Staff General Information

For questions regarding staff and the hiring process contact:

Ellyn Weinstein Black, Director
Staffing Office Winter Phone: 610-356-7602

To Contact Camp Fernwood Winter Office:
Fernwood Winter Office:  610-356-7602


Being a camp counselor is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever have. We believe that excellent staff are the key ingredient in providing our campers with a wonderful summer experience. You will be appreciated for your teaching skills, your patience when dealing with children, your creativity and your ability to wear many “hats” over the course of the summer. As a counselor you will have an opportunity to share your personality, your experiences and your interests with the camp community. At Camp Fernwood you can also try to waterski or throw a clay pot on the wheel for the first time. We encourage you to take full advantage of all the amazing activities and resources for you throughout the summer. There is no other place that you can be employed and at the same time paddle in a kayak on your free time throughout the day. In addition to being outdoors and being active, you will also learn a lot about yourself, gain self-confidence, learn how to live and work on a team, and make some of best friends you will ever have.

At Camp Fernwood we pride ourselves on our high counselor return rate. We have many counselors who have been with us for over five summers. Some have remained with us for over 40 years! Our male and female staff come from a variety of backgrounds and from all over the USA and all over the world. Although the summer flies by, the memories last a lifetime. Each counselor is a unique individual who adds something to the Fernwood community. Being a counselor at Fernwood is about giving of yourself and letting others give to you. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

At Fernwood, you will form friendships with campers and counselors that will last a lifetime. You will grow and realize how important relationships within a community are, and you will have fun, you will laugh, and you will be brought back to your childhood days.  You will learn and practice skills in group management, problem-solving, teamwork and much more.  You will also realize the significance of being a positive role model, of taking responsibility, and of leading by example. The best part is that you will doing all of this in a beautiful outdoor setting with children that you will come to truly love.  We give our counselors the opportunity to learn and grow and help them with support and encouragement along the way. Being a Fernwood staff member is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have.


Camp Fernwood is celebrating its 103rd summer in 2023! Founded in 1921, camp has been owned and directed by only 3 families during its lifetime. Throughout the years Fernwood has maintained fine traditions, a warm atmosphere, and an idealistic spirit. The Fernwood philosophy fosters traits such as tolerance, unselfishness, and an appreciation of a simpler life in the outdoors. Fernwood is the summer home to approximately 230 girls, ages 8 to 15.  Our staff including administration, maintenance, kitchen and activity/bunk staff is approximately 160 adults.

Camp Fernwood offers a 7-week session and offers many activities, weekly out of camp trips, overnights and three day extended trips, inter-camp sports events and much more.  A typical daily schedule consists of many activities, a free choice, a rest hour, evening program and much more.  The “Fernwood Family,” is built on a strong sense of community where staff create a supportive environment for children to grow as individuals.


Fernwood is located in Poland, Maine. Camp Fernwood is approximately 45 minutes northwest of Portland and about 2 1/2 hours from Boston. Camp Fernwood offers a natural rustic setting away from city life. Camp Fernwood is close to many New England attractions such as the White Mountains, Maine State Parks, and the beautiful coastline. All of these places can be reached easily on a day off.

Typical Maine weather consists of daytime temperatures at about 85°f/29°c and evening temperatures at about  60°f/16°c.


This year our pre-camp orientation for all staff begins June 17, 2023.  Campers arrive on June 24th and leave on August 9th.  Staff leave on August 10th.   Some staff will arrive earlier to complete water safety courses, lifeguarding/CPR, work in the kitchen, or take care of the horses.   We will be emailing you the specific dates.

Our intensive staff orientation takes place for six days before the campers arrive. We will provide you with the tools and information that you will need to feel comfortable and fully prepared when the campers arrive. Throughout the orientation, you will prepare your activity, learn from professional speakers, become familiar with our traditions, philosophies and policies, and make new friends.


Each bunk has a bunk family with female and male counselors working towards a successful summer with a group of children.  Most female counselors live in cabins with the campers in the position of “bunk moms” for the summer. Cabins are spacious wooden bungalows with screened windows, and most have an indoor bathroom and wash area. Cabins house approximately 10 campers of the same age and typically two counselors.   Showers are located in nearby “shower houses.”  The cabins do not have electricity but have running water.  We provide you with a twin bed, sheets, blankets, pillows towels, and a dresser and storage space for your belongings.

Male staff and other female staff live in nearby staff housing. They are also assigned to a cabin of girls as a bunk “aunt” or “uncle”, and have the opportunity to be an integral active part of the bunk family.  Typically there are 4 or 5 staff assigned to each bunk family.  The bunk family is very important for camp life where the children learn to live together.


Counselors teach one activity during the day (e.g. water-skiing). Some staff will teach more than one activity each day (e.g. Dance and Aerobics).  There are six activity periods throughout the day where one is a free choice for the campers.  Time off depends on your activity.  All staff are involved with planning and participating in evening activities, assemblies, meals, and more either as participants or leaders. Staff creativity and willingness to help out are always encouraged and appreciated.  We welcome new ideas and participation.

On our weekly trip day out of camp, all campers and staff are divided into small groups to go biking, hiking, on cookouts, canoeing, and other enjoyable outdoor and nature based trips in the Maine and New Hampshire area.  Counselors are supervisors and trip leaders on these excursions.  Sundays are dedicated to special events such as a carnival, team sports competition, campfire and much more.   Typically half of the staff have Sunday off.  On any given day, we may have a rainy day activity or something else that is not the typical activity schedule.

Counselor responsibility also includes being a part of a bunk family either living or working with a cabin of about ten campers. All staff share rest hour and nighttime duty (OD) and other tasks and responsibilities. Being a staff member is hard work but it is one of the most memorable experiences you will ever have.


Staff Requirements

  • All counselors must have the ability to teach or help with one or more of our activities.
  • Counselors must have completed one year of college or be at least 19 years of age.
  • All waterfront staff are required to have Red Cross Life Guarding and CPR training or equivalent certification.  (We offer a training course to obtain these certifications prior to Pre-camp).
  • All swim instructors are required to have a Water Safety Instruction certification. (We offer this training course prior to pre-camp)
  • Fernwood seeks counselors with the genuine desire to share themselves while teaching, supervising and living with our campers.
  • Overall we are looking for staff who are willing to place the need of children ahead of their own, have patience, flexibility and understanding, a love of the outdoors, and are excited to experience the camp life.

Not only will you be making a difference in lives of children and making friendships that last a life time, you will be gaining skills and experience in teaching, organization, leadership, decision making, risk management, child development, self-confidence and much more.

Additional benefits include: a competitive salary, Room and Board (all meals), Blankets, Sheets, Pillows, Towels and Laundry done once a week, a Camp Fernwood logo t-shirt and warm outer garment, visa sponsorship for international staff, internship credit, workers compensation, a substantial amount of daily time off and early evenings and days off, transportation for time off,  high speed internet access and wi-fi in our main lodge building, free phone calls to anywhere in the United States and Canada, free phone calls to many abroad countries (Landlines), basic on campus healthcare provided by staff Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioner, and a staff lounge.

Equal Employment Opportunity
All programs and activities of Camp Fernwood are offered on a non-discriminatory basis without regard to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, veteran’s status or disability.


We understand that the counselor role is demanding and in order to maintain the highest performance, counselors need time off for themselves.  Time off is something we want counselors to enjoy.  Time off consists of unscheduled time each day, early evenings out of camp once a week (beginning at 5:15 pm), typically 2 full Sundays and 2 full Weekdays off  throughout the summer. There is no curfew imposed at Camp Fernwood, as we trust and expect that our staff will get sufficient rest to carry out their daily responsibilities. There is a staff lounge with phones, email access, TV and DVD player for off-duty staff. There is also an area with fitness equipment that staff may use on their daily time off.
Staff are free to use camp facilities during their time off and are highly encouraged to take advantage of all the activities offered.  On early evenings and days off, staff explore the outdoors of Maine and New Hampshire (Whitewater rafting, whale watching, hiking, biking, tubing etc), explore Freeport or Portland (Freeport offers outlet shopping and great restaurants, and Portland has a variety of art, music, and shops to enjoy), go to Boston for baseball games, and much more.  We encourage staff to enjoy time off with other staff and experience all that New England has to offer.

Uniform and Laundry
Camp Fernwood requires uniform for campers and staff. Staff uniform is dark navy blue shorts or pants, and white t-shirts or shirt.  While we prefer clothing without any logos, a small 1 inch x 1 inch logo (such as Nike, Adidas, or a school logo) are acceptable on the top or bottom.  The outer garment on top can be Navy or White.  We provide all staff with one warm navy blue outer garment and a white t-shirt. However, you will need to bring an adequate supply of regular uniform clothing, as well as the usual supplement of clothing required for outdoor living.  Bathing suits, rain gear, sleepwear, and clothes for time off and special camp events do not need to be in uniform colors.  A full packing list will be available online in the spring.  All laundry is done weekly by camp at no extra charge. A dresser, pillow, bed linens, blankets and towels are all provided.


Camp Fernwood is non-sectarian. Our campers and our counselors represent many different faiths. An ethical, non-denominational service is conducted each week by different groups of campers and volunteer counselors, in which they explore themes that are important to them such as friendship, leadership, or courage.


Smoking is discouraged, but is permitted in certain designated areas, only during time off, and never in the presence of campers. Maine law prohibits alcohol for people under the age of 21. We enforce this state policy. The use of illegal or legalized drugs (including marijuana), or use of prescription medications not specifically prescribed for use by a physician, is strictly prohibited, and suspected use may be cause for dismissal.


Salary is based upon age, education, counselor experience, specific skills, and level of responsibility. A travel allowance is paid to American counselors to help defray the cost of transportation to camp.  Travel money is already built into the salary structure of International staff members.  Room, board, weekly laundry, e-mail access, designated staff telephones, fast internet and a staff lounge with a TV and DVD are all provided.

No written information can fully convey the warm, friendly feeling that our girls and counselors experience together each year. Only camping with us can provide a true understanding of the spirit of CAMP FERNWOOD.

Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail if you have any questions. Call Ellyn Black at 610-356-7602 or e-mail We look forward to getting to know you!