Remember To Utilize Direct Emails on Campstaff and CampStaffNurses

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week of tips from CampStaff. For a full refresher on all 5 tips, start here with our first tip. 

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On both CampStaff and CampStaffNurses, you may log into your account as many times as you want, you may change your descriptions as often as you like, you may change your logo and photos as often as you like. This is all included in the cost of your membership.

The only service that we currently offer that is an additional fee and is optional is a direct email.
When time is short and you really need to fill a position, we’ve got the solution.  For only $50, you can send a targeted email to every job seeker meeting your criteria.  For instance, you are in need of several male cabin counselors, over 18 years old and who do not require a J-1 visa.  With a few clicks you can announce your jobs to every CampStaff applicant fitting that criteria.  It’s that easy and it’s there if you need it. Here’s a brief tutorial on sending a direct email.

Keep this tool in your back pocket in case you need it!

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Reach Out to Potential Staff More Than Once

As we’ve done every day this week, we are providing our members of CampStaff/CampStaff Nurses with tips on how to best make use of our websites. Thousands of staff come through CampStaff/CampStaffNurses every year and we want to be sure you are doing everything you can to hire as many possible staff from this one source.

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We are all bombarded with emails every day; the majority of which don’t get opened. So if you only send one email to a staff member, chances are that they will not respond. Now, while we don’t want you to overload the amount of emails you are sending, you can get creative in how you are reaching potential staff. If staff provide you with other forms of contact, feel free to contact them through these methods. These include texting and using their social media to reach them. What has worked out really well for many camps is to first send an email and then follow up with a text letting them know to check their email as you just sent them a message. Be exciting and descriptive in that message so they will want to open up their email from you!

Give the subject of your message a direction such as “open this message to find your summer internship”. If you give a direction to the recipient, you are increasing their chances of following the direction rather than hitting ‘delete’.
We wrote a blog post on when to best reach college aged students titled My 5 Hypothesis after Spending Time on a College Campus. The post includes not only days of the week but times that work best, too. It’s all based on numbers; the days and times we see people on CampStaff most looking for jobs. (hint; don’t expect too much response on Fridays and Saturdays from college aged kids. You are better off waiting until the beginning of a new week. However, if you are seeking a nurse on CampStaffNurses, the weekends are great times to reach out!).

Reach Out to Potential Staff With a Warm and Personalized Message

photo credit Ocean Pines Camp

Happy hump day presented by the tip of the day from CampStaff and CampStaffNurses!

Hopefully by now you’ve noticed that we are sending you a message every day this week to help you master your CampStaff account in order to hire the best possible summer camp staff.

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Before you reach out to a potential staff member on CampStaff, feel free to do a little research on any information that a potential staff member opted to share with you. For example, you may want to check out a job seeker’s social media pages if they list them. Or, if you have any connections to make with them about where they go to school, where they live, hobbies they have, etc., mention this in your first contact with them.

The best way for the potential staff member to get a sense of who you are and the type of camp you hire for is through the customized email feature we have on our sites.  So, when you find a staff person you like on CampStaff and click on “contact this job seeker” an email is sent to the person from you. You can customize this email so it has your tone, your words, and your message. Here’s a brief tutorial showing you exactly how to personalize this message so every time you click on the “contact this job seeker” button you know the staff member is receiving a message directly from you. Feel free to add links and phone numbers in that email message to give the potential staff person as many options as possible to contact your camp!

Make Sure Your CampStaff Profile is Directed Toward Staff

Happy Tuesday!  Here’s today’s tip as part of our 5 Day series helping you get the most out of your CampStaff membership to find the best summer camp staff possible.  Missed yesterday’s tip? Read it here.

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Here’s what we mean: In reading through both the brief description and the long description of many camps listed on, we noticed the text is often directed toward campers and their families. While this text works great in attracting new campers, it may not be the most interesting read for potential camp staff members.

You may be wondering what is the difference in the brief description and the full description on your CampStaff/CampStaffNurses pages.

  • The brief description is what potential staff see when they browse through the entire list of camps listed on CampStaff.  This is a great place to put a two or three sentence description of your camp and what is unique about it. The best part about the brief description is that potential staff who don’t even have a profile on CampStaff/CampStaffNurses can access it. That means that after reading your brief description, potential staff may go directly to your website and apply for a job right from your own website! Get that brief description looking good so you can wow them!  Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 11.06.32 AM
  • And the full description on your CampStaff/CampStaffNurses site? This is where you can write more of the details about what a typical summer day is like at your camp for staff. You can also write a brief description of the jobs you are hiring for. Potential staff will see the full description once they are drawn in by the awesomeness of your brief description so be sure to elaborate on what makes your camp unique for summer camp staff.
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A Tip A Day To Get The Most Out of Your CampStaff Accounts

This week, we’ll be sending you a tip each day to help you make the most out of your CampStaff and CampStaffNurses accounts.

Here at CampStaff, we spend a lot of time talking to the camps that use our services. We want to share with you what works best for camps so that you may make the most out of our sites.

**These tips work for both CampStaff and CampStaffNurses, but for the purposes of the tips this week, I’ll just write “CampStaff” (it gets to be too much reading when I write CampStaff/CampStaffNurses….see what I mean?)

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We constantly analyze our data and the numbers don’t lie; the camps that are on CampStaff actively seeking staff daily (or almost daily) are the camps finding great staff year after year.  One of our most successful camps logs in almost daily to tweak their descriptions and to actively search for their job needs.

Remember, CampStaff/CampStaffNurses are two-way searchable databases. So, while staff can seek camps, they may also register and wait for you to find them. So, camps need to be pro-actively seeking out staff, too!  We’ve seen a shift over the past 5 years; while the numbers of seekers registering with us has remained constant, the number of emails that seekers send to camps has gone down. We know that this is a job seeker’s market and we know that job seekers are waiting for you to find them and contact them. Ten years ago we saw seekers reaching out more often to camps but we now see that camps are the ones reaching out more often to seekers.

If you’re not sure what you are supposed to be doing once you log on daily (or almost daily), here are some links to watch brief tutorials on utilizing search methods.

CampStaff SearchTutorials

Search Method 1
Search Method 2
Search Method 3
How to Save a Search

Search Tutorials

Search Method 1
Search Method 2
Search Method 3
How to Save a Search


Camp conference season is coming!

You probably already know that summer camp is a year-round process for your camp directors and full-time support staff. It takes ten full months to make those magical two months happen every summer. But what you may not know is that you can also get involved in the “off-season” starting with on-going training and networking at camp conferences across the country.

The American Camp Association (ACA), the gold standard of the summer camping industry, has a couple of really great offers for first time ACA members and full-time students – these memberships equal huge savings, offer amazing content to prepare you for camp and great opportunities at ACA Camp Conferences.

Free One-Year Membership ACA refers to this as a trial membership and is open to anyone who has never been an ACA member. 

Student membership (full-time students) with ACA is $35. If you’ve used up your free trail year, full-time students (with ID) can join for this highly reduced rate.

We are firm believers in ACA Camp Conferences! In our early years as camp professionals, the sessions, camp industry contacts and vendor relationships were key in our personal development. We had the opportunity to present/speak several times at 3 of the conferences below and chair a programming committee for one. After almost 25 years of conferences, we still learn valuable information each time and make invaluable contacts with others in the camping world.

If you are considering a career or at least a mid to long-term commitment to a camp job, conferences can be a great place to network and sample the different types of camp job opportunities. Don’t forget to include vendors in your networking. Vendors supplying camps also hire “camp people”!

Here’s a Complete list of upcoming ACA Conferences.

ACA 2019 National Conferences

February 19, 2019 to February 22, 2019

Nashville, TN

The National Conference rotates around the country each year to a new location city. Over 900 camps and well over 1,600 camp professionals will attend along with hundreds of vendors. This is the most regionally diverse of the ACA conferences. As the name suggests, camps from around the country attend.

ACA Student Members can attend this conference FREE

ACA, New York New Jersey Tri-State CAMP Conference 2019

March 12, 2019 to March 14, 2019

Atlantic City, NJ

The Tri-State conference is the largest gathering of camp professionals in the world. Over 3,000 camp staff will attend over 160 educational sessions and 300 vendors will be on hand. Like ACA National, this conference draws from across the country however, the northeast and mid-Atlantic states attend in the greatest numbers.

CAMP DIRECTORS – 1st time attending camps rate offered.

ACA, New England Camp Conference 2019

March 28, 2019 to March 30, 2019

Manchester, NH

The New England Camp Conference is one of our favorite conferences.  With a little over 900 attendees, there are plenty of opportunities for networking while still feeling like an intimate gathering of camp folks.

ACA Student members can attend for a deeply discounted rate of $50. This rate is not published on the website because a student ID is required but contact Kerry Salvo at ACA 781-541-6080 or, and she’ll get you started

CAMP DIRECTORS – Early Bird deadline is Feb 15!

ACA Illinois, 2019 Mid States Camp Conference

April 1, 2019 to April 3, 2019

St Charles, IL

Mid States conference will have camps from 22 US state sand Canadian provinces and over 250 camps represented. Included with registration is a free Day Camp pre-conference. A great opportunity for any staff considering a day camp career track.

This is one of the most affordable conferences.  A group of 5 can attend for less than $100 each.

ACA, Spring Leadership Conference 2019

April 9, 2019 to April 12, 2019

Palm Springs, CA

ACA Southern California/Hawaii Leadership Conference is a bit smaller than the other conferences but don’t let that fool you. You’ll find many of the same top presenters and speakers from the larger conferences out here in Palm Springs this year. This conference was once known as strictly regional with Cali and Hawaii (yeah, we know both places seem like horrible places for camp staff – lol) dominating. In recent years however, attending camps have come from as far as New England, as well as throughout the West.

This conference offers special discounted rates for students and retirees.

CAMP DIRECTORS – Early Bird deadline is March 11.

Turn Your Returning Staff into Your Top Recruiters

Photo Credit Camp Ocean Pines

When I first started hiring staff for camp back in the 90’s, the process was in some ways much simpler. The internet was relatively new. Our camp didn’t even have a website by first year and even CampStaff was still a few years away.

Recruiting staff meant running a 3 sentence classified ad in a school newspaper or in the old American Camping Association publications. I’d wait for the 800 number to ring or get a postcard in the mail asking for more information. We would mail a VHS tape specially made for staff recruiting along with an application and camp brochure. Then we would wait. By the time a completed application was back in our office, both sides were well invested in the hiring process. Rarely did someone receiving a job offer not accept or even more rare, break their commitment by not showing up. Ghosting meant something totally different in the 90’s!

Even so, when opening day of camp got near, any unfilled positions could quickly be staffed from the bullpen of waiting international counselors at CampAmerica or Bunac or the other international staffing agencies. No problem, camp would open fully staffed.

Fast forward to now and camp staffing has changed drastically. It is much easier for potential staff to apply to multiple camps and even to other industries, making the competition for top staff the stiffest its ever been. Throw in the past changes to J-1 rules that eliminated stand-by international staff (much less any future changes to the program) and the importance of getting new staff to commit early and follow through with those commitments is more vital to summer camp opening than ever. 

Break through the noise

The two of biggest challenges we hear from camp staffing directors today are that potential staff are harder to maintain contact with and seem less likely to honor their commitments once hired.

We recently posted about ideas camps could copy from big colleges on NCAA signing day to help firm up commitments.  Another thing we noticed, camps can easily imitate how head coaches utilized their staff to 

  1. Maintain contact with recruits throughout the process and 
  2. Use the relationships developed with those staff to improve the chances the recruit remained committed.

Camp staff recruits, just like athletic recruits, are bombarded by not only you and the camps you are competing with, but also everyday electronic life.  The background noise of college life is pretty loud. When as a staffing director, you are trying to juggle staff inquiries, incoming applications, targeted searches on CampStaff and maintaining personal contacts with new hires, it can be overwhelming and down right impossible.

You are the head coach here, to break through and make sure your message is heard, we suggest assigning your new staff recruits a returning staff point of contact.

Here’s the scenario, you’ve offered a contract or had one accepted on the spot. Now you need to make sure that person follows through with the hiring process and shows up at camp. A personal connection with your retaining staff is a tried and true recruiting method. We always assume that everyone is a potential staff member until they actual show top for staff training and become a staff member!

1. Match each situation individually. Camps have the unique opportunity with a diverse staff to make personal connections. Use that! Pick your recruiter regionally, by common interest, by specialty skills- anything that can make the connection personal. 

2. Provide a contact schedule. First, this holds your recruiters accountable. Second, it takes the pressure off (and avoids too much pressure) from over contact. Back in the days of Manila file folders for applicants, I kept track of every contact date on the front of the folder. This helped remind me to touch base so no one got lost in the hiring flurry that is May.

Give your recruiters a sample schedule:

a. Day 1 – email a quick intro to the potential staff member. Include your social media handles and encourage the recruit to check out and pics you posted from last summer. Schedule a time to connect via phone. Cc camp on first email.

b. After call, follow recruits social feeds.

c. 2 days after 1st phone call, text a short, “hey, its xxx. Just checking in to see if you have any questions from our call”

d. Drop a text, email or comment on a social media post every week.

3. Pay your recruiters

Money is always best. Swag is second. Either way, show that you value your returning staff’s time and effort. If you or your board is having trouble justifying the added cost, compare the cost of a last minute international hire for that position through an agency and the time delay getting that person into camp when someone you hired in February ghosts you opening day.

If you still need further convincing…The bonus for your staff training week is that every new staff member will already have a connection when they roll into camp. We all know that those personal connections are what get staff to return the following season. 

3 Staff Recruiting Lessons from NCAA Signing Day

photo credit Camp Weequahik

If you think recruiting for your summer camp staff team is time consuming and sometimes frustrating, how would you like to have spent time and effort recruiting someone from 8th grade through 12th grade only to have them take a “better” offer at the last minute?

College coaches are facing a lot of the same challenges we see in summer camp. How can we cut through the noise and be seen by recruits? How can we retain our veteran staff? How can we insure that our new staff actually follow through and show up to camp? 

We took a good look at the processes college use to recruit and picked our 3 Best for summer camp staff recruiting.

Assign a designated recruiter

Good recruiting requires a major time commitment. Most of us spend a few months each spring in full pursuit of top staff recruits. Top college sports recruits are often pursued for years. The way colleges handle this daunting task, if to divide and conquer… literally. College sports head coaches assign their assistant coaches and coordinators to run point on individual recruits, giving each recruit a one-on-one connection with a knowledgeable, passionate member of the program.  247 sports even tracks the ranking of the top recruiters.

Ok, so camps aren’t working with multi-million dollar recruiting budgets (if you are, give CampStaff consulting a call, we might have an idea or two on how to spend it – lol) or identifying prospects in the 8th grade for jobs 4 years away, but you do have passionate, knowledgeable returning staff that can be involved in recruiting. Read how to turn your returning staff into your top recruiters.

Celebrate your returning staff with a press release

College coaches never forget that their veteran players have other options. Gone are the days of a recruit committing to a program for 4 full years. Particularly top rated players have the option to transfer to another program at anytime or for the very best, leave early for the pros. When a top rated player opts to stay another year, the press most often sees this a positive reflection on the quality of the program. Schools promote this heavily to future recruits by issuing press releases that basically say “this such a great place to be, that Player X decided to choose us over simple $”. Your staff may not be leaving you for a multimillion dollar contract but they do have the option for a pay raise at another camp or even just a better fit for their own goals. 

So when staff do opt to return to camp over the (really) countless other opportunities they have, make a BIG DEAL out it. It’s really easier than you may think.

One of the best we’ve seen is Camp Weequahic’s Staff Instagram feed. We’ve blogged about starting a staff specific instagram feed, and this is the perfect place to post a staff press release. A couple of things we really like about Weequahic’s format are: 

  • Hometown – We think they get 2 powerful boosts.
    • 1. Camp is about making personal connections, potential staff from in this case, NE Texas have a pre-camp connection.
    • 2.  Here’s a Texan returning all the way to Pennsylvania for a job – pretty solid endorsement for camp!
  • Why Weequahic – “I spoke with a returning counselor.” Says Weequahic is a welcoming place, concerned about the individual. Very powerful stuff, in a subtle delivery.

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Another format we really liked is Camp North Star Maine’s (@cnsmaine) “Welcome Back Wednesday”.  

  • One, we like the regularity of a weekly announcement. It keeps the camps returning staff in front of their Instagram followers and gives all staff something to look forward to.
  • Two, we like the graphic with the ability to simply plug in pics of the week’s returning staff. It’s clear and easy to spot when we scroll through our daily feed and when we go to Camp North Star’s page. A simple write up on the 2 staff members in the post caption is all that’s needed, along with tagging the pic.

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Hold a press conference for new staff hires

You’ve seen it on TV and online, a new signee wearing the logo’d gear of their new school answering a few questions from local media. Colleges make a big, public deal out of new commitments. One reason is to showcase who they’ve signed to other potential signees. Another reason is that its a little harder to back out once the whole extended school community starts embracing a recruit. We think camps should definitely use this concept. Do a little bragging PR about how great your new staff is and get your camp community onboard welcomes the new staff.  It may be a lot easier than you think. Here’s how we’d do it…

  1. Mail your new hires a hat, t-shirt or sweatshirt song with their new hire packet.
  2. Include an interview script. Include name, hometown, university. Have them answer your best icebreaker question. We LOVE asking, “What’s your super power?” (ie, I can identify a car model by its headlights at night or I can name every Super Bowl champion.) 
  3. Ask your new staff member to video themselves wearing your camp gear, answering the questions and send you the file. Better yet, have them post on their own social and tag you.
  4. Post on your social media feed and ask all your staff to like and share.

Not only do you have a chance to really welcome new staff into your camp community, your camp community has a chance to get to know each other before camp even opens.

Camps looking for summer staff? Camps can join and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at
Staff looking for a summer camp job? is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at

Like to Win Free Camp Stuff?

Follow CampStaff and CampStaffNurses to win.

How would you like a chance to win this sweet camp mug filled with fun camp stuff? To get everyone in the spirit of summer camp – and to kick off the un-official start of the camp staffing season – CampStaff and CampStaffNurses are giving away a gift packs from our holiday gift ideas lists to our social media followers. All you need to do is complete the 2 Steps below:


“Like” @CampStaff or @CampStaffNurses pages on Facebook.


“Follow” @SummerCampStaff or @CampStaffNurses on Instagram


“Follow” @CampStaff or @CampStaffNurses on Twitter.


Comment on or share a post from one of the feeds each week. Every week that you comment or share a post, you are in the contest!

What are you waiting for?  This week’s prizes are below and will be awarded Monday!


Every Monday beginning January 21, 2019 we’ll announce a winner!  Everyone can participate with all of your social accounts – use your camps official feed and your personal to be double entered!  We’ll be giving away fun camp related merchandise all staffing season long!


Camps looking for summer staff? Camps can join and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at
Staff looking for a summer camp job? is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at

10 Things that Require Zero Talent

This week at my daughter’s basketball game, another mother shared this piece of scrap paper with me. It states, “10 Things that Require Zero Talent”. We talked about how this list relates to a student athlete. I couldn’t help but think how the list relates to a summer camp counselor; a compilation of the intangibles you learn while working at summer camp. More often than not, you will learn these lessons without even realizing you are learning them during your summer camp experience. Or, if you are already pretty good at the items on this list, camp will provide you a place to hone these skills:

  1. Being on Time
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Effort
  4. Body Language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Being Coachable
  9. Doing Extra
  10. Being Prepared

I did a little research and found out where the notes on this little scrap of paper came from. It was shared by Molly Fletcher, a former college athlete, sports agent, and motivational speaker. If you have time to check out her website, it’s well worth the visit for some inspiration on being your best self. 

Putting yourself in the camp environment, you are surrounding yourself with other people who are working on these skills, too. These words actually become part of your daily vocabulary and conversation. Camp people talk about these skills beyond orientation and beyond the handbook. Let’s take a look at them. 

1.Being on time. So, as a counselor (or working in any other position at camp), you will find it necessary to be on time to be even sort of successful.  Being late with a group of campers to lunch is the worst (for so many obvious reasons). Being late to activities makes you the bad guy with the person leading the activity, and being late to putting your kids to bed just results in cranky kids the following day. After your first week of not being on time at camp, I promise you that you will perfect your skills of being on time. The effort of doing so pays off and you’ve learned a new habit!

2. Work Ethic.  What Molly is referring to here is the discipline of showing up consistently, and making the best decisions that lead to peak performance. Sooooo many opportunities at camp to not only show up, but to make decisions that lead to peak performance. Specifically, you will be in charge of a group of campers daily. Make great decisions as a role model and help them make great decisions, too. 

3. Effort. You can do a job. Or, you can do a job with effort. You can go the extra mile. Pick up trash when you walk by it. Make intentional eye contact with your campers when they speak to you. Ask your supervisor if they need any help. We’re not asking you to be a genius. We are asking you to put some effort into your work. You’ll feel good you did. 

4. Body Language. Camp is like a small laboratory for reading body language. You want to know if your camper is mad; just look to see how they have their arms crossed. Happy? Jumping up and down. Stressed: hand on the back of the neck. Lying to you? A quick look at the ceiling or floor. You’ll not only get to study the habits of your campers’ body language but become aware of what your body language says about you!

5. Energy. Energy is contagious at camp. Really. And contagious in a way that cannot be conveyed at a conference table or by waiting tables. All out body moving, dancing, leaping energy. Not all the time of course. That would be nuts; you’d be exhausted. Just like 98% percent of the time. Sometimes at camp you’ll be the one taking your energy from others and sometimes you’ll be the one to pass your energy on. 

6. Attitude.  I’m sure you have an attitude of some sort. Camp will just help bring out your best attitude. The “can-do, problem solving” attitude; the “count my blessings” sort of attitude; the “I can do this really hard something” attitude; the “I’m pushing myself farther than I thought I could go” attitude. Want some of this attitude? Go to camp!

7. Passion. I learned recently that being passionate about something does not mean you have to be happy with it all the time. It means you are willing to put the work into it even when it is hard and overall, you love it. It’s fair to say that camp offers this environment. Overall you love it AND it may be hard at times, AND totally worth it in the end. 

8. Being Coachable. Great life skill. You can be coached in many jobs. Thing is, the people that will coach you at camp are the people that value the skills itemized on this list. This means your coaches at camp will prioritize your strong work ethic, your high energy level, your can-do attitude, and putting in the right kind of effort. 

9. Doing extra. Extra work and preparedness fosters confidence. I love extra work at camp; it may mean blowing up all the balloons for carnival, it may mean leading a card tournament, or it may mean being a really patient listener. Extra work at camp doesn’t actually feel like work; it feels more like being your best self. 

10. Being prepared. Show up to camp on day 1 prepared with some campfire stories and know the rules to Capture the Flag. Know your campers names before they arrive on the first day. Being prepared even means you know what cool trip you are going to take on your first day off!  

Short lesson: if you want to actively work on the above skills in an environment where others value them, too, camp may be the perfect place for you this summer!

Camp directors….we see a great orientation staff training session here!