Thank you for your interest in Gold Arrow Camp for summer employment. For more than 85 years, Gold Arrow Camp has provided its campers with a quality camp program where campers can have fun, make friends, and grow.
We hope that each member of the Gold Arrow Camp family, campers and staff alike, leave camp having built new friendships, learned new skills, and grown in their independence, social skills, and self-confidence.
Before submitting an application for employment, please read through the information in this section to see if Gold Arrow Camp is the right fit for you.
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.
Gold Arrow Camp is located in the heart of California’s Sierra National Forest on the shore of Huntington Lake at an altitude of 7,000 feet. Yosemite National Park is 30 miles to the north, and Kings Canyon National Park is 25 miles to the southeast. Gold Arrow Camp is 65 miles northeast of Fresno, California. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive from Fresno to the camp. Staffed charter buses transport campers to and from Gold Arrow Camp with stops in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Dublin, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Irvine, and Cardiff. Campers also fly to and from Fresno Yosemite Airport and are escorted by camp staff between the airplane and Gold Arrow Camp.
In addition to the main site on Huntington Lake, Gold Arrow Camp also operates an outpost camp on an island in Shaver Lake, about a 20-minute drive away from Huntington Lake. All campers (grades 4-9) staying two weeks or more will spend 1-2 nights on the island – waterskiing, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding by day and sleeping under a canopy of stars by night.
All staff are expected to be available to work the full summer season (June 9-August 12, 2023) at a minimum. There is also the opportunity to stay an additional week for our Specialty Camp/Mini Camp (August 14-August 19, 2023).
Our “no technology” philosophy is part of what makes Gold Arrow Camp so special. Here at camp, we sit around campfires talking with each other. There are no video games, computers, or cell phones getting in the way of building relationships with the people around us. In addition to the wonderful quiet of not hearing cell phones ringing, the break from technology helps kids (and staff) appreciate the beauty and sounds of nature without interruption. After a few days, most of us don’t miss our cell phones at all! With that being said, cell phone use is not permitted in camp except for at the Staff Lounge. Staff may use cell phones at the Staff Lounge or away from camp property on time off. Staff must keep their cell phones and all other electronics hidden from campers as campers are not allowed to have cell phones (and any other technology) while at camp. Our office phone is for business and emergency use only. If your family needs to reach you, they may leave a message at our camp office. Please do not provide our office phone number for anyone other than your immediate family.
There are computers with an internet connection free of charge in the Staff Lounge. The connection speed is suitable for browsing the web and sending emails. You will not have time for computer access every day. Wireless connections are also available at the Staff Lounge. You may bring a laptop to camp, but it must remain hidden from campers or in camp issued staff lockers, and GAC is not responsible for damage or theft.
Gold Arrow campers and staff enjoy three meals per day in our open-air dining porch overlooking Big Creek and the beautiful Sierras. We provide campers and staff with delicious, well-balanced meals and offer a variety of options at each meal. We believe great food is an important part of our camp experience. We are proud of the fresh food we prepare and serve each day at camp. We offer a variety of options at every meal, however, we do not specifically cater to vegetarians or people with other special dietary restrictions or preferences. At every meal, in addition to the main entrée served, there are also the following options: Breakfast: cold cereal, fruit, yogurt, toast and bagels; Lunch: peanut butter & jelly, deli meat, soup selection, salad bar; Dinner: pasta bar, salad bar. For more detailed information, please visit the “Food” section of our website. Campers dine family-style while sitting with their cabin group and counselors. Kitchen Patrol (KP) gives campers an opportunity to help with the set up and clean-up of their cabin’s table during meals. Counselors encourage good table manners and monitor that campers are eating well-balanced meals.
The majority of our campers come from California, but are from many different areas and cities. Most of our California campers travel to camp on one of our charter buses from Northern or Southern California. We also have international campers and campers from other states in the U.S. Our staff come from all over the world, with approximately 30% coming from other countries, primarily England, Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern Europe.
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 individually 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.
Activities are scheduled by cabin group for the morning and afternoon activity periods. This ensures that all campers have the opportunity to try every activity offered. Also, we have found that campers will often not sign up for activities in which they have never participated or may be nervous trying for the first time. By participating as a cabin group, campers are able to try new activities with the support of their group counselor and cabin mates. The evening free choice and early morning programs offer a chance to spend more time at favorite activity areas. 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.
Yes. Room and board are part of your compensation as a counselor.
There is no daily set dress code for counselors; we expect all staff members to set the example dress code for campers through their choice of clothing. Therefore, we ask that all staff members adhere to the same dress code policy we have for our campers. The following standards apply: (1) no clothing with logos containing references to violence, sex, drugs, or tobacco, (2) No bare midriffs or low-cut shirts exposing cleavage, (3) Nothing excessively tight, short, or baggy, and (4) No clothing that does not cover the person’s underwear. Pants and shorts may not be rolled down and must cover a staff person’s bottom completely at all times (including while seated). Staff members should always be wearing closed-toe shoes, except while on a waterfront dock, on a boat, or at Shaver Outpost.
A weekly laundry service is part of the compensation for counselors. All dirty laundry will be taken in the morning and returned washed, dried and folded by the end of the day.
All aspects of personal appearance are subject to the approval of the Directors in regard to its appropriateness for Gold Arrow Camp staff. The personal appearance of the staff is decidedly important both as a role model to campers and as a representative of Gold Arrow Camp. All staff members are to present a professional example in clean, neat dress and appearance as well as personal hygiene. (Examples: Showering and shaving regularly; brushing teeth daily; etc.) Hair should be neatly groomed and the length of the hair shall not be excessive or present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance. All staff should be clean-shaven unless previously approved by the Camp Directors; no mustaches, beards, goatees, or sideburns past the bottom of the ears. All body piercing(s) must be removed while on camp premises, excluding ear piercing(s) for staff members.
We know that a lot of people have tattoos, including some of our best counselors. If you have a tattoo, it must be covered by clothing at all times while on camp premises or during camp-sponsored activities. We require this NOT because we believe that having a tattoo is wrong; we firmly believe that you cannot judge a book by its cover. However, at Gold Arrow Camp, our counselors are role models for young, impressionable children who are often too young to understand the permanent impact of a decision to get a tattoo.
Every staff member will have one 4-hour scheduled time period off from job duties each week. In addition, all staff members will have a 24-hour period off each week. Staff members are required to sign out at the Camp Office prior to departing camp premises and sign back in upon return from time off. Failure to return on time will result in disciplinary action up to termination. Staff members are also given opportunities to take breaks and personal time each day.
All counselors are required to attend a staff training at Gold Arrow Camp, which will be held the ten days prior to camper arrival (June 9-June 18, 2023). Counselors will become familiar with the daily operations of camp as well as their expected responsibilities and camp policies and procedures. All staff members must be in compliance with all camp policies upon arrival for training.
The health and safety of campers and staff are Gold Arrow Camp’s top priority. Two registered nurses live on-site and are always available to campers and staff for first aid, administration of medications, and general care as needed. As per the American Camp Association Standards, all medications are stored in and dispensed through the Wellness Center. For illnesses and medical emergencies requiring additional assistance, appropriate EMS procedures are followed. The closest hospital is located approximately 1.5 hours from camp, with emergency helicopter transportation available if needed for a faster transport time. A health history and medication card is completed for each camper by the parents prior to camp attendance. All medications and health histories are confidential.
Gold Arrow Camp is an independent camp and is not affiliated with any specific religion or religious organization. Our campers and staff come from different religious backgrounds and are taught to respect each other’s beliefs. Camp can be a time of spiritual growth, and campers and staff are permitted to bring religious materials to camp. There are no formal religious services for campers. We hold our campers and staff to a high standard of moral character.
Every Gold Arrow staff member goes by a special camp name. This can be any camp-appropriate nickname. Please note that the camp name that you choose will be the name you will be called all summer, by campers and staff, so choose your name wisely. We suggest a fun name that has a tangible meaning to children. Some nicknames from past staff include cartoon characters (Pooh Bear, Yogi), animals (Kiwi, Bear, Bee), trees and plants (Willow, Sunflower, Aspen), and funny words (Snaz, Sonic, Kowhai, Fuzzy, Ciabatta, Ajax).