Summer Staff Living Guidelines
In an effort to maintain focus on the essential truths that bind believers together, and to set clear expectations, all summer staff are asked to agree to maintain certain behavioral standards and boundaries of topics addressed with campers.
Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other legal or illegal drugs are prohibited on and offsite throughout the summer. No drastic changes in personal appearance should be made before or throughout the summer. This includes piercings, tattoos, extreme haircuts or colors. Additional guidelines include a curfew, dress code and standards around interacting with campers outside of camp.
Personal convictions on social and political topics regularly cause division and strife. While camper parents expect that our staff will share the Gospel message, camper parents do not want our staff to share or advocate personal opinions on current divisive topics such as political candidates, legislation, human sexuality, gender identity, vaccines, abortion, etc., whether the opinion is conservative or progressive. Such topics are too complex and too easily misunderstood by our minor campers. Our time with campers is too short to effectively navigate these topics well and these topics are only appropriate for long-term relationships and discussion back at home or with professionals. As such, summer staff will not facilitate discussions or share their opinions, on these, or other ‘hot button’ divisive topics with campers or other staff that are minors. We know that some campers may ask questions on some of these topics and we will provide strategies in our staff training on how to engage these conversations in a healthy, Christ-honoring way.
Covenant Harbor’s teaching and standards will always align with the Evangelical Covenant Church’s beliefs and teachings. Specific guidelines will be shared during the interview process before employment is finalized.
Program Leads and Assistants: Coordinate and implement each week’s program while overseeing and managing an assigned counseling team.
- Day Camp Program Lead / Day Camp Program Assistants (1st-3rd or 4th-6th grades)
- Kishwauketoe Program Lead / Kishwauketoe Program Assistant
- Pier 30 Program Lead / Pier 30 Program Assistant
- Alpha Program Lead / Alpha Program Assistants
Resource Lead and Assistants: Provide support, encouragement, resources, and spiritual leadership to the summer staff, including helping and advising with individual campers and situations.
Support Area Leads and Assistants: Ensure the efficiency, safety, and organization of a specific area, including supervising a team of support staff.
Admin Team: Provide timely and accurate information, services, and support to the Youth Ministry Team and summer leadership staff.
Waterfront Team: Ensure that waterfront swimming areas and boating activities run smoothly, efficiently, and safely.
Activities Team: Ensure that the archery, skate park, and arts and crafts activity areas run smoothly, efficiently, and safely.
Media Team: Support all programs by providing knowledge and skills in AV, photo, and/or worship leading.
Student Nurse: Work with the Health Services Director and weekly onsite RNs to ensure camper and staff health and safety.
Counseling Team: Be present, supervise, and minister to campers throughout their time at camp, by eating, talking, worshiping, playing, and learning alongside them.
Senior Counselors: In addition to the responsibilities of a counselor, give expertise in a specific age group/program and support other members of the Counseling Team.I
Resource Counselors: In addition to the responsibilities of a counselor, provide specialized care and resources so that every child can have a successful experience at camp.
- Fill out an application.
- Contact your references and have them complete the reference form. If you’re under 18, have your parent or guardian fill out a signature form, too.
- Complete two interviews with the Covenant Harbor hiring team.
- Once all of your references (and a parental signature form, if you’re under 18) are received, you’ll hear back from the hiring team within about a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are you looking for?
Covenant Harbor is looking for individuals of the age 16 and over, who want to love kids and share Jesus! Staff members should have a committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ, be hardworking and responsible, and be a safe person that genuinely enjoys being around kids.
I'm a Christian, but I don't attend an Evangelical Covenant Church. Can I apply?
Yes! While Covenant Harbor is owned and operated by the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, summer staff come from a variety of denominations. Covenant Harbor focuses on the beliefs that bind Christians together, and seeks summer staff who affirm the following:
- The Bible is God’s inspired word (2 Timothy 3:16)
- Only one true and living God exists (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39)
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God, fully God and fully human (John 1:14)
- Jesus came to earth, died, and rose again for our salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
- Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- We are meant to live in relationship with Jesus Christ (John 15:4-5)
- The Holy Spirit lives with and in believers (John 14:17).
These are the foundations and boundaries of what is to be taught and discussed with summer campers. Covenant Harbor has the gift of serving kids from a variety of different backgrounds, so it is our priority to focus on the things that bind us, not the things that divide.
What's unique about Covenant Harbor?
Covenant Harbor is positioned within a short distance of the metro areas of Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison. This means that kids from all sorts of backgrounds are basically in camp’s backyard. They are joyfully invited to come together on the common ground of camp.
Covenant Harbor sits on over 1,100 feet of frontage on the shores of beautiful Geneva Lake. Tourists flock from all over the place to spend time in the area during the summer, and Covenant Harbor has an all-access pass to enjoy all the best parts of lake life right here at camp.
In a typical summer, Covenant Harbor serves almost 3,000 kids through four programs that run simultaneously throughout the summer, with ample opportunities for siblings and friends to come to camp together, even if they aren’t the same age. Pier 30 is Covenant Harbor’s largest program, hosting up to 200 overnight campers in 4th-6th grade or 7th-9th grade each week. The Day Camp program welcomes about 80 campers weekly and serves both local and visiting kids entering 1st-6th grades. Kishwauketoe, an intentionally small elementary overnight program, serves around 42 campers each week. Alpha, the high school service and discipleship program, welcomes just under 30 campers for around 10 nights at a time. Covenant Harbor also has one week of classic high school camp for about 50 campers.
Can I do my internship at camp?
Covenant Harbor has worked with summer staff over the years from different schools to meet the requirements for their college internships. If you’re interested in this, please contact us by email to discuss your options.
Do I have to work the whole summer?
In most cases, no! Here are the required commitments by position:
- Leadership staff: Full summer
- Support staff: Staff training, plus seven weeks of camp
- Jr. support staff: Staff training, plus four weeks of camp
- Counselors: Staff training, plus four weeks of camp
If you can’t commit to any of those time frames, you can apply to volunteer!
How old do I have to be?
All staff and volunteers must be at least 16 years old by the time they arrive at camp. Due to Wisconsin labor laws, there are no exceptions.
What's a typical day of working at Covenant Harbor?
While the exact duties and schedule of summer staff members depend on their position, all Covenant Harbor summer staff spend most of their time working hard, being with kids, and making the most of the opportunities that camp affords. Most staff are outside for much of the day, leading activities, facilitating discussions to help campers process Bible lessons, guiding kids as they navigate friendships, and making camp a special experience for campers. There are many silly, fun moments and many sincere moments in each day, and God is present and working in all of them.
Where do I live during the summer?
All summer staff live onsite at Covenant Harbor during the weeks that they are serving, and are housed in shared cabins with other staff of the same gender. Members of the counseling team live in cabins, with campers, the weeks they are working in the overnight programs. Covenant Harbor is located in the beautiful city of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, which has all of the amenities for staff to get what they need throughout the summer.
What do I do to prepare?
You must prepare for camp by nourishing yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Spend time in prayer. Read your Bible. Go to church. Join a small group. Eat healthy foods. Take a walk. Get some sleep. Talk to a trusted person. Write in a journal once in a while. Spend time getting into the habits that help you to feel like yourself.
How could working at camp help me get another job later on?
Working at camp can help prepare you for a career in a variety of fields. Check out this blog post in which a hiring professional shares about the skills he’s looking for that are often fostered at camp, and this document from the American Camping Association that suggests some key ways to represent your camp experience on your resume.
Can I get volunteer hours for serving at camp?
Sure! Covenant Harbor staff would be happy to provide a certification letter for individuals who volunteer at camp.
Am I able to continue my regular counseling/therapy sessions while at camp?
Absolutely, we know that the healthier our staff are, the better experience campers will have. We will work with you to figure out how to maintain your regular sessions. There are key times of the day that would be simpler or more difficult to have a virtual meeting with your counselor or therapist. Be sure to tell a member of our team after signing your employment agreement, so arrangements can be made prior to your arrival.
Are there other incentives or grants available for working at camp?
- North Park University Grant: Current North Park University Students are eligible to receive a $750 camp grant from North Park for the following academic year after serving at Covenant Harbor for the summer. See more details here!
- Need-Based Compensation Grant: Apply for a need-based grant to help supplement your salary if the regular compensation impedes you from working at camp because of financial strain. Funds are limited and will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Grant is based on the number of weeks served. Grant applications open November 15, 2021. Grant applications and employment applications are each processed by a separate team. Grant applications are confidential and have no bearing on hiring decisions.
- Signing Bonus: If you apply before January 1, 2022, and accept a job offer from Covenant Harbor, you will receive a $100 signing bonus.
- Referral Bonus: If you refer a new staff member who accepts a job offer from Covenant Harbor, you will receive a $250 bonus.
- Other financial opportunities: Once hired, summer staff are eligible to begin paid employment at Covenant Harbor prior to the summer! Contact the Youth Ministry Team by email for more information.