Work Hard, Play Hard

Want to teach people to waterski? Take guests on hikes through Desolation Wilderness? Spend the afternoon on the lake with your kids group? The short list includes counselors for kids from ages 3 to 18, individual instructors, and specialty positions like kitchen staff, ski dock instructors, photographers, and more. See below for a complete list of work opportunities! When you fill out your application, you'll name your top picks. We're also open to creating a position based on any particular skill or idea you may have, so go for it!

So what can you do at Stanford Sierra Camp?


KIDS' COUNSELORS                                       INDIVIDUAL INSTRUCTORS                                  SPECIALTY POSITIONS

Be a Kids' Counselor!

Thirty-one Kids' Counselors provide organized children's activities every day at Camp. It is each Kids' Group Leader's responsibility to help design a weekly program that's exciting and entertaining for the counselors and the children alike. Activities are aimed at educating children about the environment in creative ways and may include hikes, games, arts and crafts, boating, story telling, campfires, and anything else you can dream up. Prior experience working with kids is helpful; creativity, flexibility, enthusiasm, and the ability to work well in a group are essential.

MUNCHKINS (4 counselors) Ages 3-4

These tiny tikes are adorable but unpredictable. They can be playful and imaginative, but also require cuddling and flexibility when left without Mom or Dad. Munchkin counselors are storytellers, crayon artists, and graham cracker with apple juice connoisseurs who are patient and love little ones. 

SNOOPERS (5) Ages 5-6

Among other things, Snoopers are known for being active and wonderfully imaginative. These kids live for Dr. Seuss, wacky games, and entertaining counselors who want to be wild and spontaneous (just like the Snoops) in their programming. While these kids are of school age, they still require close supervision.

MENEHUNES (5) Ages 7-8
These kids are energetic, curious, and imaginative and have a way easier time being separated from their parents than they do from their counselors. If you prefer a certain modicum of insanity in your daily life, the Hunes could be for you. 

YAHOOS (5) Ages 9-10
These kids have an extraordinary amount of energy and are quick to make their presence known around camp with loud and crazy chants. Yahoos love hearing stories, playing games, figuring things out, but also really enjoy having counselors who are willing to listen and converse with them. 

MIDOREES (5) Ages 11-12 
These kids are still young enough to be every bit as hyper as the Yahoos or Menehunes, but they are also old enough to begin doing more challenging activities. They have gained some maturity so they might pretend to know it all, but you know better. They are still quite impressionable and truly value learning from and with their counselors. 

SUAVES (4) Ages 13-14
Suaves are super social and tend to travel in packs. They love getting to know each other and their counselors. The trick is to challenge them to develop deeper friendships and encourage them to try new things. Brush up on your pop culture and get ready to be a role model. Each week includes an overnight hike.

TEENS (3) Ages 15-18 
Teens love having down-to-earth counselors that can entertain and really get to know them as young adults. From weekly overnight hikes to creative and engaging daily activities, the Teens are a blast and expect to be challenged on a daily basis. Whatever the situation, get ready to maintain college-age maturity while still being that “cool” counselor.

Be an Individual Instructor!

In general, these positions require instructors to develop and implement their own programs. While all staff members interact with children daily, leaders of these programs tailor their activities towards adults. Many of these positions will have more than half of their scheduled hours in non-program specific jobs, such as lifeguarding, boat dock, or dining room. It is possible to combine these jobs to fit your interests.

Art instruction is intended for adults and includes lots of interesting conversation. Share your love of art with guests of all abilities, from total neophytes to professional illustrators. The Art Instructor should be competent in a variety of media such as watercolors, pastels, oils, and charcoal, but most important are a desire to take creative ownership of the program and an excitement for teaching others.

Adult guests like interacting with you as much as learning the crafts you teach. Share your craftiness with guests of all abilities and create your own projects to wow their week. Crafts in the past have included pine needle baskets, batik, pysanka, pottery, stained glass, clock-making, and more. We encourage innovation -- take it away!

Got a flair for the dramatic? The Improv Instructor leads Improv workshops throughout the week for guests of all ages, and also plays a major role in leading the weekly Improv show. Patience, an ability to work with both kids and adults, and a knack for thinking on your feet are a must!

The Hiking Leader organizes and leads three adult hikes each week, and helps guests plan and organize their own excursions in nearby Desolation Wilderness. Backcountry safety and wilderness skills are important. 

The Music Director directs the weekly a cappella program for adult guests, belts his/her heart out at the weekly campfire, sings with the little tots, and joins in with other staffers at the Friday barbecue. Patience, spunk, and a love for teaching are crucial for this position. 

“Is this is a White pine or Jeffery pine?” is just one of the many wilderness questions the Naturalist has to be ready to tackle. Duties include weekly nature hikes for both adults and children. Past Naturalists have focused on lichens, water quality, local wildflowers, fire ecology, sustainability, solar power, geology of the Sierra Nevada, and more. The program is open to your expertise, as well as things you want to learn about! 

Love learning about the environment and working with kids? The Kids' Naturalist will work with kids' group leaders to develop educational environmental programming that utilizes Camp's beautiful location. He/she will spend 2-3 hours per week with each kids' group.

This instructor must be a climbing enthusiast who is able to teach adult and teenage guests safe climbing techniques. Safety is a primary concern, as are patience and the ability to motivate. 

This instructor should be able to teach using Camp's fleet of single shells and have patience with guests who wished they had better coordination. Instruction is intended for adults and other appreciators of early morning glass on the blissful waters of Fallen Leaf Lake.

This instructor teaches a variety of sailing clinics to adults and older children using Camp's Escapes, Lasers, JYs, Hunters, and Hobie Cats. Knowledge of sailboat maintenance is preferred; a positive attitude is required.

Having won Wimbledon is not as important as loving to teach. The tennis instructor runs weekly clinics and tournaments for adults and children. She/he must be enthusiastic, positive, and a skilled ball-feeder, and have a ton of drills up her/his sleeve at any moment.

This instructor spends much of the day in the sand! She/he leads several clinics open to all skill levels, focusing on putting the fun in fundamentals, as well as a weekly tournament. The grand finale of the week is the staff-guest volleyball match, a long-standing Camp tradition. 

Do you have the patience and experience that it takes to teach waterskiing or wakeboarding? Instructors help guests of all ages and skill levels enjoy these sports. How well you slalom is less important than how well you interact with people. Boating experience and knowledge of water safety are essential. 

From a serene deck overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake, this instructor guides guests of all levels in discovering yoga. Technical certification is not necessary, but the instructor should have knoweldge of several disciplines, and the ability to instruct up to ten hour-long sessions per week. 


What is more fun than whipping down the trails or road, feeling the wind against your face while surrounded by classic Sierra mountain scenery? Many of our guests live for this and bring their own bikes to camp. Mountain/road biking experience is a plus. The desire to make this program creative, fun, and unique is necessary.

Specialty Positions!

Do you think you can handle Stanford Sierra Camp's armada? The Boat Dock Coordinator is responsible for general maintenance of the Boat Dock and its fleet of sailboats, Funyaks, canoes, rowboats, sea kayaks, and peddle boats. Should be comfortable teaching and enforcing boat safety standards around the dock. 

The office is the nerve center of Camp. The Office Assistant helps write the daily information letter on what's happening at camp, answers phones, oversees guest check-in, and creates a friendly office environment. He/she must be Apple literate and willing to remain chipper working indoors at an outdoor-oriented camp.

The Photographer and Assistant Photographer capture Camp's events using digital SLRs, as well as taking family portraits, providing photo clinics, organizing sales, and creating an original slide show arranged to music at the end of each week. An outgoing and positive attitude is essential for both positions. The Photographers capture everything from basketball tournaments to sunsets to sun-soaked Munchkins.

An incredibly intense and vibrant space at Camp. Walking into the kitchen you can feel the love, the passion, and the energy it takes to create 1,000 meals a day. The kitchen crew is a tight group that enjoys an uninhibited workspace filled with dancing, laughing, mixing, mopping, and frying. The work might get repetitive, but the conversations won’t.


Or Be Something New!

SSC is an outdoor classroom where alumni and their families engage in the interests of our staffers. As the teacher, what new programs would you host? Past programs have included fly fishing, astronomy/star gazing, book discussions, music reviews, design thinking brainstorms, and creative writing workshops. Create your own position, and come tell us about it; we're always looking for innovation. Again, you can contact Staff Director Megan Calfas at with any questions!