Where is Camp Howe?
Camp Howe is about two hours from Boston in the wooded area of Goshen, Massachusetts. The camp is located on 52 acres on the edge of the D.A.R. State Forest. The nearest body of water is right at our toe-tips. It's a lake called Lower Highland Lake.
How do I get to camp?
Drive: For Directions, check out our contact us page.
Fly: The nearest airport is Bradley International Airport. We can arrange for rides from these airport.
Bus: You can take a bus from New York City. From New York you can take the Greyhound Bus to Northampton Ma.
Train: You can take an Amtrak train from New York City to Northampton Ma.
We work hard to connect staff so that you may travel to camp together.
Where do staff come from?
We have 1 year round administrative staff. Summer administrative staff increases to about total. There are 140 campers or so during each session. There are about 50 staff members. Staff come from all over. We hire locally, nationally and internationally. Our staff are very diverse and multi-cultural and we encourage you to bring your culture with you. Each country and individual US state will have a flag raised at camp and we like to have each country represented share their national anthem so be prepared! Therefore, we encourage you to bring with you anything that may help you in this - music, pictures, slides, or posters, samples of money, books, clothing, stories, recipes...Your sharing is very important to us.
Where will I be living?
Camp Howe's rustic cabins are all-wood construction, with screens, doors and have bunk capacity from 10 to 24 beds in each cabin, providing a total of 160 beds. The unheated cabins are equipped with lights, electricity, bunks and mattresses. Although mattresses are provided, staff members should bring their own bedding, ideally a sleeping bag. The camp is separated into boy and girl's units each with centralized bathhouses with toilets and hot showers.
Do I need camp experience?
Preference is given to individuals that have participated in a structured camp in the past. If you do not have this experience, you must have at least four weeks experience in a supervisory role with children.
Will I be given any training?
Yes – tons! Our staff orientation or “pre-camp” runs for approximately 10-14 days before the first group of campers arrives. We will give you a lot of information about working with campers, leading activities, and behavior management. All staff will receive CPR and first aid during camp training. One of the most important thing that will happen during staff training is that you will become a team with your co-workers, and we will be a united group ready to welcome campers and get camp off to an amazing start!
At what age do you hire staff?
Our staff is quite unique as the majority of our staff are over the age 21. We hire staff new to Camp Howe after their 18th birthday having graduated school, preferably with a year of university/ college or life experience. Our Junior Counselors are 17 are are graduates of our Counselor In Training.
What will an average day be like?
Is there such a thing? Generally, action begins around 6:30 a.m. (Polar Bear at 7:00 a.m.) when you wake campers. Breakfast is served at 8:00 a.m. and often campers do their housekeeping chores after breakfast. The rest of the morning is for activities you plan with the kids or a scheduled activity like swimming. You may teach outdoor skills or plan crafts followed by a game time or hike. Perhaps you will plan a picnic or cookout instead of lunch in the dining hall. We encourage a rest hour after lunch for napping, writing letters, or doing other quiet activities. Your afternoon may include swimming lessons and getting ready for an overnight. Supper in the dining hall is at 6:00 p.m. In the evening, you may have a meeting to plan more activities, have an after supper swim or have the nature consultant help your group with a night hike or stargazing. Making ice cream or having a campfire on a lazy evening are other possibilities. The children head for bed around 9:00 p.m for our younger campers and 10:30 for our older campers.
Doesn't it all sound nice? Now you add the challenges: a homesick camper, a child with a cut finger, a very hot or rainy day, you feel hot and tired, the boys don't want to go to sleep. . I must tell you - this is very demanding work! There are days when you may feel out of sorts then still have campers who are counting on you. The hours are long, you often get dirty, and there are days when it seems that everything goes wrong or that there's no time for yourself. You may be asked to do all kinds of things - take a sick child to the infirmary, help out at the waterfront, gather supplies for an activity, do one more thing when all you want to do is sit down-- and still we ask what may seem impossible - for you to keep good spirits and carry on. If you're looking for an easy summer vacation, this may not be the job for you. If you are looking for a challenge, a chance to make a difference in a child's life, and to meet many different kinds of people and live in a caring and accepting community then you've come to the right place!
What do summer staff wear?
Staff are free to wear their own comfortable clothing while working at camp. The only exception is opening and closing day in which you are to wear the staff shirt provided coupled with a pair of tan shorts.
What should I pack?
Check out the camper packing list as you will essentially need what they will. We provide sheets and towels to staff from out of state or country.
Where do I do my laundry?
There is laundry facilities onsite free of charge.
What do I do with my valuables while at camp?
We recommend that you leave most valuables at home. For the things you need to bring such as passports, money etc we provide a locker for you in the staff shack.
What is the weather like in Massachusetts?
A common quote around New England is, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!” The weather changes dramatically from really hot sunny days to cooler rainy days. . We have mostly sunny and warm days and cool evenings. Staff orientation days in June can be a bit cool, so we recommend a sweater. Definitely remember to pack a rain jacket too!
Is there Internet access at camp?
Yes. We have free wireless access available to you during your time off but be prepared it isn't super fast.
Will my cell phone work at camp?
Yes. Most people find that they get decent cell signal at camp.
Will I get time off?
Every staff will get two hours off a day and at least 24 hours off a week (often 36 hours and mid summer - Thursday night through to Sunday Morning). There is a 11pm curfew when camp is in session for the safety of all. Trust us, you will need your sleep!
What about days off?
Every staff will get one day off a week. Multiply times per summer the camp completely closes and staff have from Friday night to Sunday Morning.
What is there to do during my time off?
We provide staff with a staff lounge for staff to hang out. Staff usually connect online or watch movies. Staff are also welcome to enjoy camp activities if the appropriate supervision is available.
On your nights off you may enjoy going to a local restaurant, movie theatre or ice cream shop. There is also a large outlet mall not too far away. Northampton and Amherst are our closest towns, both college towns and has much to offer.
For weekends off, we organize trips to areas of interest of the staff – local amusement park, Boston, Outlet Malls – just to name a few.
Will I receive training?
Yes... a lot of it. We provide certifications in lifeguarding, archery, first aid, CPR, mental health first aid and trainings in program facilitation. We also cover topics pertinent to working with you - group management, communication, team building (just to name a few) all wrapped up in staff only time filled with games, role playing and practice.
What skills will I gain or improve upon.
Group Facilitation and debreifing
Boundaries and Expectations
Collaborative problem solving
and much much more.
When will I be paid?
Your salary is for a period starting at the arrival of the first campers and ending two to six days after the last camper leaves. In addition to your counselor and program instruction duties, all staff members participate in preparation for the camp season, including setting up your cabins, setting up equipment and outfitting the waterfront.
Your salary, negotiated in advance and stated in your contract, is based on your responsibilities, skill levels, and experience. The full salary is for a full seasons work. It typically falls between $2300 and $3300 depending on experience for front line staff. If you are required to leave for any reason, your salary will be prorated on the basis of number of full days worked divided by the number of full days in the full season. During the summer season there will be equal payment every two weeks
How do I cash my paychecks during the summer?
Your salary will be direct deposited in to your bank accounts. If you need to set up a bank account, we help with that.
What if I have special dietary needs?
If you have any special dietary needs, we will try hard to provide you with a healthy diet that meets your needs. We typically serve gluten free, vegetarian and lactose free meals.
What do I do if I have any questions?
Our staff slack group is a perfect place to get answers if you are already hired. You can also contact the Director, Executive or any of the leadership team.