Frequently Asked Questions for Staff
June 8th, 2017
Ropes Course and Support staff
June 14th, 2017
Specialists & General Counselors
June 19th, 2017
June 21st, 2017
June 25th, 2017
Last day of camp
August 13th, 2017
*All dates are subject to change
- 1. What is the difference between Silver Lake & Chipinaw?
- We pride ourselves in being able to cater to campers of all ages with different needs and expectations for the summer. Having both campuses lets us also cater to the amount of time campers are looking to stay at camp. At Chipinaw, all of our campers are there for a full summer session, while at Silver Lake, we offer two half summer sessions that packs all the fun and excitement of a full summer experience in half the time! The campuses are directly next door to one another and some facilities are shared.
- 2. Where is Silver Lake located?
- Silver Lake is one of the top sleep away camps in New York. We are located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, about two hours northwest of New York City, in the town of Bethel.
- 3. Where do the campers and staff come from?
- Our campers come from across the United States, as well as a few from international countries. The majority of our campers hail from the east coast in states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, and more.
Our Staff consists of counselors from around the world and across the country. Our international staff comes from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Holland, and Mexico, just to name a few. Our American staff consists of students from colleges and universities across the nation. Staff members are required to have completed one year of college and be at least 19 years of age.
- 4. What is the difference between a general counselor and a specialist counselor?
- General counselors go around day by day with the campers in their division, overseeing and guiding them through various summer camp activities. They become a helping hand for the specialist while they are at each activity.
Specialist counselors are hired to run a specialty area. They are there to teach campers each skill and help them master it throughout the summer. Both generals and specialists live in the bunks with their campers.
- 5. What are the living arrangements for staff members?
- Our bunk staff lives in cabins with campers and either one or two other counselors. Each bunk usually consists of six to ten campers and two or three staff members. All bunks are equipped with full plumbing and electricity. Our adult staff accommodations consist of single rooms with either private or semi-private bathrooms.
- 6. How does laundry work for staff? What about linens?
- Laundry for all bunk staff is done once a week by an outside service. They wash, dry, and fold your laundry and send it back to camp individually packaged. A fee for this service is taken out of your salary.
Non bunk staff has the option to use camp's outside service or do their own laundry on their off time. Linens are provided for international staff.
- 7. What are the meals like at camp?
- All meals are served family style by our waiters and waitresses. Meals at camp are very kid friendly, as we are a children's summer camp. Along with the served courses, we always offer a fresh salad bar, bread bar, and pasta bar. Our baker also creates some of the best desserts in the Catskills for lunch and dinner. Visit our Health and Nutrition page.
- 8. What is the salary for staff and what is the pay schedule?
- Salaries for our American staff depend on position, year in school, and experience. A travel allowance is also given to assist with travel expenses. International counselors' salaries depend on the agency they are dealing with. All monies will be paid at the end of the summer. Staff may ask for a pay advance twice during the summer.
- 9. Does the staff have a certain dress code or uniform?
- The camp will provide each staff member with staff shirts that are to be worn daily. These shirts are also worn on opening day, visiting day, trip days, and for intercamp competitions and tournaments.
- 10. Does the camp have any religious affiliation?
- Silver Lake is open to campers from any religion, though the vast majority of our campers come from Jewish families. Our staff comes from many diverse backgrounds and different faiths. Bunk counselors and campers attend a short service every Friday evening and Saturday morning.
- 11. How do staff members get to camp?
- We offer staff pick-ups from New York City on a few specific dates. Once you are hired, you will receive the information with dates, times, and location. Staff who are flying in should fly into one of the three major New York/New Jersey airports - LaGuardia, Newark, or JFK. If you will not be able to catch one of our pick-ups, you can take a bus from New York City Port Authority to Monticello, NY bus terminal. We will arrange to pick you up from there. Any staff with their own transportation can drive directly to camp. Directions can be found on our homepage.
- 12. How much time off does a staff member get?
- All staff receives six days off during the summer. You will also have one period off per day and usually four nights off per week. If you are not on duty at night, then you will be off from 9:30 till 12:30. 12:30 is curfew for all staff to be signed in and back in their bunk. You can check out the Days & Nights Off page to get an idea of what there is to do in the area.
- 13. What are some important policies I should know?
- There is no place for smoking, alcohol, or drugs on the Silver Lake campus. If you are caught with or under the influence of drugs or in possession of alcohol or cigarettes on camp, it is grounds for immediate dismissal.
Staff members should not accept or request any camper as a friend on Facebook or any other social network. You are also prohibited from posting pictures of campers or of Silver Lake Camp.
Cell phones and laptops are allowed but must be kept out of view from campers at all times. They may be used on your time off only in designated areas. We do have wi-fi in our staff lounge and administration building.
- 14. What is a typical day like at camp?
- Every day at camp is not the same as the day before. Campers choose their schedules the day before for the following day. Our daily program is very structured but you must always be on your toes and ready for changes. Here is a quick recap, but go to the Daily Program page to see complete schedule.
7:30 a.m. - Reveille, followed by line up at each campus's flagpole for daily announcements, then off to breakfast. There is a quick bunk clean up after breakfast and that's when the campers and staff get their schedule for the day. After clean-up there are the first three activity periods of the day, each lasting fifty-five minutes.
12:40 p.m. - Lunch! After lunch there is a quick rest time and then the kids continue their day with three more activity periods. Once sixth period is over, the campers head back to their bunks for "shower hour" and get themselves cleaned up for dinner.
6:00 p.m. - Dinner! Dinner is followed by a "Free Play" time for the campers. We recall them at 7:30 and begin our evening activity at 8:00. Once evening activity is over, we send the kids to canteen by age group and then start getting them back to the bunk to get some sleep for the night.
This is a "typical day". We have many special event days such as Carnival, Olympics, Color War, out of camp trips, and more.
Working at Silver Lake will be one of the hardest jobs you'll ever love.You will get as much out of it as you put in! It's an experience of a lifetime.