Summer Schools and Camps

2015 Staff Applications will be available Dec. 1, 2014


If you have questions regarding 2015 staff hiring, please send your inquiry to Summer Email.



Culver Summer School & Camps Overview


Founded in 1902, the Culver Summer Schools & Camps program is unique. It is a fun-filled, naturally beautiful 1,800-acre setting on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee, Indiana's second largest natural lake.  Each summer, over 1,350 young people from around the world, ages 7-18, develop positive self-esteem through accomplishment and self-discipline. It is a high challenge-high support environment for learning leadership skills that improve personal confidence. Culver Summer School & Camps employs 400 dedicated professionals each summer and enjoys an annual staff retention rate of 65% - clearly, Culver is a fun, exciting and rewarding place to work.  

Culver operates four separate camps that collectively extend over ten summer weeks.  Junior Woodcraft in early June and Family camp in early August are bookends to Woodcraft Camp and Upper Schools, our two six-week flagship programs that run concurrently. When applying for summer employment, keep in mind that you may apply for more than one job, and though the majority of opportunities exist during the six-week programs, it is important to let us know if you are also interested and available for Junior Woodcraft and/or Family Camp. Please note that there is a mandatory one-week orientation before Woodcraft Camp and Upper School that runs June 14-20.  In other words, working at either Woodcraft Camp or Upper Schools will require a seven-week contract starting on Saturday, June 14 and ending on Saturday, August 2. Some staff may be held under contract until Sunday, August 3. 

In a departure from our previous online staff hiring website, we have tried to simply the application process by limiting the choices you will need to make before getting into the actual online forms.  Rather than presenting a myriad of job descriptions, we ask that you simply select between four general types of staff positions:  counselor, academic instructor, athletic instructor, and administration.  Furthermore, do not feel "locked in" to a particular job category - the real purpose of the online application is for you to let us know that you would like to work at Culver.  Once you have provided the preliminary information you will receive a call from us so we can begin a dialogue to find the right camp, the right job, and the right fit.  Returning employees will be asked to let us know where you worked before and to confirm that you would like to continue contributing in that same role. 



The Camps


JUNIOR WOODCRAFT CAMP -- Ages 7-9, June 7-11, 2015

This five-day camp is designed to give approximately 175 boys and girls, ages 7-9, a taste of the six-week Woodcraft Camp, following a similar structure complete with activity rotations, cabin/unit games, evening activities and leadership opportunities.  Our 5-to-1 ratio provides the safety, leadership and supervision younger campers deserve from a world-class camp program.  

WOODCRAFT CAMP -- Ages 9-14, June 20 – July 31, 2015

Culver Woodcraft Camp is a six-week, all-activity camp designed for 625 boys and girls, ages 9 to 14. Daniel Carter Beard, the founder of the Boy Scouts of America in 1911, was the first Director of the Woodcraft Camp in 1912. Over 65 electives provide an unparalleled opportunity to participate in unique activities, improve academics and compete in athletics, all while improving self-confidence and leadership skills. Woodcrafters also develop an understanding of and appreciation for nature and other cultures. 

UPPER SCHOOLS -- Ages 14-18, June 20 – July 31, 2015

The Upper School is a six-week, all-activity camp for 725 young men and women, ages 13 to 18.  Sharing the same facilities as the winter boarding school and dubbed "Upper School" to easily differentiate it from the Woodcraft Camp, this program consists of four separate schools: the Culver Summer Naval School, the Culver School of Horsemanship, the Culver School of Aviation, and the Culver Summer School for Girls.  While boys must choose among the disciplines of the Aviation, Horsemanship or Naval School programs, girls are organized into a fourth separate school and may choose aviation, equestrian or sailing as part of their daily electives. Upper School students choose from over 80 various classes, afternoon recreation or intramural competitions and evening social activities.  Jobs in all programs involve either counseling, instruction (either academic or athletic) or administration (director level positions such as operations, program, etc.). 


Job Categories




A counselor, whether in Junior Woodcraft (ages 7-9), Woodcraft (ages 9-14) or Upper School (ages 13-17) is responsible for the safety and well-being of a group of campers.  Culver will consider a prospective counselor's age, education and experience to determine the right camp and seniority for the many different counselor staff positions available.  Minimum expectations may include the following:

  • Graduate of High School or equivalent, at least 18 years of age (at least 1 year of college is preferable)
  • Desire and ability to work with children and staff
  • Ability to relate to one’s own peer group
  • Ability to accept supervision and guidance
  • Ability to assist in teaching an activity
  • Must be an advocate for overnight camping
  • Must relate well to children ages 7-18, parents, supervisors, colleagues and subordinates
  • Must be a good communicator and positive role model
  • Good character, integrity, and adaptability, enthusiasm, sense of humor, patience, and self-control, responsible
  • Possess strong leadership skills
  • Exhibit the ability to place the needs of the campers and the camp above their own
  • Be in good health, vitality and physical stamina


Counseling is a job that demands great patience. A counselor is one who expresses feelings appropriately, who establishes rapport easily, and who administers discipline with respect and care.  A counselor is a person who sets the proper example and is a positive role model at all times. 



Instructors at Culver Summer Schools & Camps provide instruction to camp participants for the indicated activity or subject. The staff member teaches the associated knowledge and skills and assists campers in achieving activity or lesson goals. Minimum expectations may include either prior teaching or coaching experience as well as specific experience in a specific skill (i.e. water skiing, archery, golf, etc.).  Successful applicants must enjoy working with children/teens. Some instructor positions may require professional certification, license or related experience. Instructors will have duties assigned in addition to teaching responsibilities related to the specific camp and camp structure.



The administration at Culver Summer Schools & Camps provide the day-to-day leadership of the program, operations, staff and campers. Administrators are responsible for all aspects of camp including the training and supervision of staff. They may organize and schedules programs and activities, establish and deliver camp goals, plans camp programs and monitor camp progress. 
Minimum expectations may include several years’ camp staff experience, strong leadership skills and exceptional communication ability.


Benefits of Working at Culver Summer Schools & Camps


  • Room and board in dorms or barracks (Upper School Counselors), motels (most instructors and administration) or cabins (Junior Woodcraft & Woodcraft Counselors), plus all meals in the camp dining halls 
  • Married staff with families may be housed in the Academy motel
  • Children of staff may attend Culver Summer Schools & Camps at a reduced tuition
  • Camp uniforms for daily wear includes polo shirts, t-shirts and shorts.  Some positions require 
  • Free laundry and dry cleaning on a weekly basis for all camp related items 
  • Free medical diagnosis and consultation with staff nurses and doctors for normal camp illness and injury.
  • All staff members are encouraged to utilize Culver's beautiful 1800 acre campus and many world class facilities. These include: 

Nine-hole golf course; Tennis courts; Outdoor and indoor basketball courts; Year-round ice arena; Recreation complex that includes pool, diving well, basketball courts, volleyball courts, indoor track and tennis courts, handball and racquetball courts, weight room, gymnastics room, fencing room, wrestling room and trainers office and equipment; Stables and riding hall (generally for riding staff only); Sailing fleet of 120 boats including the largest three-masted square-rigged vessel on any inland lake in the United States; A fleet of 14 competition ski boats; Eppley Auditorium and Theater for campus movies and theatrical productions; Outdoor track; 11 intramural fields; Campus and surrounding country side for jogging and cycling; High Ropes Course with 50' Climbing Tower


Making a Difference at Culver


Feedback from staff tells us that counselors gain as much from the Culver summer experience as the campers themselves. Some of the reasons given for working at Culver range from the opportunity to be outdoors in a beautiful environment, to establishing lasting friendships, to the making of decisions that affect the welfare of others, to preparation for teaching and parenthood. Perhaps the most satisfying is a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment that comes with completing a challenging task and from making a positive impact helping children learn and develop.


Final Thoughts


In closing, it should again be emphasized that a Culver summer job is one of hard work, commitment, and challenge but one that can be extremely rewarding. It is well documented that success and good fortune will not come in the same manner for all counselors and instructors. The idea that "you can make a difference" has long been a Culver objective and the attitudes and energy that you use in making a positive difference will have a direct effect on the benefits you personally gain. It is our hope that after reading this material you will understand what we feel are the benefits of working in Culver's Summer Schools & Camps, as well as the commitment and dedication that is needed.


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Summer Schools and Camps

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