arts & Crafts—Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Tie-Dye, Batik, Lapidary, Jewelry Making, Sewing, Sculpting and more
Media—Photography (B&W and Digital), Radio/Podcasting, Videography, Walden Pond (daily newspaper)
Performing Arts—Theater, Drama, Improv, Jam band
Outdoor Life—Farm/Garden, Animal Care, Outdoor Cooking, Hikes and Trips
Tripping—taking campers on overnight trips around Northern Michigan

Counselors must have at least one year of college or the equivalent, have a desire to work with children, be willing to work as part of a team, and have an appreciation for nature, including principles of conservation and environmental stewardship.

is walden right for you?

Camp Walden hires approximately 75 cabin counselors each summer who form the backbone of our program. These counselors mentor, instruct, and care for Walden campers day and night—a job that both requires and enhances communication and problem-solving skills, as well as creativity and patience. To decide whether Walden is right for you, read our Staff Brochure and continue exploring our Website. If Walden’s program, philosophy, and high standards align with your idea of an exciting and worthwhile summer job, then please fill out an application!

In general, we are looking for counselors who:

  • Seek experience working with children and teens as positive role models, helping them to learn new activity skills as well as develop their resilience, empathy, and social skills.
  • Possess experience studying, coaching, or participating in camp activities—waterfront, arts, sports, etc.—and feel confident in their ability to teach campers who possess beginner to intermediate skill levels.
  • Enjoy working outdoors in a natural, low-tech setting. (Staff have access to their phones and to internet on their off time.)
  • Value diversity, equity and inclusion. See our DEI statement on this website and in the Staff Brochure.
  • Can attest that they are mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to perform the duties required of Walden staff..


diversity, equity, inclusion

Walden understands that a relevant camp community requires the harmonies of many voices—not only those that inspire, but also those that instruct and challenge. We strive to be a camp where diversity is celebrated and supported, and where each camper and staff member is provided the resources and opportunities to succeed. Our mission of teaching empathy and respect is incomplete if it only serves those who think and look like we do. We believe that our camp can be anyone’s camp, and that our greatest strength lies therein.

Walden is an Equal Opportunity Employer that hires qualified staff regardless of their race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law.