Summer Positions

The 2021 staff application is now available! 

NOTICE: With the uncertainty of the precautions that may be necessary due to COVID19, camp dates and positions are subject to change. 

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, nearly 1,400 young people from around the world, ages 7-17, 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 450 dedicated professionals each summer and enjoys an annual staff retention rate of 65%. Culver is a fun, exciting and rewarding place to work.

Culver operates three separate camps that collectively extend over seven summer weeks. Junior Woodcraft in early June runs before the Woodcraft Camp and Upper Schools, our two six-week flagship programs that run concurrently. Please note that there is a mandatory one-week orientation before Woodcraft Camp and Upper School that runs June 12-17, 2021. In other words, working at either Woodcraft Camp or Upper Schools will require a seven-week contract starting on Saturday, June 12th. Keep in mind that some jobs require more than the 1 week of staff orientation training – specifically, sailing staff, lifeguards requiring certification and some additional staff. 

The Camps

JUNIOR WOODCRAFT CAMP -- Ages 7-9, June 9 - 12, 2021
This four-day camp is designed to give approximately 180 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 staff-to-camper ratio provides the safety, leadership and supervision younger campers deserve from a world-class camp program.

WOODCRAFT CAMP -- Ages 9-14, June 18 – July 31, 2021
Culver Woodcraft Camp is a six-week, all-activity camp designed for 732 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 80 electives provide an unparalleled opportunity to participate in unique activities, learn new skills and compete in athletics and military activities, all while improving self-confidence and leadership skills. Woodcrafters also develop an understanding of and appreciation for nature and other cultures.

UPPER SCHOOL -- Ages 14-17, June 18– July 31, 2021
The Upper School is a six-week, all-activity camp for 660 young men and women, ages 14 to 17. Sharing the same facilities as the winter boarding school, the Upper School is made up of four separate organizations: the Summer Naval School, the School of Horsemanship, the School of Aviation, and the 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, compete in afternoon recreation or intramural games, and enjoy evening social activities. Jobs in all programs involve either counseling, instruction (either academic or athletic) or administration.

Job Categories

A counselor, whether in Junior Woodcraft (ages 7-9), Woodcraft (ages 9-14) or Upper School (ages 14-17) is responsible for the safety and well-being of a group of campers/students. 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 highly preferred)
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 7-17, 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 (lifeguard, Indiana Boating License). 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 provides 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 schedule classes 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), guest rooms (senior staff or married instructors), or cabins (Junior Woodcraft & Woodcraft counselors and instructors), plus all meals in the camp dining halls
  • Children of staff may attend Culver Summer Schools & Camps at a reduced tuition
  • Camp uniforms for daily wear include polo shirts, t-shirts and shorts.
  • Free laundry and dry cleaning on a weekly basis for all camp related items
  • All staff members are encouraged to utilize Culver's beautiful 1800 acre campus and many world-class facilities. These include: 
    • Nine-hole golf course, recently refurbished
    • Tennis courts (indoor & outdoor)
    • Basketball courts (indoor & outdoor)
    • 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, fencing room, wrestling room and trainer's 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 & indoor track
    • Over 20 intramural fields
    • Campus and surrounding countryside for jogging and cycling


Each summer some of the camp staff also complete school-required internships as part of their Culver work experience.  In the past, staff members have completed internships in administration, art, communications, education, event planning, management, psychology, sports management, and sustainability.  Interested students may contact summerjobs@culver.org for additional information.

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 prepare 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.