What makes camp great is THE PEOPLE. And the staff sets the tone for all the interpersonal magic that follows. At our summer camps we typically have 2 teaching artists, 2 directors (who are artists as well, but who also keep a pulse on the big picture and all the details), and 12 counselors. This sets us up to give abundant personal attention to every one of our campers, and we make it clear to everyone from our youngest Junior Counselor (age 9 or 10!) to our most experienced teaching artists that connecting is our priority. The stuff we do and learn at camp is DAZZLING, but the personal connections are what carry all the learning forward in a transformative way.
There are too many of us to introduce you to everyone! But here is a little sample of some of our wonderful, talented, big-hearted, hard-working STAFF past and present!
Keep reading to learn more about all the roles at camp and behind the scenes and let us know if you’d like to work with us!
“We love the way the farm has inspired creativity in our kids and freedom to grow into their best selves. The amazing staff has given them great support and attention. I also feel good about the leadership opportunities that are a part of the camp experience. As my children, now 14 and 10, are getting older, they still love being campers there and are beginning to work as junior counselors. I expect they will want to keep training and become counselors over the next couple of years.”
— Lenore Yarger, parent
Counselors, usually ages 14-25, are needed for every camp and program we run. Some work as volunteers and some get paid. We generally have 12 counselors for each of our summer camps; 6 are paid and 6 are volunteers. Some camps have many more volunteers than that, particularly our Art Party Camp which includes Counselors in Training and Junior Counselors as young as 9 or 10. Counselors are the BACKBONE of our camp community. The job is hard work and requires both physical and emotional stamina. Counselors lead a buddy group, lead activities, assist in classes, and spend one-on-one time with campers. Most of all counselors are role models; the campers want to do what the counselors are doing! So, counselors lend their enthusiasm and attention and focus to every moment of the camp day!
MOST of our counselors have been campers first, but we occasionally hire a new person, especially if they have skills and talents related to one of the camps we are running. For example, if you play the trombone, we would be interested in talking to you about working Jazz Camp even if you’ve never been here before. MOST of our counselors work as volunteers before they are considered for a paid position, but again, if you have specific skills related to one of our camps, we’ll consider you. You are eligible to work camps when you are OLDER than the campers for that camp. For example, if you are 16 you can work a camp for 7-13 year olds, but not a camp for 10-18 year olds.
LEAD COUNSELORS are generally college aged counselors with many years of Clapping Hands Experience and exceptional leadership skills. Lead Counselors assist the Directors and we prefer that they commit to at least THREE camps the summer they are a Lead Counselor.
If you are interested in being a counselor for the 2020 season, please fill out this online “counselor application” form and we will be in touch with you! 2020 COUNSELOR APPLICATION
“It kind of blows my mind how quickly and wholeheartedly I got swooshed into this place and all its wonderful people.”
— Sarah Perry, 2016 intern, current program assistant
Interns, usually ages 16-25, are invited to inquire about both paid and unpaid positions. There are intern positions both on the ground with campers and behind the scenes.
Right now we are seeking:
- a PHOTO EDITOR intern who will generate photos, organize our photo archives, and post to our Facebook, Instagram, and website on a regular basis
- a WEBSITE DESIGN intern who will help us create content for our new website
- a VIDEO ARTIST intern who will help us create video content for our Youtube channel and for staff training purposes
- a CROWDFUNDING intern who will design, film and edit a polished video for our 2020 Crowdfunding Campaign
- a SUMMER CAMP intern who will help prepare for and work our camps in 2019. The scope of this could be smaller and focused on ONE camp in particular, or broader and span both Spring and Summer semesters.
- an ARTS ADMINISTRATION intern who will help with the behind the scenes aspects of running our arts program
Lead Teachers are working artists and naturalists who bring their creative passion to our camp community by leading workshops and engaging campers in what they love best. Our teaching artists are expected to participate in all aspects of the camp day, and to mentor our campers and counselors both as artists and as people. We work with theater artists, musicians, dancers, visual artists, crafts people, naturalists, and outdoor educators. Many of our lead teachers have been with us for years…or even decades! But every year we enjoy bringing in new people to work with us as well. Please contact Artistic Director Louise Omoto Kessel if you are interested in talking about leading workshops or working a camp!
Right now we are seeking:
- a naturalist or outdoor educator who would like to provide leadership for our Outdoor Explorers program
- songwriters to provide Song Writing Workshops in a new series for teens and adults
Pretty much nothing we do would be remotely possible with out our amazing volunteers. Volunteers are needed both at camp and behind the scenes. We need “super volunteers” to lead important projects and enthusiastic volunteers to assist with EVERY aspect of our work. See our VOLUNTEER page for more information.
Anna Marie Wright joined our administrative team in the spring of 2019. She is the “Detail Wizard” of Clapping Hands farm keeping communication flowing and spread sheets calculating. Libby Searls Bohs is a super volunteer who guides our accounting process and advises on many things. We are moving towards a new model in which founder Louise Omoto Kessel will serve as the Artistic Director, partnered with a Director of Operations (aka Detail Wizard Anna) and a team of administrative assistants, volunteer coordinators, program coordinators, plus interns and super volunteers working as a team to handle all areas of our work and vision.