Camp Jackson


The Summer of a Lifetime!

How would you like to spend the summer living and playing in the Colorado Rocky Mountains?  Interested in being a life changing role model for children all the while showing them the magic and majesty of outdoor adventure?  If leading kids on backpacking trips, rock climbing challenges and horse rides sounds interesting to you I ask you to consider spending the summer working at YMCA Camp Jackson. 

Located in the Rocky Mountains near Rye, CO, YMCA Camp Jackson has been building the character of children through outdoor programming since 1916.  Camp Jackson is a resident summer camp that offers 1-2 week programs for children ages 7-17.  Camp Jackson uses traditional camping activities along side of leadership and extreme adventure programming to offer youth a summer experience that leaves them empowered with the values of the YMCA. 


Types of Counselors

Base Camp Counselor
The Base Camp Counselor is the backbone of the camp staff.  These counselors work with campers age 7-12 and stay in our “Hill” cabins.  Each day is packed with activities following the Base Camp program.  Each Base Camp Counselor spends their mornings teaching a “Specialty Area”.  The Specialty Areas are Marksmanship, Horsemanship, Mountain Sports and Eco Survival Challenge.  During our staff training we will teach you the skills required to work in the area that matches your passion!  Below are some of the descriptions for specialty instructors.

  • Marksmanship Instructor- working in this specialty area allows you to teach the fundamentals of riflery and archery.  We focus on teaching skills and safety for on and off the range.
  • Horsemanship Instructor- this area allows you to empower youth with the values of the YMCA through horse activities.  These include area work, trail rides and basic gymkhana. 
  • Mountain Sports Instructor- use your outdoor passion to teach campers single pitch rock climbing, canoeing and orienteering! 
  • Eco Survival Challenge- are you a naturalist or mountain man?  This is your area to teach!  You’ll teach campers survival skills, ways to express themselves with nature focused art as well as basic woodworking.

Teen Camp Counselor
A Teen Counselor is a special breed of Counselor.  They must be both friend and mentor to a group of campers in a particularly complicated time in life.  Despite the innate challenges the Teen Counselor makes a huge impact in the lives of teen age campers through exciting outdoor adventures and leadership programs!  Below of some of the activities of Teen Counselors.

  • Extreme Teen Counselor- leads campers on overnight trips rock climbing and white water rafting.  The Extreme program requires extreme fitness and leadership, you’ll be asked to carry more than your share as you take campers on amazing outdoor adventures. 
  • Leadership Counselor- YMCA Camp Jackson has a great leadership program that helps build up and train the next generation of leaders in our community.  As a Leadership Counselor you’ll use our curriculum and your own personal experience to empower your cabin with the skills to be great leaders. 

Transferable Skills

As a counselor you gain some exceptional skills to help you progress in a career in child development, or indeed any career path you choose!  Transferrable skills include:

  • Leadership- you learn to model character and good behavior for campers including teamwork, listening, responsibility, initiative and sportsmanship.  You’ll learn to motivate campers to develop new skills and support them in their efforts to try new activities and resolve conflicts.
  • Management and Supervision- you’ll undertake a 24 hour responsibility for managing daily activities of a diverse group of children.  You gain experience supervising personal interaction and skill development both in the cabin and with youth around camp.  In addition, you gain experience assisting camp leadership with scheduling and management.
  • Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution- a camp counselor becomes an expert in listening and counseling skills by helping campers learn to live together.  You’ll develop solutions for camper conflicts and teach them how to work together to resolve problems themselves.
  • Teamwork- counselors learn to cooperate with other counselors within camp to create and implement group activities and special programs as well as model teamwork for campers as a skill for group achievement.
  • Program Development- as a counselor you will gain experience creating programs and assist leadership with special programs, educational activities and event planning.  You’ll gain specific experience creating spontaneous exciting programs to keep campers involved and active.
  • Communication- you’ll learn to speak to parents, write professional letters and learn to communicate positive and negative experiences to supervisors.  You’ll be an expert in communicating with your team to collaborate on the camp mission. 
  • Evaluation- counselors regularly observe and document campers’ behavior and skill development as well as provide feedback to children as necessary.  You’ll learn to report and do evaluations with supervisors.

Commitment and Compensation

As a counselor you commit to working June 5th, 2015 – August 1st, 2015.  Compensation is based on experience but subject to the fact that we are a non-profit charity serving the youth of our community.  Most staff make between $150 - $400 per week.  The average pay for 1st year counselors is $200 per week + room and board for the summer.

We are looking for mature staff members to role model healthy living and the YMCA four core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.

Camp is for people who love working with kids in the outdoors.  The ideal staff member enjoys hiking, camping, working as part of a team and will pitch in wherever needed.  Staff members must be willing to follow rules and policies for the good of everyone, stay positive, and enjoy a challenge.

To apply, please read the job descriptions then print and fill out the application.  These may be mailed or faxed to the YMCA. Additionally please print out three references and have them filled in and mailed back to the YMCA - we cannot interview you untill we have 3 references.