Cropped silly photo
2018 Staff Photo
14505966332_37196d0d7a_o_edited.jpg 2014-11-14-13:51:53


Make A Difference

Let's change the world together


Dear Prospective Team Member,

You have just taken the first step in exploring what could possibly be the best summer of your life. Each year, God calls over 50 summer staff members to our team which impacts thousands of young lives. The theme of summer camp at Chestnut Ridge is “Food, Faith, & Farming.” Throughout the summer, we will seek to learn and live what it means to respect and care for God’s Creation. We will feed the animals and till the ground at the Community Farm and share in delicious meals made from local sustainably grown food. We will play, pray, explore, create, and share life together as a community. We strive to offer the best experience in Christian camping for each of our summer campers. In order to meet this goal, we actively recruit, train and nurture the most qualified staff. Working on staff here is a commitment to living in community. From the moment you first arrive at camp until the farewell dinner, you are part of a family. Living into this experience requires commitment, courage, and honesty. It is a life-changing summer to work and live in Christian community. By living and working in the great outdoors and investing in relationships with God, your fellow team members, and the campers, you will build friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.


Please take the time to carefully read all the information about the job If you have questions, please contact us. You can e-mail 


Peace of Christ,

The Leadership Team at Chestnut Ridge


Applying to work at Chestnut Ridge is a competitive process. We typically have more applicants than spaces available. Senior Staff members must be 18. Junior Staff must be 16 and have finished their junior year of high school. Priority is given to applicants who are available to work the entire summer. 

Your Role

Patience, flexibility and endurance are the three most important qualities when working as a summer staff. Your role as a summer staff member requires you to work long hours, present your best self and selflessly serve others. The vast majority of our summer camp staff are residential. As a staff member, you are responsible for helping with 24-hour supervision of the campers. A typical cabin has 2 senior staff members and 10 campers. During the day, you will either lead or assist in program areas with a small group of campers, our youngest campers. Staff are given the opportunity to experience a variety of camp activities throughout the summer. 


Going 110 percent every day is important. Campers are inspired by your energy and enthusiasm, so staff must have high energy every day. If you’re having fun and giving your energy and talent to the campers, the campers have fun, and get inspired to be more and learn more.

Important Dates

Trip Leader Training: May 20-22 for anyone interested in leading an off-site adventure trip

High Ropes Training: May 22-26 for anyone interested in facilitating the High Challenge Course and Tree Climbing.

Horseback Instructor Training: May 23-25 for Equestrian Staff

Lifeguard Training: May 28 - June 1 for anyone interested in being a certified Lifeguard

Staff Training: June 1 - June 10

MANDATORY Staff training for all senior staff (Junior Staff are required to attend junior staff training)

Junior Staff Training: May 13-14 (With alternate options if you can't make it for these days)

Camp Sessions: run weekly, Sunday to Friday, June 11 - August 25 (understanding that many college students are not available the last week or two of camp)

SALARY & BENEFITS: Salaries are based upon position, experience, and skills.


Staff Benefits

Competitive Salary

First Year Senior Staff: $270/week

Second Year Senior Staff: $290/week

Third Year Senior Staff: $310/week

Fourth Year Senior Staff: $320/week

Fifth Year Senior Staff: $330/week

Junior Staff: $225/week

Junior Staff Second yr: $245/week

Increase in pay: for certifications obtained during staff training

Lifeguard Certification - Belay Certification - Horseback Riding Instructor

You can increase your weekly pay by $5/week, plus receive additional pay to attend the trainings (approx $200 per training).

(Salaries listed include an incentive bonus for Senior staff that you will receive upon successful completion of your contract.)

Housing and Meals

Housing is provided throughout the summer. Meals are provided throughout the week and on weekends when we have retreat groups on site. The 5 cabins and 2 lodges at Chestnut Ridge are air-conditioned and have bathrooms in the cabins. Some weeks you will be assigned to a “camper cabin”, which typically has 2 counselors and 10 campers. Other weeks you will be assigned to a "staff cabin". These have a detached bathroom, electricity and air conditioning.

Time Off

Most staff take off a week each summer for vacation, mission trips, etc. Additionally, each week staff have off one night (from 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm) and are off from approximately 9:00 p.m. Friday evening until 12:30 pm Sunday afternoon. Retreat groups doing programs on Saturdays offers the staff opportunities to make additional money at an hourly rate.


Being a staff member at camp allows you to connect to our alumni network of former staff and parents who are business owners and employers who recognize your commitment. Sharing camp with alumni and parents is a common language that demonstrates your dedication, commitment and strong work ethic. 

Professional Development

Camp is invested in your development and your success. Our objective is to fully equip you with the leadership skills that will enable you to be an effective leader at camp, at school, and in today’s workforce. We focus on building excellent skills in the areas of collaborative teamwork, effective communication, creative thinking and problem-solving. While at camp, we are helping you identify and develop your strengths in these areas. Many colleges and universities give internship/class credit for summer positions at Camp. Check out this article for more information about why working at camp is beneficial for your future! 

Curious how being on Summer Staff can look on your resume? Click Here!

A bit more about camp...

Pollywogs are the youngest campers. These preschoolers only come for a half-day camp a few times during the summer

Mudpuppies: Campers in Kindergarten-2nd grade. They remain in a small group with the same counselors all week long to ensure continuity and safety.

Waterdogs and Duskies: For summer 2021 campers will stay in small groups of about 10 to 16 campers all day. There are a few major options that campers will choose (listed below) but most campers will participate in the Best of Camp major. In their small group campers will participate in most of the best of camp activities that Chestnut Ridge has to offer - such as: high ropes, lake toys, pool, canoeing, farm, art, sports, and more!

Major options:

Best of Camp - this is what most campers will do

Horseback Riding

Farm - 2 weeks

Herpetology - 1 week

High School: These campers stay in a small group with other campers their age and participate in very specific camps designed with the high schooler in mind. These camps often involve an extended period of time offsite participating in high adventure activities. Learn more about high school camps here

Chestnut Ridge serves both day and residential campers. Each week, many staff will be assigned as residential staff, meaning they stay in the cabin with the campers. Remaining staff will be housed in the staff cabins or in extra cabins (if available). Staff must be willing to work with any age level.

Evenings offer resident campers the opportunity to:

  • Enjoy evening meals together

  • Camp-wide games of Capture the Flag

  • The Amazing Race

  • Pool Parties

  • Dance Parties

  • Evening vespers

  • Home in the Woods - Everyone camps out and cooks dinner over the campfire

Evening activities are usually the highlight of the day for residential campers. This is a great time for campers and staff to bond with their cabins.

Things to Consider About Working at Camp

We are first and foremost about glorifying the Lord with our words, actions and deeds. We place a lot of emphasis on actively participating in worship and Bible study as formative and essential components of our spiritual lives and community. Staff are expected to help lead worship and Bible study as well as model worshipful attitudes throughout the day.


We live and work in an atmosphere of Christian hospitality. We welcome each and every camper as a unique and special person, created by God, and worthy of our best effort. You must be willing to work with all types of people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. During camp, your attention and energy must allow you to focus beyond yourself and your friends and reach for relationship with each child.


We live and teach responsible care for the earth. We believe that Christian stewardship extends to the created world and calls us to live in harmony with both the living and non-living creation. All of creation is God’s and worthy of our care. To this end, we seek to live lightly on the land, to give as much as we take and to encourage lifestyles that will provide a sustainable future for all God’s children.


Finally, this is a place of Christian fellowship. That means camp should be fun and memorable! Laughter and joy covers every activity. We are about the business of celebrating life and relationship, creation and growth, people and God. Each staff person brings with them gifts that can enhance and develop our summer camp program. We look forward to learning about the gifts God has given you.


The Leadership Team at Chestnut Ridge is committed to helping each staff person grow through their experiences at Chestnut Ridge. Your personal growth is important to us and we hope to build a strong relationship with each person here.