Work at Camp Michigania Walloon

Working at Camp Michigania in northern Michigan could very well be one of the most memorable jobs of your life. You’ll meet and network with amazing U-M alumni, get to know children and adults who will change your life, and make friends you’ll keep for a lifetime.

Each summer, around 75 passionate people are hired to help ensure Camp Michigania Walloon remains the special place it has been for over 50 years. Both current students and alumni can be a part of the Camp Michigania staff.

Staff members are hired to work in a specific program area and share responsibilities for the effective functioning of the Camp as a whole. You can expect to work six days per week, and even though working at a family camp offers more off-work hours than a kids camp might, you are still expected to be a role model 24 hours per day.

Below you will find links to info on each individual program area, general info, and job requirements for working at Michigania.

Basic Requirements for Employment

  • All hired staff members must be at least 19 years of age or have completed their first year of college when summer starts.
  • All first-year staff members must be able to stay for the entire contract period listed below to be considered in the first round of hiring.
  • All hired staff must be CPR/AED and first-aid certified prior to the start of the contract (specific areas may have other specialty certifications required (e.g. Swimming & Boating require Lifeguard Certification).
  • All hired staff must commit to training requirements prior to the summer, during the winter and spring semesters.
  • Previous experience working at a children’s camp is suggested, but not required.

Important Dates for the 2018 Season

Sign up for our email list to make sure you are first to hear when the employment application goes live, and stay in the loop on opportunities to learn more about Camp Michigania. Contact Julia Roberts, Senior Assistant Director, at to be added to the email list.

  • Nov. 1, 2017: Employment application goes live
  • December 2017/January 2018: Group interviews for new candidates begin
  • Jan. 31, 2018: First-round hiring closes
  • January/February 2018: First-round interviews take place
  • March 1, 2018: First-round job offers go out via email
  • May 25 – June 5, 2018: All staff report to Camp Michigania for training
  • June 16 – Sept. 1, 2018: Camp Michigania Season

First-round eligibility is reserved for those who apply by Jan. 31, 2018, and are available for the whole term of employment (reference each program area for their term of employment). Plan on moving in a day prior to your start date. Work will begin at 8 a.m. on your start date (unless otherwise listed) and will end at the end of the work day on Sept. 1. Due to the importance of staff training, and to the fact that we expect that all weeks of camp will be filled, strong preference will be given to those applicants who are able to work the complete length of the contract. If you have any conflicts with the dates listed, it is your responsibility to bring them forward before or during your interview.

Staff Responsibilities

Program staff members are responsible for ensuring a successful and enjoyable experience for all campers. The teaching of skills and enhancement of abilities is a major function of all staff members. Enforcement of safety rules and guidelines for each area is a responsibility shared by all staff members. Staff members work with and report to their Area Leaders. Although program staff members are hired primarily for a specific program area, they may be expected to assist in different areas, or even be reassigned, as needed.

Area leaders are responsible for the program in their specific areas. They report to the Associate/Assistant Director(s). Area leaders supervise and work with other staff members in their areas. Being an Area Leader will require additional training and preparation prior to camp, starting as early as January.

Area Coordinators complete work in addition to that of a typical Area Leader, either programmatically or logistically. They may directly supervise staff in more than one area or complete tasks outside of the scope of the Area Leader role. There were four Coordinators for the 2017 summer: Ceramics, Arts & Crafts (CAC), Waterfront (Boating & Swimming), Riding and Kids Programs.

The Area Leadership Retreat typically precedes camp, sometime between May 25 and June 1, 2018, for the upcoming summer; otherwise Area Leadership term of employment for each position corresponds to their area’s start date or is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Program Areas

Below you will find information on each individual program area. When applying, you will have the opportunity to select your top choice and alternative program areas, as well as explain what experience or skills you have in those areas.

Field Sports staff run camp-wide athletic events, field games, and the archery field and range (recreational archery lessons are given and achievements can be reached by campers). Field sports include soccer, softball, sand volleyball, bocce ball, table tennis, golf chipping, dodgeball, etc.

Archery/Field Sports staff will be internally trained to know archery safety guidelines and rules to all sports offered at camp.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, three staff were hired to work Archery/Field Sports and one staff member was half-time Archery/Field Sports and half-time in another program area.

Boating staff work with the Michigania fleet of 50+ boats (butterflies, hobie cats, flying scotts, ensigns, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, windsurfers, and a walloon). The staff teach lessons, lead excursions, skipper boats, and maintain the Michigania fleet.

It is required that boating staff become lifeguard-certified on their own before their start date at Camp Michigania.

2018 Term of Employment: June 1 – Sept. 1. Last summer, nine staff were hired to work Boating.

CAC staff provide programs for both adults and children on a daily basis (including ceramics, silk painting, batiking, glass fusion, beading, lanyards, leatherwork, etc.). The staff demonstrate and teach these crafts while maintaining the supplies and equipment in the area.

CAC staff will be internally trained to work with ceramic and glass kilns and to teach all crafts.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, seven staff were hired to work CAC.

Our fitness program has included yoga, yoga-pilates fusion, cardio drumming, Zumba, aerobics, water aerobics, kayaking, paddle boarding, the Michigania Mile race, hikes, running, dance, and collaborations with other program areas (cardio tennis, fitness ropes, etc.) or supervision of our fitness facilities.

Fitness staff are expected to have some relevant experience and may require certifications depending on the offerings. Staff hired to teach yoga must be certified before arriving at camp.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, one staff member was hired to work Fitness, one staff member was hired to work Yoga, and one staff member was hired to work half-time Fitness and half-time in another program area.

Kids camp provides structured programming for kids ages 0-6. Age groups are split into 0-2 years old, 3 & 4 years old, and 5 & 6 years old.

Kids camp staff are expected to have some experience with children and will rotate through the age groups from week to week.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, 12 staff were hired to work Kids Camp.

Nature staff provide nature hikes, educational programs, boat trips, crafts, demonstrations, astronomy programs, and rock-polishing.

Nature staff are trained internally on an ongoing basis and learn about the fauna and flora that surround the beautiful Walloon Lake and Camp Michigania in addition to the various crafts, programs, and projects the staff provide.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, four staff were hired to work Nature.

The Office Assistant provides service for campers in the camp main office and supports the full-time administrative staff that handles all camp billing, records, logistics, communication, and other administrative functions. On alternate days, the staff trained as office assistants will work in other program areas, “floating” to either a scheduled area to fill out the staffing schedule there or as needed, determined by the unique needs of the week, or on non-area programming like running sessions of the Michigania Escape Room.

Experience working in an office is not necessary, but preferred.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, two staff were hired to work Office/Program Floater.

Riding staff (and our 30 horses!) provide a recreational riding program of various level lessons and trail rides, as well as various special events.

Riding staff are expected to have experience with horses and will be trained internally on safety expectations and camp-specific lessons.

2018 Term of Employment: June 1 – Sept. 1. Last summer, seven staff were hired to work Riding.

Ropes staff provide a challenge-by-choice program that includes low-ropes group initiatives, a high ropes course, and several additional elements, including a giant’s swing, two racing zip-lines, the leap of faith, the giant’s ladder, and a climbing wall.

Ropes staff are trained and certified at camp to belay and maintain the course, including the use of clic-its for the ropes course, an auto-belay system on the climbing wall, and a device that simulates free-fall as an exit to the ropes course.

2018 Term of Employment: June 1 – Sept. 1. Last summer, five staff were hired to work Ropes.

Riflery staff run a .22 range for both kids (ages 7+) and adults, as well as a trap range for shotguns (ages 15+), including specialty events to challenge excellent marksmen.

Riflery staff will be internally trained in gun safety and care. NRA certifications are provided if no staff hired have existing certifications.

2018 Term of Employment: June 1 – Sept. 1. Last summer, two staff were hired for Riflery and an additional three staff were hired to work half-time Riflery and half-time in another program area.

The Sustainability staff member works with the camp recycling program, composting/food waste program, the Michigania garden, and other educational opportunities.

2018 Term of Employment May 25 or June 1 – Sept. 1 (earlier start date allows for the Coordinator to be part of the Leadership Team Retreat). Last year, one Sustainability Coordinator was hired.

Swim staff guard the Michigania swimming area and provide swimming lessons; in addition, they also provide special events and activities for campers of all ages (water carnival, inner tube water polo, etc.).

It is required that Swim staff become lifeguard-certified on their own before their start date at Camp Michigania.

2018 Term of Employment June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, four staff were hired to work Swimming.

Teen staff provide evening programs for campers ages 10-17 (Preteens: ages 10-12, Maize teens: ages 13 & 14, Blue teens: ages 15-17), including events like capture the flag, outdoor movies, improv games, and bonfires.

2018 Term of Employment: June 4 – Sept. 1. Teen staff create age-appropriate programming for the three age groups and have half-time assignments working in other areas and with other age groups, such as the 7-9 year olds (referred to as 789s). Last summer, six staff worked Teens.

Tennis staff provide recreational tennis instruction for all ages, including pickleball lessons and tournament, host tennis tournaments, and maintain the various tennis courts across camp.

Tennis staff are expected to have tennis experience and ability. Teaching experience is preferred.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, one staff member was hired to work Tennis and two staff were hired to work half-time tennis and half-time in another program area.

Staff working in the camp store interact with campers of all ages when they come to purchase candy, ice cream treats, postcards, travel toiletries, and many kinds of Michigania clothing and merchandise.

Store staff are expected to engage campers and oversee the use of our camp point-of-sale system. No experience is required.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Last summer, two staff were hired to work in the Camp Store.

Maintenance staff assist with groundskeeping, repairs, and other daily camp tasks for upkeep of the facility and grounds. These staff members serve on call some evenings to take care of any camper concerns that come up.

2018 Term of Employment: June 5 – Sept. 1. Each summer, two seasonal staff members are hired to join our full-time Maintenance team of four.

  • Gaining exposure and interacting with the network of alumni who visit Michigania is very beneficial in terms of making connections.Soojin Kwon, Ross School of Business

  • The training and skills a student counselor learns at Michigania are perfect for entering into the career search process.Al Catrone, Chief Administrative and Diversity Officer, Ross School of Business