Thank you for your interest in working at Gold Arrow Camp. Our staff are dedicated to making each camper’s experience positive, memorable, and fun.
Approximately 220 dedicated individuals make up the counseling, administrative, and support staff of Gold Arrow Camp. Our staff members’ enthusiasm, dedication and interest in child development are the key to positive experiences for each camper. Counselors are selected based on the ability to serve as outstanding role models and leaders.
All staff members must have completed one year of college or post-high school work experience and be at least 18 years of age prior to the first day of work. They must have exceptional communication skills, be dedicated to providing children with a memorable and fun camp experience, and support Gold Arrow Camp’s overall philosophy and goals.
Staff are recruited from all over the United States and from Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. Our diverse staff, like our campers, add a unique flavor to the camp community. The entire staff works together toward their final goal of providing a positive, fun, and nurturing camp experience for each child.
Since 1933, Gold Arrow Camp has provided three generations of campers with a supportive community where their lives are enriched through the friendships they form and the experiences they have at camp. Campers and staff return to Gold Arrow Camp year after year because of the feeling of tradition, community, and belonging that they experience. For many campers, their time at camp is what they look forward to all year long. The fun and the friendships that are built at GAC provide life-long childhood memories for our campers.
Every summer, approximately 100 campers and staff receive their Five-Year Blanket
commemorating their fifth summer at Gold Arrow Camp. Campers gain valuable life skills from their experiences at camp. The independence, perseverance, and confidence they build at camp benefit them beyond camp in all areas of their lives. Through their participation in our structured program of over 20 different non-competitive water sports and traditional camp activities, campers are encouraged to try new things, build their skills, and take risks. The result is improved confidence and a “can do” attitude!
In our beautiful setting on Huntington Lake, in the heart of the Sierra National Forest, campers have a chance to enjoy a traditional outdoor camp, complete with rustic living and nightly campfires and getting “unplugged.” The break from cell phones, iPods, television, computers, and all electronics is one of the things that makes their time at camp so special. Campers have a chance to bond with others, build their social skills, and have fun just being a kid.
History and Tradition
Gold Arrow was founded in 1933 by Manny Vezie, a former Notre Dame football player under legendary coach, Knute Rockne. Manny found a desire to start his own summer program through his experiences working at a camp in Wisconsin during his college years. After his death in 1985, Jeanie Vezie, Manny’s wife and co-director for over 30 years, continued to operate Gold Arrow. In 1989, Jeanie sold the camp to former camper and staff member Audrey Kremer Monke.
Today, Gold Arrow Camp is directed by Audrey and Steve Monke. They have a commitment to the development of children, and to maintaining the traditions that have made Gold Arrow one of the finest traditional camps in the United States for eight decades. Gold Arrow Camp has attracted children from all over the United States and from several foreign countries.
Many campers are the children or grandchildren of former participants. Our second, third and fourth generation campers remind us of Gold Arrow’s rich history and tradition. Campers and staff who attend our program for three summers are given a ThreeYear Banner, and those who spend five years with us receive a Five Year Blanket, embroidered with the camper’s or staff member’s name. These are awarded at Appreciation Campfire, which concludes each session.
Our camp schedule is designed to ensure that each camper participates in all of the activities offered for their age group. The morning and afternoon programs are scheduled for cabins to participate in as a group. Campers are able to select activities on an individual basis to participate in during the free choice and optional early morning instruction periods. Equipment is of the highest quality and is available in the correct size for each camper. The range of activities allows each child to build skills in various areas. Our counselors focus on teaching campers in a safe, fun, and encouraging environment and many of our programs offer certifications for achievement at different levels.
Each cabin in camp has a campfire pit, and we finish our evenings with marshmallows or popcorn around the fire where we laugh, play games and talk about the day.
There are over 20 exciting activities in which to participate at Gold Arrow Camp. Campers most often
participate in activities as a group with the other campers in their cabin. These shared experiences create a framework for the group to bond, strengthen friendships, and create memories. For most days during a two-week session, each cabin group is scheduled for a variety of activities in the morning and afternoon. This ensures that campers will try most of the activities while at camp, even if they are a little unsure or nervous about a particular one. Campers are never forced to try an activity, but are required to attend and strongly encouraged to participate. There are certain activities, such as mountain biking and canyoneering, in which only our oldest campers participate.
There is an opportunity for campers to choose to go to an activity independent of their cabin groups during the evening period known as “Free Time.” This is a great opportunity for campers to return to activities that were especially interesting during the scheduled cabin activity period. During Free Time, campers often choose activities like archery, riflery, horses, or sailing to work on individual achievement awards in those areas. There are also other activities periodically scheduled during Free Time that are not usually offered any other time and include: crochet, guitar, yoga, photojournalism, outdoor cooking, the giant swing, and others. The oldest campers also have more opportunities to select the activities in their schedule during the second week of camp. Waterskiing, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding on Huntington Lake are an option every Free Time period, as well as most early mornings, before breakfast.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of campers and staff are Gold Arrow Camp’s top priority. We provide counselor supervision, safety equipment, and training to help ensure campers have a safe experience at Gold Arrow Camp. Our staff and program encourages campers to gain independence, learn new skills, and gain confidence while maintaining the structure and supervision necessary for their safety.
Our counselors are an integral part of providing excellent care to our campers. At least two counselors are assigned to each cabin of 8 to 10 children. The counselors sleep in the cabin with the campers and supervise the group throughout the day. All of our counselors attend a ten-day orientation at the beginning of the summer, prior to camper arrival, to train in program areas, learn our emergency procedures, and understand health and safety precautions. Counselors remind and/or help campers with personal hygiene, including use of sunscreen, keeping hydrated, changing clothes daily, brushing teeth, and showering at least every other day.