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Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Employment at Education Camps

Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking male and female staff for four residential Environmental Education Camps. All four programs cater to campers who are 11 to 13 years old: Camp Colby near Saranac Lake and Pack Forest near Warrensburg both located in the Adirondacks, Camp DeBruce in the Catskill Mountains and Camp Rushford in Allegany County in western New York. In addition, Camp Pack Forest and Camp Rushford also offer a program for older students, ages 14 to 17. Campers arrive on Sunday afternoon and leave on Friday at 4:30 PM.

The four geographically diverse environmental education camps teach youth the importance of conservation. Well trained and hardworking staff are located at each camp. Their primary goal is to ensure the safety of all campers while teaching valuable lessons about the environment, and providing an opportunity for each camper to develop outdoor skills and knowledge.

Room and board are provided to all staff members. Employment at camp begins in mid June 2015 and ends mid-August 2015. All Camp Program Staff* - Directors, Counselors, Aides due to the nature of working at a residential summer camp are overtime ineligible and can earn a maximum of 40 hours of hourly pay at the rate described below.

Each Camp will have the following minimum counselor positions (some candidates may qualify for more than one area). All counselors, Directors and Assistant Directors must be certified in American Red Cross Responding to Emergencies or equivalent and in American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer or equivalent. Must have and maintain a current Driver's License.

Currently accepting applications for the following positions:
-Camp Cook
-Camp Counselors that are waterfront lifeguards
-Camp Counselors that have a water safety instructor certification (WSI)
Position Qualifications Salary
Camp Director** Bachelor's Degree, or be 25 years old, and have at least two full seasons as a Conservation Education Camp Counselor or one full season as a Conservation Education Camp Assistant Director. Bachelor's degree must be in the Natural or Physical Science Fields; Biological or Environmental Sciences; Recreation, Primary, Secondary or Special Education; or Environmental Education. Experience in a residential camp setting, outdoor pursuits in areas such as hiking, canoeing, backpacking, hunting, fishing, water safety and archery is required.

(1 per camp)
$20.38/hour
Assistant Camp Director ** One full season as a Conservation Education Camp Counselor AND at least two years of college or work experience in the Natural or Physical sciences Fields; Biological or Environmental Sciences; Recreation; Primary, Secondary or Special Education; or Environmental Education. Experience in outdoor pursuits in areas such as hiking, canoeing, backpacking, hunting, fishing, water safety and archery is required.

(1 per camp)
$17.85/hour
Health Director ** Physician*, nurse practitioner*, physician assistant*, registered nurse*, licensed practical nurse*, emergency medical technician or other person acceptable to the Department of Health permit-issuing official. (* To practice profession in New York State, must be NYS licensed).

CPR/AED certification acceptable to the Department of Health in its first year of certification.
NYS Driver's license (1 per camp)
$20.38/hour
Waterfront

Director/Counselor**
21 Years old, 2 seasons experience consisting of at least 12 weeks as a children's camp lifeguard at a pool or beach which had more than one lifeguard supervising it at a time or 18 weeks of previous experience as a lifeguard at a pool or beach, which had more than one lifeguard supervising it at a time. Must be currently certified in a DOH acceptable certification as a Waterfront Lifeguard and in Lifeguard Management and have a CPR/AED certification acceptable to the Department of Health in its first year of certification. Water Safety Instructor Certification although not required would be a recognized asset for this position. Current Driver's License. $17.85/hour
Camp Counselor ** Two years of college or work experience in natural resources, biological sciences, geology, environmental studies, environmental sciences, environmental education, outdoor recreation, elementary-middle-secondary-special education, or camp management. Conservation Education Camp Counselors depending upon individual assignments, certification in areas such as American Red Cross Water Safety Instruction or Life guard with Waterfront Module may be required. May be required to serve as camp health director alternate if they have New York State Emergency Medical Technician or higher level of certification, such as licensed practical nurse, registered nurse or physician's assistant. (8 per camp) $16.24/hour
Camp Cook

Three years of experience in the storage, preparation, cooking, and dispensing of food. An Associate's or higher level degree in a culinary field will substitute for a maximum of two years of the required experience.

A valid driver's license is preferred
$16.28/hour

Camp Aide 2*

18 years of age, have attended the DEC Camp program as a camper or volunteer, and have one year of college study or the completion of at least 24 semester credit hours. Must have and maintain a current driver's license. Conservation Education Camp Aide 2 must be certified in an approved CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer certification. The CPR/AED certification must be in its first year.
$12.53/hour
Camp Aide 1*

18 years of age and a High School Graduate and have attended the DEC Camp program as a camper or volunteer. They must have a current driver's license. Conservation Education Camp Aides must be certified in an approved CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer certification. The CPR/AED certification must be in its first year. A current Driver's license.


$11.00/hour

** These positions conduct and supervise campers on a 24-hour basis and are required to have certification in American Red Cross Responding to Emergencies and CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers or approved equivalent.

*These positions are required to have certification in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers or approved equivalent.

Please read the job descriptions for the available positions. We receive many applications for these positions; it is best to apply early. Interviews of qualified candidates will begin in the fall and continue until all positions are filled. Applicants possessing a valid drivers license, waterfront life guarding, WSI, EMT, and similar certifications are preferred. If you are interested in one of these positions, please submit a resume, college transcript and cover letter along with the DEC Employment Application (PDF) (137 Kb) to:

DEC Camps Employment
C/O Camps Administrator
625 Broadway; 3rd Floor
Albany, NY 12233-5256

or e-mail campemploy@dec.ny.gov

New York State is an equal opportunity employer.

If you do not meet the qualifications for your desired position you may be eligible for an unpaid internship with the camps program. For more information on the internships please request information from campemploy@dec.ny.gov

Camp Director

Camp Director has overall on-site responsibility for camp operations. In addition, the Camp Director is frequently called upon when camp is not in operation for facilities, staff and programmatic advice. They are assigned a wide variety of tasks and duties that must be performed to insure the efficient operation of the camp program.

Specific duties include, but not limited to:

  • develops and supervises a comprehensive training program for staff and volunteers;
  • supervises all camp staff that includes Assistant Director, Health Director, counselors, cook, food service workers and volunteers;
  • reviews and evaluates lesson plans and teaching techniques; suggests changes, additions and methods of educational effectiveness;
  • completes all required reports, inventories and forms;
  • promotes and maintains positive public relations with DEC Operations; health department, sponsors, campers, parents and local community; and
  • Counsels problem campers and contacts parents/guardians if needed.

Assistant Director

The Assistant Director's primary function is to support the duties of the Camp Supervisor. They take on a role of a program director by organizing program schedules for campers and staff as well as training staff in environmental education and recreation programming. The Assistant Supervisor helps to insure the health, safety, and welfare of all campers, volunteers and staff that reside at the camps.

Specific duties include, but not limited to:

  • Develops and submits weekly reports on camp operations, facility conditions, special events, safety inspections and the overall program
  • Monitor Environmental Education materials and equipment for wear and possible replacement
  • Fill in for Camp Supervisor as needed during times when they are not available. Work with camp staff to help with camp issues such as behavioral problems, homesickness, re-enforcing camp rules
  • Assist with the transportation of campers for off-site trips, visits to medical facilities, businesses for purchasing supplies
  • Evaluate camp volunteers and rate potential volunteers
  • Work with camp volunteers to ensure they are aware of programmatic boundaries and Department of Health rules
  • Fill in for Camp Counselors when they are unavailable to fulfill their duties
  • develops fire, search and rescue plans and implements drills and reviews;
  • arranges for the ordering and delivery of food and other supplies and services; maintains records on expenditures for such; and
  • makes daily inspections of camp facilities and, through the DEC regional field operations supervisor, arranges for any necessary repairs.

Health Director

The Health Director must be a NYS certified EMT, Paramedic, LPN, RN, PA or MD. The Health Director is held accountable for the health and wellbeing of both staff and campers on a 24-hour basis. The Health Director assures that New York State Health Department requirements are reviewed and complied with; camp infirmary meets requirements; facilities are prepared; lessons, work plans and special programs are developed; and staff training is carried out. During the camp season, the Health Director oversees the camp program that includes 50-60 new campers each week for a total of more than 400 campers for the summer.

Specific duties include, but not limited to:

  • Distributes and monitors campers medications;
  • Maintains records of all medications, injuries, accidents as required by the Department of Health
  • Monitors camps living quarters for health and safety concerns
  • Works with Camp Director to transport campers as needed to and from local urgent care, emergency rooms, doctor offices and field trip locations.
  • Meets camper's parents/guardians during camper check-in to review medical forms
  • Maintains camp's lost and found, camp's supply of bedding, towels and extra camper clothing
  • Assists Camp Director with camper homesickness and evaluation of camper's ability to stay at camp when issues arise such as homesickness, inability to follow rules and medication complications
  • Maintains camp infirmary, monitors environmental and individual's health (staff and campers) and prepares accident and illness reports; and
  • On call 24/7 while camp is in session to accompany sick or injured campers to the hospital or urgent care.


Waterfront Director

The Camp Waterfront Director establishes and oversees all swimming and boating activities at the camp's waterfront, supervises all staff and campers participating in swimming activities and responds to bathing and all facility emergencies. The Waterfront Director maintains required paperwork and equipment relating to the operation of the waterfront. The Waterfront Director also has Cabin Counselor responsibilities during the evenings and when not performing waterfront duties will be teaching environmental education classes to the campers. Waterfront Director is a part of the 24 camp hour program each session from check-in to check out.

Specific duties include, but not limited to:

  • Implements/oversees buddy system and board system or other approved bather accountability system
  • Coordinate Life guard schedule with Camp Director
  • Train and supervise waterfront staff
  • Participate as a member of the camp management team to plan, direct, and supervise evening programs, special events, overnights, and other all-camp activities and camp functions
  • Survey waterfront area daily, and keep the area free of hazards and debris.
  • Supervises the campers on a 24-hour basis; are responsible for the wellbeing and health of the campers
  • Teach environmental education lessons, lead trips, programs and assist as needed to fulfill the programmatic needs of the camp program.

Conservation Education Camp Counselor

Each Camp Counselor is a residential instructor and on call 24 hours. They are responsible for the general welfare of the campers. Counselors will supervise eight to ten campers and instruct them in environmental subjects, outdoor skills, NYS sportsman education program and recreation. They are responsible for the condition of the camp grounds and the supplies and materials used in the camp programs. Counselors also assist the Camp Supervisors in the development of daily, weekly and seasonal schedules.

Specific duties include, but not limited to:

  • supervises the campers on a 24-hour basis; are responsible for the well being and health of the campers;
  • instructs the campers in the core environmental science curricula; and
  • Responsible for the planning and conducting of recreational activities, including maintaining camp inventories.
  • Counsel campers who become homesick or disruptive.
  • Assist in the purchasing, inventory and delivery of supplies, materials and equipment.
  • Supervise waterfront activities.
  • Support and assist other counselors in the development and completion of camp activities.
  • Administer first aid to campers if necessary.
  • Supervise and implement overnight camp-outs.
  • Develop and implement education recreation and work projects.

Each Camp Counselor is a residential instructor and on call 24 hours. They are responsible for the general welfare of the campers. Counselors will supervise eight to ten campers and instruct them in environmental subjects, outdoor skills, NYS sportsman education program and recreation. They are responsible for the condition of the camp grounds and the supplies and materials used in the camp programs. Counselors also assist the Camp Supervisors in the development of daily, weekly and seasonal schedules.


Conservation Education Camp Cook

The camp cook is responsible for the planning, cooking and serving (70-80 people) for all camp meals. In addition, the cook maintains all kitchen and dining hall supplies, materials and equipment. They must be neat, reliable, punctual, flexible and responsible. The cook must be able to prepare menus and order food within a strict budget. They also must have knowledge of nutritional dietary needs of campers and be familiar with New York State Department of Health (DOH) Regulations pertaining to storage, preparation and serving food.

Specific duties include, but not limited to:

  • prepares menus and meals in consultation with camp supervisor;
  • is responsible for the proper storage and record keeping of all food items; and
  • Prepares weekly orders in conjunction with central office staff.

Camp Aide 2

Responsible for the general welfare of the campers, children ages 11 to 17, and volunteers. Camp Aide 2 assist Camp Directors, Counselors and Kitchen staff with accomplishing tasks needed for the daily operation of the camp program and facility. The Camp Aide 2 will have a greater focus of time spent assisting the Camp Cook with the preparation and distribution of meals as well as kitchen organization of materials and supplies.

Specific duties include:

  • assists in preparation of menus and meals;
  • be familiar with and comply with regulations for the storage, preparation and serving of food and with sanitary regulations concerning kitchen and dining hall;
  • assists in ordering, delivery and storage of food including inspection of deliveries; and
  • Assists the cook in the proper storage and record keeping of all food items.
  • Assist with the Education component of the program through preparing materials,props, and outdoor gear to be used by the counselors and director staff.
  • Assist with the supervision of the campers in cabins, lessons and out of camp activities.
  • Assist with camp-outs, and supervision of campers and equipment

Camp Aide 1

Camp Aides assist Camp Directors, Counselors and Kitchen staff with accomplishing tasks needed for the daily operation of the camp program and facility.

Specific duties include but not limited to:

  • cleanup of dishes, pots, pans, kitchen and dining hall after each meal;
  • supervise volunteers in the cleanup of dishes, pots, pans, kitchen and dining hall;
  • assist in education and recreation activities including outdoor skills courses, hunter safety and swimming; and
  • Participate in evening activities including overnight camp outs, night walks, campfires and special programs as time allows.
  • Assist with the supervision of the campers in cabins, lessons and out of camp activities
  • Assist with the Education component of the program through preparing materials,props, and outdoor gear to be used by the counselors and director staff.

  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Camps
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-5256
    518-402-8014
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