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east texas kids camp

Being a camp counselor has many rewards. You receive on-the-job training, plus the valuable experience of working with children in a great environment.  It is a fun way to spend part of the summer while growing your resume and personal aptitudes. We believe in staff development and provide counselors with great training. Camp Fern is also a solid reference when you start looking for a full time job because all employers value a person who deals well with people. Flexibility, perseverance, patience, and conflict resolution are also a few skills you will develop working with us. Children are so full of affection and fun; whatever you give to them is returned countless times over.  It is amazing what a difference you can make in these children’s lives! It’s also amazing how you and your co-workers will positively impact each other this summer! The bonds made at Camp Fern often extend beyond summer, giving you a real sense of community and accomplishment.

The dates for the 2019 summer are:

Staff Development**

Sunday, May 26th – Saturday, June 1st

Girls’ Camp

Sunday, June 2nd – Saturday, June 29th

Coed Camp

Sunday, June 30th – Saturday, July 6th

Boys’ Camp

Sunday, July 7th – Saturday, August 3rd

**Additional training dates may be required post-hire before the summer season begins

  • Session Options
  • Living Quarters
  • Responsibilities
  • Off Time
  • Philosophy
  • Salary

Session Options

Counselors can either work for part of the summer or the entire summer, with the minimum hire term set at one month. This does not include staff development, which is required. Except for coed camp, our sessions are focused on single gender camping.  Our staff demographics match this focus accordingly. Female counselors are hired first for Girls’ Camp and male counselors are hired first to work Boys' Camp. Female staff do not just work boys or Coed Camp; the same idea applies to male staff. Counselors seeking full summer opportunities will be hired based on their past experience, work ethic, and skills, as well as the current needs of Camp Fern.

Living Quarters

Two to three counselors live in an open-air log cabin with approximately ten to twelve campers. All cabins are furnished with lights, ceiling fans, and electrical outlets but are not air-conditioned. Bathrooms and showers are located a short walking distance from each cabin. Campers are grouped according to age and grade with ages ranging from six to sixteen (grades 1-10) at four-week sessions and ages six to twelve (grades 1-6) at the one and two-week sessions.


Counselor responsibilities fall into four main categories:

  1. Parenting your campers

  2. Serving as positive role models for the campers and other counselors

  3. Teaching activities

  4. Helping with evening activities and other tasks.

Taking care of the children is always our number #1 priority!  We are here to help them learn and grow, and this is accomplished in many settings and in a variety of ways.

Counselors teach one or more different activities from the programs we offer. Every counselor gets one “off-duty” period a day, which means you are “on duty” to teach five out of six periods a day. You may also be asked to help with one hour of “free time” once or twice per week depending on your job description. Counselors interact with campers of all ages regularly and are asked to provide wholesome, positive role model examples! During your activity periods, you are responsible for providing your campers engaging experiences while teaching them new skills and managing their behavior. At night, when you are “on duty,” you will be asked to assist with evening activities in addition to your cabin responsibilities. When “off duty” at night, you have the privilege of leaving our campus. Regardless of “on-duty” or “off-duty” status, our counselors are expected and required to uphold all Camp Fern rules and policies for the duration of their contract(s). The thing to remember is that we are here for Camp Fern and here for these children!  We do what is necessary to get the job done and to do it well!!!

Off Time

We want to keep our counselors fresh and energized! For this reason, Camp Fern rewards its counselors with generous opportunities to “take a break.” We feel that adequate “off-duty” time is very important for all of our counselors and never want anyone to feel “burned-out.” All counselors are awarded the following “off-duty” time:

  • One period “off duty” (1 hour) daily

  • Every other evening “off duty” except for Sundays, with a 1:00 a.m. curfew

  • Every other rest hour (1½ hours after lunch) “off duty” except for Sundays

  • A weekend “half-day” H.D. “off duty”, three times in a four week session

    • H.D. (7:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.) or (2:30 p.m. – 8:30 a.m.) depending on schedule each week

  • All counselors are required to be “on duty” all day and night on Sundays

All employees are required to uphold all Camp Fern rules and policies whether “on duty” or “off duty.”


Camp Fern’s summer camp for children in East Texas has a fun, relaxed atmosphere where people from different backgrounds—campers and counselors alike—can come experience the unique wonders of relational camping in an outdoor setting. Our objectives are very wholesome, promoting both development as individuals and collective growth as a group. Our programs encourage the development of self-esteem, character, and self-reliance while creating environments that allow us to build lifelong friendships and grow in community. Our small family atmosphere helps provide the nurturing environment where both children and counselors are drawn to appreciate nature, themselves, and each other at levels hard to achieve elsewhere. We hold dear our values and attempt to impart them to those we serve. It takes a full commitment from our staff to make each summer special and provide the care each child deserves, and we support each other throughout our time to achieve these goals.

We are a private, residential summer camp based on Christian values and principles. These principles are built into our summer camp programs in East Texas and relied on throughout our time here. We feel it is very important to share God’s Word with others and believe strongly in our motto:

“God first, others second, I am third.”

We welcome people of all religious ideations to camp and will do our best to respect your beliefs. It is also necessary that you respect our beliefs as well for the time that you join us. Our youth summer programs in East Texas include a daily vesper service and church on Sundays, as well as a special Sunday night service called “Green Cathedral.” Campers and counselors help plan and put on these services. If you feel uncomfortable participating in this program, please discuss it further with a program director immediately.


Base pay for someone with one year in college and no special skills is about $200 per week.  Pay is higher with each subsequent year in college or with previous training or certification in:

  • WSI or Lifeguard certificates from the Red Cross

  • Certification from the National Rifle Association

  • Challenge Course certifications

  • Additional certifications considered

If you are interested in pursuing any of the above listed certifications at our expense, please ask for details. In addition, each staff member may receive additional merit pay at the end of each four-week session, based on performance.

Camp Fern also covers room, board, and laundry. That’s right! Three hot meals a day, a free place to stay, and we’ll clean and fold your clothes!!! This is, of course, in addition to the multitude of fantastic memories we’re going to create together!

If you have any more questions about Camp Fern, please give us a call!

William Rotzler - Program Director

Lindsey Spiller - Program Director