"Twenty Questions" about Working at Hidden Valley
NOTE for 2021: Most of camp life will remain the same. There will be some modifications to routines and you can learn more about covid prep and staying safe.
- What is Hidden Valley's philosophy?
- What will working at camp do for me?
- Can I get internship or school credit for working at camp?
- What jobs are available?
- Please describe the application process.
- What are the dates for this summer?
- What can I expect to get paid?
- Can you tell me about staff training?
- Where is Hidden Valley Camp?
- What is the camper population like?
- What are the cabins like?
- Can you describe a typical day?
- How much time off do I get?
- What can I do during my off time?
- How old do I have to be to apply?
- Do I have to be certified to work at camp?
- I'm not an American citizen; is that okay?
- Please tell me about the food at HVC.
- What about my car? My phone? My pet?
- I just have one more thing... What's the weather like?
What is Hidden Valley's philosophy?
H.V.C. is unregimented, non-competitive and non-sectarian. Campers have many choices within a supportive, consistent structure. In our informal atmosphere, we minimize hierarchy and foster independence and creativity among children and adult staff members. Read more about our philosophy here.
What will working at camp do for me?
Working at summer camp will build a wealth of skills that will benefit you in almost any job situation, such as teaching your specialty, leadership, teamwork and team building, communication, dispute resolution and behavior management, problem solving and decision making, understanding learning styles. Learn more about why working at HVC has meant so much to people.
Can I get internship or school credit for working at camp?
Yes! We can talk about what the specific requirements are for your school, and we often have staff who get credit for their work at camp.
What jobs are available?
We're currently hiring staff in most program areas. Check out our Job Opportunities page for more details and apply for a job at your earliest convenience.
Questions? Email Meg and Peter Kassen, camp's owner/directors; they'll be happy to answer any questions that you have.
Please describe the application process.
- Get started at the application page, Complete it along with a reference form and...
- We'll be in touch within 5 business days.
- If we feel that there is an available position at camp that would be a good fit, we'll schedule a facetime/skype interview with you as quickly as possible.
- We will then check your references (please make sure to include these in your application) before making a final decision.
What are the dates for this summer?
Each year varies slightly. Generally we begin training on around the 8th of June and camp closes on about Aug. 18. See this summer's dates.
What can I expect to get paid?
Salaries are competitive with other camps. Bonuses are offered for certain experience and credentials. Free room and board. And the food is delicious and varied!
Can you tell me about staff training?
Our specialized training includes professional workshops in counseling techniques and a range of leadership and counseling issues. We enjoy our 15-day orientation, setting up program areas and visiting coastal Maine as we build a community among the staff. All staff spend a day enjoying our ropes course. Pre-camp training may include Red Cross lifeguard and ropes training for those with sufficient skills.
Where is Hidden Valley Camp?
We are located approximately 85 miles northeast of Portland, Maine. We are on 350 acres of privately owned land and a secluded lake, near the Atlantic coast. Learn more about our location.
What is the camper population like?
- We have 250 campers, ages 8-14 who hail from all over the US and countries such as Korea, Japan, Australia, China, Spain and more.
- Many of our campers are upper-middle class. Our Level Ground scholarship program supports children of color from east coast areas, many local rural children, and "New Mainers" (1st and 2nd generation immigrants.)
- This is a low-key, creative and independent group that has "bought in to" HVC's philosophy of creative expression and mutual support and appreciation.
What are the cabins like?
Our cabins are basic wooden structures with electricity and indoor plumbing. All the windows have screens or glass. Each camper and counselor has a bunk and a cubby to make their own!
Can you describe a typical day?
- Because our amazing campers choose their own classes, you are not with your cabin group for the entire day.
- You and your co-counselors (3-4 per cabin) have wakeup and bedtime (when you are on duty) with your cabin groups, Your cabin shares meals, rest period and special evening time.
- During the morning and afternoon, you have four class periods during which you are leading or co-leading activities. You have one of these hours off as well.
How much time off do I get?
Hidden Valley is generous in the personal time we provide to counselors, as it's important that staff members get ample rest to provide their campers with the best supervision possible. Staff members get two hours off a day, as well as approximately every other night and one day off per week. Nights off begin around 6pm and you're due back at 7:30am the next morning. Days off are 36 hours: 6pm to 7:30am not the next day, but the day after.
What can I do during my off time?
Maine has lots to offer staff on their off time. From quiet coastal towns to outlet shopping in Freeport to hiking at Acadia National Park, there is always something new to discover on your time off. Staff have access to our waterfront, pottery, stained glass, sports equipment, 350 acres of fields and forest, sauna, staff cabin, and other facilities during their off time. We have a local resource guide available in the camp office with lots of options.
How old do I have to be to apply?
We're looking for staff who are 18 years of age and older and will have completed a year out of high school by the start of summer.
Do I have to be certified to work at camp?
We don't require any certifications, though we welcome any you may have. There are certain areas that require demonstrated knowledge of skills and procedures, such as the ropes course, waterfront and horse riding program. In these areas we offer certification to our staff in early June.
I'm not an American citizen; is that okay?
Sure is! We hire international staff every summer. There will be details to sort out to ensure you have the proper working visa, but we can work this out via a legitimate overseas contact organization.
Please tell me about the food at HVC.
It's delicious, fresh and varied. We can accommodate most food allergies (including celiac) and serve a wide range of vegetarian alternatives. We can discuss your nutrition choices as needed.
What about my car? My phone? My pet?
- A car is a fantastic benefit for you and your colleagues during off-time.
- Phones are for off-time only. Read more about the benefits of a screenless summer.
- With many farm animals and resident cats and dogs calling HVC home, no additional animals can be brought to camp.
What's the weather like?
It’s lovely! Maine is known for its clear, temperate summers. Daily average temperatures are around 80 degrees (27 C) and the lake averages 70 degrees (21 C) all summer. P.S. We have a low pollen count and no poison ivy.