Camp Staff - Frequently Asked Questions
Working on the Camp Raven Knob staff is an unforgetable experience. Browse the questions and answers below to learn more about the job.
- What would I do as a staff member at Camp Raven Knob?
- Wait! You mean I don't have to do any work?
- Well, what kind of work would I do?
- So, is it a "real" job?
- Excuse me, but you said PAYCHECK?
- And money isn't the only benefit!
- But I have a boss?
- Does the Area Director have a boss?
- What is the schedule like?
- What do I wear at Camp Raven Knob?
- Do I get any time off at camp?
- Can I leave camp for extended periods of time during the summer?
- When does camp begin?
- What about smoking?
- Where will I live?
- What if I get sick at camp?
- Can I wash clothes at camp?
- What about talking to my friends back home?
- Can I have visitors?
- How will I learn all that I need to know?
- Okay, I'm sold! Now what?
- My question isn't on this list. HELP!
1. What would I do as a staff member at Camp Raven Knob?
That's simple! You would have the MOST FUN you have EVER had with some of the BEST friends that you have ever made at the BEST place on earth -- Camp Raven Knob! Best of all, you even get paid for it!
2. Wait! You mean I don't have to do any work?
Well, not exactly! There is a lot of work required to operate one of the largest BSA summer camps in the United States, but it is all FUN!
3. Well, what kind of work would I do?
That depends on which area in camp you work. Many of our staff work in one of the program areas (such as Aquatics, Handicrafts, or Nature) and are directly involved in merit badge instruction. These staff members spend their days working with the Scouts and leaders, teaching them specialized skills. Most people associate being on camp staff with being a merit badge counselor, but at Camp Raven Knob, merit badge counselors constitute only sixty percent of our whole staff. The rest of the camp staff can be found selling snacks in the Trading Post, answering telephones in the Administration Building, preparing food in the Dining Hall, maintaining the camp property and its equipment, keeping Scoutmasters happy, building campfires, leading Vespers services, constructing new facilities, advising the Program Director, or hard at work at many other jobs! At Camp Raven Knob, there is always a place for you to work!
4. So, is it a "real" job?
It sure is! Unlike other real jobs, however, we have more fun. Just like a real job, you will have a specific job description, a supervisor that you must report to, deadlines, regulations, policies, procedures, and best of all, a paycheck! From June to August, Camp Raven Knob is a large business, with a clientele of over 5,000 people, an employee base of 150 people, and a corporate campus of over 3,200 acres. Our clients are found throughout the United States, but are concentrated along the southern east coast. Just like a "regular" business, Camp Raven Knob employs professionals in marketing, webpage design, program development, business administration, education, and counseling to continually develop and enrich one of the largest and most successful BSA summer camps in the nation. Although it is a summer camp, the Camp Raven Knob Program Committee works with the Camp Director and Program Director year round to develop new programs and promote the summer camp.
5. Excuse me, but you said PAYCHECK?
That's right! Camp Raven Knob pays its staff members. Each staff member is paid a weekly salary based on their work experience and level of responsibility. Staff members are paid every two weeks.
6. And money isn't the only benefit!
Camp Raven Knob also provides its staff members with hundreds of other perks of the job. All staff members are given a place to live and three delicious meals a day. The camp staff is also given on-the-job training, accident insurance, free drinks and popcorn in the Trading Post, discounts on uniform parts, weekends off, and a chance to develop social skills and learn more in one summer than in twelve years of education! This is only a small list...just wait until you get to camp!
7. Will I have a boss?
Yes. Camp Raven Knob is divided into many program or business areas. An area director supervises each program area. A manager supervises the business areas. These supervisors have been selected for their positions because of their experience at summer camp, their dedication to the ideals of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and their unique abilities to handle situations and solve problems. Unlike most jobs, your area director is more than your boss, they're also your friend and mentor...someone that will hang out with you when you are not working and someone that will "show you the ropes" to help make you the best staff member around!
8. Does the Area Director have a boss?
They sure do! Just like a regular job, there is a corporate structure to summer camp. Your area director reports to the Program Director, who is directly responsible for the daily and overall operation of Camp Raven Knob. All components of summer camp fall under the jurisdiction of the Program Director. The Program Director reports to the Camp Director, who is a professional representative of the Old Hickory Council and the Boy Scouts of America.
9. What is the schedule like?
As with any job, there is a schedule that staff members must adhere to. Assembly for breakfast, which is required, is at 7:20 a.m. It's early, but necessary if the Scouts at camp are to get everything done that they need to that day! Taps blows at 10:00, and most of our staff head to bed not long after that. Sleep is very important at camp; after the first day, you will want as much of it as you can get!
10. What do I wear at Camp Raven Knob?
The Raven Knob staff is a very proud bunch! We love our jobs and we love Camp Raven Knob. We like to show our loyalty to the camp and our commitment to the Boy Scouts by wearing the correct uniform while we are at camp. We recommend that staff members purchase/bring at least two "Class A" uniform shirts, several "Class B" shirts, and two or three pairs of official Scout shorts/pants (shorts recommended - it's hot during the summer!). Staff members are expected to wear complete Class A uniforms to breakfast, supper, and campfires, and Class B to lunch and at other times during the day. A complete uniform consists of the correct shirt, shorts, socks and belt. Uniform parts can be purchased at cost by staff members at the Old Hickory Council service center or the camp trading post.
11. Do I get any time off at camp?
Working at camp can be busy and even stressful at times. We all need a chance to relax and take a break from the exciting schedule of summer camp. Each staff member is given one night off per week. Nights off are great opportunities to spend time with friends from camp and travel into Mount Airy and see a movie, go to Wal-Mart, ride go-carts, eat at a restaurant, play putt-putt, or whatever! Our staff can chose between Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday night to take off. If you are unable to drive, no problem! The camp will take a van into town at least two nights a week for those staff members that are unable to drive or would rather ride! Staff members are also also given at least twenty-four hours off each weekend. Once the program areas and staff quarters have been cleaned, trash pickup and tent crew is completed, and the last troop has left camp, the staff will be dismissed. The usual dismissal time is around 11:00am on Saturday, and the staff is not expected back at camp until 11:00am on Sunday for a staff brunch and meeting. Staff members are allowed to stay the weekend, but are responsible for their own food. No meals are served at camp for Saturday lunch, Saturday supper, or Sunday breakfast. Usually, staff members in camp for the weekend will go into town Saturday evening for a bite to eat. Don't worry, no one will go hungry!
12. Can I leave camp for extended periods of time during the summer?
At Camp Raven Knob, the total dedication and commitment of each staff member is expected and necessary for camp to be successful. Although exceptions to this rule can be arranged through the Program Director, staff are not encouraged to be absent from their duties for any extended length of time. Extenuating circumstances (like Philmont, Jamboree or NOAC)and special requests should be submitted in writing to email@example.com prior to June 1. If you have any serious concerns, please supply these on your staff application. We are happy to work with you in your situation.
13. When does camp begin?
Summer Camp will officially kick off for the camp staff in early June, approximately one week before campers arrive! The camp staff will spend that time getting to know one another, developing our skills as managers, counselors, instructors, and customer service specialists. We will also comple the physical preparations required for each area. The first Scouts to arrive are the participants in Cub Scout/Webelos Resident Camp, and then we begin weekly cycles of Scouts BSA summer camp through early August. The last few days of the summer are used to shut the camp down and prepare for the fall and winter programs. A summer calendar for the current year is available here.
14. What about smoking?
The use of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes/vaporizers, alcohol, and narcotics by members of the Camp Staff is strictly prohibited at any time during the course of employment. Violation of this rule, in any form, shall result in immediate termination and, if applicable, intervention by law enforcement. Upon hire, all staff members must consent to random drug testing throughout the summer.
15. Where will I live?
At Camp Raven Knob, each staff member is provided, at no cost, a place to live for the summer. While at camp, your staff quarters will feel like your home away from home. Most staff will live in buildings or cabins built to house many people at once. When packing for camp, please remember that you will share your quarters with other staff members...so don't take over the entire building! Be mindful when packing. Although rare, damage to or theft of personal property does sometimes occur. Please note that Camp Raven Knob is not responsible for damage or theft of personal belongings.
16. What if I get sick at camp?
No problem! Our Health Lodge staff is trained to handle most minor accidents, illnesses, or injuries. Any serious medical problem will be directed to Northern Hospital of Surry County. As a member of the camp staff, you will be covered under the accident insurance policy of the Boy Scouts of America. Illnesses and injuries that are not job related would need to be covered by your personal medical insurance.
17. Can I wash clothes at camp?
Of course! There are several different washer/dryer sets located throughout camp. Each of these is available for staff use. Be sure to bring laundry detergent. Bar soap won't work so well in the machines!
18. What about talking to my family and friends back home?
Staying in touch with your family and friends is important and we encourage all of our staff members to keep in touch with everyone from back home! If you bring a cell phone, be advised that Verizon generally has spotty service throughout camp, whereas AT&T and Sprint have none. Various locations throughout camp have WiFi available. Staff can also send and receive "snail mail" via the United States Postal Service six days per week. Your mailing address at camp will be:
Camp Raven Knob
Attn: [Your Name] - [Your Area]
266 Raven Knob Road
Mt. Airy, NC 27030
19. Can I have visitors?
Of course! Every Wednesday night is Visitors' Night. Your family and friends are all invited to come to camp and visit with you, see where you live and what you do! Dinner is not served in the dining hall on Wednesday nights, so your family and friends will need to make arrangements to bring food to camp. As a staff member, you are expected to be at the Wednesday Night campfire, but it is so moving, who would want to miss it? Be sure to encourage your visitors to stay and participate. During the rest of the week, we ask that families and friends allow you to focus on your responsibilities to camp and the program. Visitors at any time other than Wednesday evening need to be verified through your area director, the Program Director, or the Camp Director.
20. How will I learn all that I need to know?
We will teach you! At Camp Raven Knob, we develop our staff members. Your training will begin at Staff Interview Day in January. Although you will be interviewed that day, you will also begin training - meeting other staff members, learning about camp culture and trivia, and discovering the joys of being on camp staff.
Our second staff event of the season is Staff Training Weekend, held in March. By this point, all staff will have returned their contracts and been assigned to an area, so area-specific training is a primary focus of Staff Training Weekend.
Your first week at camp during the summer will be "Staff Week," where you and your fellow staff members will participate in intensive training led by our National Camping School trained leadership team. You will get to know one another, develop skills, and comple the physical preparations required for each area. However, your training will not end at the end of staff week. Staff meetings, staff meals, and every day on the job will present you with exciting educational opportunities!
21. Okay, I'm sold! Now what?
Fill out an online application! Once you have submitted your application, it will be added to our database and you will receive an e-mail confirming the receipt of your application. If you were required to list references on the application, then they will also receive an email with a recommendation form to complete. Please check your email regularly, as we will send you updates about Staff Interview Day (generally held in early January in Winston-Salem, NC) and, if hired, Staff Training Weekend (generally held in mid-March at Camp Raven Knob).
22. My question isn't on this list. HELP!
No worries! All other questions about working on camp staff can be emailed to the Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you on staff this summer!