Camp Counselor

Penikese Island School seeks 3 Camp Counselors for the 2022 summer season.


Type/Department: Direct Care/Island Staff

Reporting: Reports to Camp Coordinator while on-island; otherwise reports to Camp Director.


Penikese Island School hosts a series of week-long residential Science + Nature Camps for middle-school girls on Penikese Island’s 75-acre preserve. Camp sessions will run from July 11 - August 20. The goal of these camp sessions is to empower girls in the sciences by providing them with role models of women in STEM in an effort to help end gender imbalance in the sciences. Campers will learn about the ecology and natural history of the Elizabeth Islands, and the varied history of Penikese Island. The cornerstone of this experience is the opportunity to engage with female scientists from nearby, world-renowned Woods Hole scientific institutions. Each week visiting scientists and artists will share hands-on activities and artistic endeavors with campers.

Each 6-day/5-night session is focused on STEAM activities and outdoor educational programming for 12 middle school-aged girls. Campers and staff reside together on a remotely located island/wildlife sanctuary 15 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. During camp sessions, counselors and campers live together in rustic accomodations on Penikese Island. Counselors will assist guest scientist and artist activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and run additional science, art, and recreational activities on Wednesdays and Fridays. On Mondays, Counselors will help campers to become acquainted with the island and settle into their accommodations. On Saturdays, Counselors will assist campers in preparing to leave the island. Counselors are also responsible for helping with meals, overseeing camper chores, and running recreational games. Counselors serve as leaders and role models for campers. We seek counselors who are fun, creative, and energetic, with a proven interest in youth education & STEAM programming. 


  • Carry out all policies and procedures related to the overall care of the campers, camp program, the island and its facilities. 

  • Teach and lead campers through STEAM activities on Wednesdays and Fridays, with guidance from the camp programming team. 

  • Lead other daily activities, games, and recreation.

  • Assist the Steward with preparation of group meals and camper chores. 

  • Interact personally with each camper every day. 

  • Assist guest instructors as needed in their STEAM lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • Participate in daily staff “check-in” supervision meetings with Camp Coordinator and Steward. 

  • Additional duties may be assigned by the Camp Coordinator or Island Steward.

  • Awake overnight duty may be required. 

  • Complete all mandated training sessions prior to the start of camp. 

  • Be knowledgeable about camp policies and procedures, particularly emergency situations, health and safety matters. 

  • Be knowledgeable about policies and procedures described in the Employee Handbook and Camper/Parent Handbook. 

  • Be knowledgeable about the broad mission of the Penikese Island School. 

  • Model exemplary behavior and attitudes consistent with the philosophy and integrity of PIS. 


Our summer residential camp is located off-shore on 75-acre Penikese Island, an undeveloped “off-the-grid” environment featuring rocky, uneven terrain and tidal beaches. Travel is provided on the school’s 35’ power boat. The island itself is a wildlife sanctuary that is host to a large gull colony that creates a loud bird presence. Camp work requires physically demanding activities including, but not limited to, stairs, hiking, lifting and carrying. Counselors serve as members of adult staff teams working in a series of 6-day/5-night sessions. Together, with the Island Steward and Camp Coordinator, this staff team of five will meet incoming campers Monday morning at the shore-based office, traveling to and living on Penikese Island together until Saturday morning, returning with the campers at noon on Saturday.  Each staff member will have Saturday afternoon and Sundays off.  Living conditions on the island are rustic and in close-quarters: electricity is limited to a few solar powered LED lights and charging cables, nighttime lighting is provided mainly by oil lanterns, bathrooms are shared CLIVUS composting toilets, campers and counselors share one indoor and one outdoor shower. Although Penikese Island is fully connected with WiFi, we have intentionally created a device-free environment for campers.  Staff will have use of their devices during their down-time, out of view of campers. Daily work schedules can be unpredictable due to the nature and location of the program. Penikese offers “at-will” employment, providing no specified contract to employees.

Minimum Education/Skills/Experience: 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age and eligible for legal employment in the United States. 

  • High school diploma or equivalent required; rising sophomore, junior, or senior in college or age equivalent preferred. 

  • Must enjoy spending time outdoors.

  • Previous experience in youth education and/or outdoor programming required (at least four weeks previous experience as a counselor or junior counselor, have participated in structured group camping, or have at least four weeks experience in a supervisory role with children).

  • Current CPR and First Aid certification required (may be acquired after applying for the job, but before camp begins).

  • Acceptable CORI report (criminal record check) & SORI (sex offender record check) is required and will be submitted by Penikese Island School.

  • Must be available to participate fully in all weeks of camp sessions offered (July 11 - August 20) as well as pre-camp online certifications and a 3-day orientation and training July 6-8.

Other desirable attributes: 

  • STEAM background or outdoor education background preferred.

  • Previous residential camp experience preferred.

  • Current Wilderness First-Responder and/or Lifeguard certification highly desirable.


At Penikese Island School, we celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We hire people based on an evaluation of their capabilities, competence and merit. We do not discriminate on the basis of any other personal characteristic, identification or classification. Penikese is a proud Equal Opportunity workplace and an Affirmative Action employer.


1.00 Seasonal


$750-900/week, based on experience and certifications