Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
… about working at University of Maine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond
Where is the University of Maine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond?
The camp and learning center is located in Bryant Pond Village within the town of Woodstock, in western Maine, 6 miles south of the town of Bethel. Our campus is just off Route 26 on the shores of Lake Christopher.
Where do the campers come from?
Our campers come from throughout the country, with a majority from the Northeastern United States. Most of our campers are from Maine or New Hampshire.
If I was hired as a counselor, what would my role be like?
Our counselors have one of the most important jobs at camp! As a counselor, you would co-lead a group of about 6-12 campers in a particular age band, throughout their week at camp. Each pair of counselors is assigned a program for the week, and you would have the same kids for that week. From getting them up, to leading activities, and seeing them to bed, you would be their leader. We try to match up counselors with compatible co-leaders, balanced with their skill sets and interests. Your program and co-leaders change each week.
What if I’m not really skilled in anything in particular, I just love kids?
No problem! Many of our first year staff don’t have a special outdoors skill, but they are great with kids. You’ll learn many new skills during staff training, but the most important thing is to have a passion for working with children.
I hear the campers have some choice in their camp experience. What does that mean?
Our campers have a wide array of program choices to choose from for their week at camp. During the week, they will also enjoy “Choice Period” which allows campers to step out of their program path, and maybe try something new, or get that extra swim in!
Is the UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond competitive?
We consider ourselves diverse. We strive to create an atmosphere for all to succeed. Our job is to make everyone feel comfortable. Instruction can be adapted those campers requiring a bit more challenge and for children not as well versed. In every activity or lesson, we emphasize participation and environmental stewardship. We are charged with making sure each camper has an opportunity to shine… to find his or her “place” at camp. “Camp is for the Camper,” after all.
What about time off and free time?
Our camp counselors are scheduled to work from Sunday at about 11:30 a.m. through Friday at 2:00 p.m. during the camp week. Counselors will have one evening off, starting at dinner time, or a midday 4 hour off block, depending on the program. Unless you are scheduled to work one of our 2 or 4 week programs, you would also be off from Friday at 2:00-Sunday 11:30 a.m.
What about dress and personal appearance?
Staff shirts must be worn each “Parent Day” — meaning Sunday for registration and Friday for pick up. Your personal appearance is important. The main guideline is that you project an image of neatness, modesty, and good taste. Clothing should be reasonably clean and should not be unduly stained or ripped/frayed. Sneakers or hiking boots are the normal footwear. Sandals or bare feet are not appropriate, except in water front activities. In a nutshell — dress befitting your activity. We expect a neat appearance for all counselors and staff. Clothing which depicts violence, the use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, are prohibited. Backless or strapless shirts, haltertops, or bare midriffs are not permitted. Male staff should wear a shirt for all activities except swimming. Pants should be appropriately worn at the waist.
Where would I stay during my employment?
Our staff are housed in several different cabins and lodging arrangements. Some will share a staff cabin with 1-2 other counselors of the same sex. Some will be based in larger cabins, with more staff, and some may be housed in cabins with their campers. Counselors are free to stay throughout the weekends when they are not on duty.
Is the camp one big group?
UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond is broken down into different groupings for different activities. There are times when we will all be together, regardless of the program being pursued, like Thursday’s cookout and campfire. Other times only one group may be involved in a specific activity, for example, primitive fire building. Our campus is headed by an Executive Director who oversees all operations, an Education Director who is in charge of all programming and staff, a Camp Director who assists the with supervising field staff and campers, and field teams (a teacher and an assistant) who are responsible for individual groups of up to 15 campers. Different programs will require special skills, for example, hunter safety administrative duties, etc.
Is the camp co-ed?
Yes. Boys and girls can enjoy the same programs together and participate in the same activities. All programs are co-ed and all are welcome to participate. Boys and girls are housed separately of course.
What about salary?
Working and living at camp is a relatively expense-free summer and staff may conceivably leave at the end of the season with their entire salary. In addition to salary, staff are provided free of charge, a staff shirt, and room and board. We will also provide all necessary trainings and certifications required for employment or program needs. (With the exception of Wilderness First Aid) Salary is based on experience and requirements of the position.
Is there a place for staff to get away on campus?
The demands of living with a group of children are great. On campus, there are few staff-only places. There is a computer in the main office for email and phone accessibility during office ours. There are almost 200 acres of land that we use for our programs; there are many opportunities for staff to find a quiet place. Your free time is just that — yours. If you are officially off duty (and 18 or older or with parental permission), you may leave campus. There are towns close by with movie theaters, laundromats, pizza places, etc.
What about smoking or drinking?
We would be remiss not to mention once again that the possession or use of drugs or alcohol on camp property, or returning to camp under the influence of any such substance, is grounds for dismissal. Also, tobacco of any kind is prohibited at camp.
How’s the food?
Great! Really. We will try to accommodate special diets as needed and we have an extensive salad bar with fruit available at lunch and dinner, and variety at most meals. We serve vegetarian options for all meals. Our cooks are experienced and are proud of their role in our sustenance. Most campers and staff leave the UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond saying that the food was one of the best parts.
It sounds good, but really how much work is it?
Camp is fun, but can be very demanding. The campers are in camp for one, two, or four weeks (depending on program) and our responsibility to them is 24 hours a day. If you are interested in joining our staff, please give all the information herein careful consideration and download an application by clicking on the link above. Send it in and we will contact you right away about the availability of a position and arrange a personal interview or telephone conference about the possibilities of being a member of the field staff at the UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond.So…If you love children and believe in their incredible potential, if you feel good about yourself and the talents you offer, if you thrive on healthy outdoor surroundings and believe in an active, enthusiastic approach to life, then UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond may be the perfect place to call your summer home.