Working at Camp

Welcome potential and returning staff members! Below you will find important information about being on the summer staff at Camp Crystal Lake. If you have any additional questions, please call 855-651-2267 or email


Working at Camp



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Working at Camp

1. Where is Camp Crystal Lake?

  • Camp Crystal Lake is located in Clay County, Florida five miles North of Keystone Heights and 29 miles Northeast of Gainesville.


2. Where do the campers come from?

  • As a School Board owned camp, about 85% of our summer campers are from Alachua County. The remaining campers come from all over Florida, the United States and international locations.


3. Where does the staff come from?

  • We are proud to say that many of our summer staff members are previous campers at CCL and/or teachers from Alachua County. Having a previous experience with CCL, however, is certainly not a requirement for employment. We welcome applications from all individuals who have a love for children and an interest in making a difference.


4. What are the responsibilities of a counselor?

  • Counselors work together to ensure the physical and emotional well being of all campers. Each day counselors teach four classes and have one period off for planning and rest. Counselors are also responsible for life guarding, cabin duty and rest hour duty. In addition, counselors serve as mentors for the CITs and as a result they are responsible for evaluating the CITs on a weekly basis.


5. Is CCL a structured or non-structured; competitive or non-competitive environment?

  • The whole issue of structured/non-structured and competitive/non-competitive is one that is destined for a great deal of misinformation and cross-claims by varying directors. In some ways, Camp Crystal Lake is a very “structured” camp. Our campers know what they will be doing each day and are expected to follow through with their camp schedules. On the other hand, CCL is considered less “structured” than some camps, because each camper’s program is scheduled individually, rather than by their cabin group.Competitive or non-competitive is another issue within the camping community. At Camp Crystal Lake, we participate in many activities that involve competition. Competition can be between cabins during evening activities, during games or sports played in classes or on the courts during flex-time. In all of these situations, emphasis is placed on fun and participation, not winning, and un-sportsman-like behavior is not tolerated.At Camp Crystal Lake we follow the “Challenge by Choice” philosophy. Counselors and campers encourage each other to take risks and grow in a positive setting based on individual abilities and goals.


6. What are the living arrangements like?

  • All of our counselors live with the campers in his or her cabin. The cabins are comfortable and have electricity and bathrooms. Each cabin holds 16-18 campers and 3-4 counselors.


7. How’s the food?

  • Campers, counselors and visitors tell us our food is great. We have PB&J and fresh fruit available to campers and counselors throughout the day. Lunch and dinner include an amazing salad bar, in addition to the hot meal. A hot vegetarian option is also available at lunch and dinner. We can accommodate many special dietary needs and/or food allergies. Please contact our office for more information.


8. Could you describe a “typical day” at camp?

  • For a counselor, a typical day at CCL starts with the wake up bell at 7:30am. Breakfast begins at 8:00am. After breakfast, you and your cabin work on cabin cleanup. Counselors and campers compete for the coveted “Cleanest Cabin Award” weekly. Before lunch, campers and counselors participate in three activities. After lunch, campers have rest hour, canteen and free swim or court sports. In the afternoon, campers and counselors participate in two more activities before dinner time. Following dinner, there will be an evening activity that will either be individualized for each cabin or a camp-wide activity. After evening activity is over, the camp day comes to a close and you help the campers prepare for lights out.


9. What about salary?

  • Salary is based on years of college education, age, experience and certifications.


10. What about time off and free time?

  • Counselors have one off-period a day. They also have free time after lights out, as long as they are not on cabin duty. Following one-week sessions and the commencement of two-week sessions, counselors have Friday afternoon, all of Saturday and Sunday morning off. Counselors only have a 24-hour off period for the weekends that fall within the two-week sessions.


11. How do the jobs of Adventure and Residential Counselors compare?

  • While both Adventure and Residential Counselors are responsible for the physical and emotional well being of all campers in their care, Adventure Counselors must be able to appreciate the experience of “roughing it” in the great outdoors without many of the comforts available to the Residential Camp.