EMPHASIS ON QUALITY INSTRUCTION – NOT COMPETITION!
Camp Cayuga is noncompetitive in philosophy. Our daily program stresses self-improvement with emphasis on instruction rather than competition. For this reason, we place special emphasis on quality instruction and pursue all applicants who have demonstrated their skill level as a player in the sport/activity, as well as their experience instructing/coaching children in the same sport/activity. Quality instruction with a healthy mix of recreational playing time not only stimulates camper interest, but also develops self-confidence. Instructors are expected to prepare a lesson plan for each activity they have been hired to teach, and each lesson plan is to take into account the different skill levels of each camper. Applicants with current certification in their hired area of expertise are preferred. Other certifications, such as first-aid & CPR, are also preferred.
YOUR ACTIVITY INSTRUCTOR SCHEDULE
Activity instructors will receive a schedule each morning indicating period by period your instructor responsibilities for that day. For the majority of our counselors, this includes instructing 2 periods in the morning and 4 periods in the afternoon. For example, you may be assigned to teach Dance for both morning periods, Gymnastics for 2 afternoon periods, and Pottery for the remaining 2 periods. For the most part, your instructor schedule varies daily.
GENERAL STAFF DUTIES
In addition to instructing/coaching responsibilities, counselors are also responsible for "general" duties. Some of these duties include:
KEEP YOUR CABIN NEAT & CLEAN
Counselors are expected to clean and tidy-up their cabin each morning. Your campers are assigned clean-up duties to assist you. However, only the cabin counselors are permitted to clean the cabin's bathroom since the use of disinfectants by campers is provided. Cabin inspections are performed on a daily basis by your Division Director.
INSURE GOOD PERSONAL HYGIENE OF CAMPERS
Counselors are to insure their cabin campers take a shower and change clothes on a daily basis. You are also expected to visually inspect each of your campers for health concerns on a daily basis.
SUPERVISE YOUR CAMPERS AT ALL TIMES
Counselors are expected to supervise the campers at the activity sites during the activity program. When the activity program is not operating (or when you're not instructing), you are responsible for supervising your "cabin" campers. This would include times like: cabin clean-up, wash-up periods before meals, mealtimes, free-time after meals, flagpole assemblies, rest periods, and bed-time.
PARTICIPATE & ASSIST
All staff are required to get involved with the kids! We want you, as well as our campers, to participate in all activities and have fun at the same time. Participation is required not only during the daily activity program, but also during evening activities (socials/dances, skit nights, etc.), special events (Carnival, Boating Regatta, Olympics, Beach Bash, Backwards Day, etc.) and off-camp trips (amusement parks, etc.). For example, you're not only expected to help your campers with their Halloween costume for the Halloween social, but you too are expected to be wearing a Halloween costume! And, during the social we expect you to participate - whether it be dancing or simply helping the kids. As mentioned previously, you're the role model for your cabin campers. When you dress-up for the social, do some dancing, laugh, and have fun - so will your kids. It's that simple!
KNOW THE NEEDS, INTERESTS, AND OBJECTIVES FOR YOUR CAMPERS
The Camper Profile Form was developed for this reason. This form is completed by the parent and is very informative for our camp staff because it typically includes parental concerns, suggestions, and objectives for the summer. These forms are on file at camp. We expect all appropriate staff to be aware of (and follow-up) all requests noted on the Forms if they concern the staff member's area of responsibility. "The details" is what separates a "good camp" from an "excellent camp", and of course, at Cayuga we're all about the details!
WAKE-UP DUTY, DINING HALL IN-CHARGE DUTY, MEAL-SERVING DUTY
Some counselors will be assigned the duty of waking-up our camp population (we use a bell). This is referred to as "Wake-Up Duty". Counselors may also be assigned to monitor crowd control in the dining hall during meal times. This is referred to as "Dining Hall In-Charge Duty". In addition, some counselors may be assigned to help us serve meals (we serve cafeteria-style) in the dining hall during mealtimes. This is referred to as "Meal Serving Duty". Depending upon your daily instructional schedule and your co-cabin counselor's schedule, you may never be assigned to these duties if it interferes with camper supervision responsibilities.
Some counselors will be scheduled to assist our lifeguards as a “lookout” for special events and evening pool parties. By the way, all counselors are given a swim test and are given training as a “lookout” during staff orientation.
Occasionally a few counselors may be assigned a period or two to help our office staff or evening program staff with a special project. (We first ask for volunteers & typically get enough help.) Some of the program projects include preparing materials for our evening activities, special events and trips. Some of the office projects include sorting mail & packages, delivering phone messages, and preparing mailings to campers' parents.
2 SEPARATE CAMPUSES
Cayuga's natural landscape divides 350 acres into two separate campuses on the same estate. This is a unique feature that distinguishes Cayuga from other traditional summer camps! Each campus is located on opposite sides of our lake and operates self-sufficiently with its own Dining Hall, Gymnasium, Creative Arts Pavilion, Swimming Pool, Activity Sites, Infirmary, & Program Office. Campers entering 8th grade & lower reside on Junior Campus, which accommodates about 120 boys & 120 girls. (Click here for more details about Junior Campus.) Campers entering 8th grade & higher who are 13 years of age & older reside on Teen Campus which houses about 75 girls & 75 boys. (Click here for more details about Teen Campus.) With two separate campuses, we can provide two separate programs geared to the different age groups on each campus.
EVENING ACTIVITY PROGRAM
The highlight of each day at Camp Cayuga comes at night when we begin the evening activities. Whether it's MTV Nite or the Counselor Hunt, this is the time when the entire camp unites, and camper enthusiasm & spirit peaks! Our Evening Activity Program is different every night of the summer. On Junior Campus the evening program begins at 7:45pm just after flag-lowering. On Teen Campus the evening program starts at 8:45pm. In the interests of our youngsters & teenagers, most evening activities are scheduled separately on each campus. (Click here for this summer's Calendar Of Events, which includes all evening activities.)
SPECIAL EVENTS & TRIPS PROGRAM
Special Events are scheduled weekly and include some of the wackiest activities of the summer. This summer's Special Events include: The Camp Cayuga Carnival, Apache Relay, Camper-Counselor Day, Backwards Day, Annual Camp Olympics, Boating Regatta, Wacky Water Carnival, Beach Bash, Visiting Days, and full-day trips to Dorney Amusement Park & The Wild Water Kingdom, and Hershey Amusement Park & The Chocolate World. They're great days! (Click here for this summer's Calendar Of Events, which includes the dates of all Special Events & Trips.)
In an effort to get our staff members acquainted with one another and become familiar with Cayuga's facilities, an Orientation is held at camp a few days prior to the arrival of our campers. During Orientation we hold training sessions & group workshops; explain camp policies & procedures; and organize social events for our staff members. During the first-half of Orientation, counselors are housed in cabins with other counselors to help everyone get to know one another. During the second-half of Orientation, counselors move into their assigned cabins for the summer. Orientation is an important training tool for our staff because it produces a close-knit staff team, confident of their skills and prepared for their campers!
Some staff members have improved their ability as an instructor by attending a workshop prior to staff orientation. Some workshops offer certifications as well. If there’s a workshop in your local area that you’d be interested in attending, let us know. If we approve your workshop attendance prior to you enrolling in the workshop, we’ll gladly reimburse you for one-half the cost of the workshop if: 1) You successfully complete the workshop and obtain certification as a result of the workshop, and 2) You successfully complete your summer employment contract from start date to end date. Most workshops are typically sponsored by the American Red Cross. You can contact your local American Red Cross Chapter for more details.