Summer Camp Staff Compensation

Of course, the reason you take any job is because it comes with a paycheck. It is not rude to ask what the pay rate would be before you interview or even
apply for the job. You’ll find that many camps actually list pay information right on their websites – in full detail.


If you have experience in the field or will be providing specialized instruction, the hourly rate or salary may be higher. Also, returning camp staff typically earn a higher rate of pay than first-year camp staffers and potentially a small bonus for returning.

Do you have CPR or first aid certification or other medical training or applicable training? Some camps boost pay incrementally based on what you bring to the table with respect to training and certifications.

Most staff are paid a weekly amount and receive room and board and laundry service at no charge. Weekly pay ranges from $175 on the low end to $400 on the high end. Some camps offer a ‘completion bonus’ to those who finish out the entire season. That bonus may be equal to a week of pay.

It’s commonplace for a summer camp to get its staff together for an orientation week before the first camper session begins. This is paid time.

Some staff travel quite a distance to their camp, which can be expensive considering the high price of gas. Try to negotiate a travel stipend during the hiring process. Any little bit helps, even if it’s only $50 to $300.

Finally, ask whether the camp gives referral bonuses to those who recommend applicants who ultimately get hired.

Here’s a quick side note for those who are passionate about working with and helping children. Please be sure to read our extensive section on volunteer jobs overseas, which includes details on youth volunteering. This is very rewarding work and should not be overlooked. Many volunteer jobs abroad are located in Central and South America, Asian countries, Mexico, and Africa where people, young and old, need lots of help. For more information on working overseas visit our Work Abroad Section.

In total, for approximately eight or nine weeks of work, summer camp counselors could end up earning around $3,000 after taxes. Since you’re not paying for room and board it would be possible to pocket most of that money!

To be honest, there are higher paying summer jobs but few that are, overall, as rewarding.

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