Staff FAQs

Amazing camps hire amazing people. When you arrive for staff training you can expect to be surrounded by people with an infectious spirit and deep commitment to filling our campers’ summer days with growth, learning and tons of fun. Your peers will have a very strong work ethic and be willing to give everything they got to make camp magical for all of our campers.

Your fellow staff members will be a little zany, smile a lot, love sports, and truly enjoy working with kids. They will arrive every day with a ton of energy and a positive outlook. They will be nurturing and supportive of each other and our campers. They will be uncharacteristically responsible and organized for their age and very comfortable leading a group of campers with authority and sensitivity. 

Sound like you? Then you should definitely apply if you haven’t already.

A typical day begins with excited, crazy, and smiling staff greeting campers as they arrive for camp. Camp begins with a short all camp meeting with a little zing to start the day. Counselors then lead their camper team through a morning rotation that includes three scheduled activities with a snack after the first activity. You might lead your group from basketball to water rocketry to whiffle ball. Camp provides a snack to all staff each day.

At noon the entire camp breaks for a delicious lunch and then a 40-minute free choice period. During free choice period all counselors will be assigned coverage at one of the options offered to campers. Options rotate each day and include activities like ping pong, foosball, open gym/field time, a daily whiffle ball game or just hanging with friends.

Counselors then convene their camper team for the afternoon rotation. Your afternoon may take you and your campers from Capture the Flag to frisbee golf to dodgeball with a 15-minute rest break after your fourth activity.

Throughout the day you are making sure all of your campers are having a blast, staying hydrated, and covered in sunscreen.

We end each day with a team meeting. During team meeting everyone (including counselors) enjoy a deliciously cold and refreshing popsicle as you celebrate the day and recognize your campers’ many milestones. Staff remains to pitch in with camp clean up before heading home for much needed rest and refueling.

Weather in El Cerrito is ideal for a largely outdoors sports and games camp. Temperatures during a typical camp day usually range from the low 60’s in the early morning to the mid 70’s at the afternoon peak. El Cerrito enjoys nice dry days throughout Camp Olympia’s session dates. It is a rare occurrence to experience rain, but, on the off chance we do, we have plenty of indoor space to hold a successful day of camp.

Camp Olympia provides staff lunch during staff training, camp set-up and breakdown days, and on all field trips. On normal camp days you may purchase lunch through our caterer at a discounted rate. You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own lunch if you would like. Counselors are with their camp team during lunch and, therefore, not allowed to go off site during the lunch period.

All camp staff receive 5 camp staff t-shirts during staff training. You are expected to wear Camp Olympia staff shirts and professional, athletic wear each day. Counselors must wear closed toed athletics shoes each day. We recommend wearing a hat, but that one is up to you.

You can expect a lot from staff training: a lot of fun, a lot of bonding, a lot of learning, and a lot of crazy, spirited behavior. The purpose of staff training is to learn, grow and share together as we prepare to create a magical, awesome experience for every single camper.

Staff training will hone the following skills as well as emphasize self-care and much more:

  • maintaining positive group control
  • leading and inspiring campers to make good choices as individual athletes
  • reinforcing and celebrating the Big 6 Behaviors when they are present among campers
  • recognizing and redirecting campers when they are struggling to practice camp expectations and the Big 6 Behaviors
  • developing familiarity and proficiency with all sports and activities offered at Camp Olympia
  • time management and advance planning
  • team building
  • emergency procedures

Absolutely! We will pay your normal weekly salary for the week we spend together training. Staff training is our investment in you. We believe deeply in you. We want you to be as well prepared as possible. We want to make sure you develop a closeness with the adults with whom you will share this amazing experience, and, above all, we want you to go into day one of camp confident, joyful, and excited.

This is an extremely important question. With so many options for filling your summer, why invest that time in working with Camp Olympia. We’ve devoted an entire page to explaining why. Please check out our Why Work at Camp O page.

Staff training will begin bright and early at 8am on Monday, June 15th. July 31st will be our last day of camp for all staff who have not signed up to help with camp breakdown, packing and clean up.

Once all campers have been picked up on July 31st, we will enjoy a celebratory staff dinner to relax after making it through seven intense weeks, bask one final time in the joy of working together, celebrate delivering a magical summer to our campers, and hold our own staff awards presentation.

As you can easily imagine, as a summer day camp focused on sports, games, and healthy activities there is a very strict ban on the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs of any kind. This, of course, includes use while on campus or arriving under the influence in any way. Any staff member caught using any of these substances while at camp or arriving to work under the influence will be terminated immediately.

All staff will be fully screened prior to confirming your employment for the summer. All confirmed hires must first pass thorough background, fingerprinting, and reference checks. Fingerprinting will include a thorough search of county, state and national databases.

You should always feel free to reach out to our camp director, Jason Singer. He can be reached by phone at 510-473-5516 or by email at jason@camp-o.com. Please reach out with ANY question big or small.