Camp Nominingue is an English boys’ camp located in Quebec, about two hours north of Montreal. Like the camper population which attracts many campers from Ontario, the rest of Canada and from around the world, we try to hire a staff which reflects this diversity. Most summers, we hire about 70 staff to ensure a 1:3, staff:camper ratio. Typically, about 85% of the staff has either been a camper or a staff member in a previous summer. Our staff is predominantly male since most of the counsellors live in the tents with the campers. We do look to hire female staff members for positions that might not require living in the tent-line. In the past summers, we have hired women on the waterfront, in the craftshop, in in the office, in the infirmary, as ESL or FSL instructors, as photographers, in the theatre and as climbing instructors.
When we hire counsellors at Nominingue, we are looking for individuals who are multi-talented. When the campers arrive, most staff members will be tent counsellors, instructors of a skill activity, canoe trip leaders, program leaders and swim supervisors. We are looking for individuals who can fill many roles – we do not frequently hire simply lifeguards for the waterfront. We expect our staff to be involved in all aspects of camp life.
Qualities that we value
- We are looking for good people – Honesty and integrity are more difficult to teach than how to draw a bow
- Camp experience & life experience – we know that our staff will have an impact on the campers that attend Nominingue – the more varied these experiences, the greater the chance that we will meet the needs of all our campers
- Ability to work with a team and get along with others; willingness to take initiative and accept responsibility
- Certification has value – whether it be in lifesaving, first aid, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, mountain biking, tennis, soccer – we want our instruction program to operate in a professional manner with as much attention to safety as possible
- Potential staff member completes the staff application and sends a copy of his/her cv
- Initial contact is then made by e-mail or phone, and an interview is arranged
- Interview takes place in person or via skype
- References are checked
- Staff application is offered a contract
As pre-camp approaches, there will be opportunities for staff members to take advantage of professional development opportunities offered either at camp or in the community. We don’t want Nominingue staff to feel that earning a contract is an end-point in the process. Being a camp counsellor is an incredible opportunity to grow in skill and in confidence. Being a camp counsellor is a great way to spend the summer: being outdoors, being part of a great team, working with young people and having lots of fun. There are few jobs with greater responsibility than caring for the children of others. We look forward to working with our staff each summer and to grow with them.
At Camp, most counsellors will be living in tents like the campers. We eat our meals with the campers as well. We do have a few perks to help us through our day. There is a counsellors’ cabin for the staff to take a deserved break. Wifi access in the CC enables staff to connect with their family and friends outside of camp. Although there is a staff computer, many staff bring their own laptop to camp. Use of staff cellphone, laptops and Ipods is restricted to the CC during the day, as campers do not have access to any technology during their time at camp. Each evening, a late-night counsellor snack is offered to ensure that no one goes to bed hungry! Each spring, our staff is excited about returning to camp, to renew friendships with campers and staff alike, to lead a canoe trip to La Verendrye and to live another Camp Nominingue adventure!