Kinderland’s program includes full waterfront and sports activities that emphasize challenge and minimize competition. Our activities include arts and crafts, drama, dance, music, and writing for camp publications. Every group plans several trips each summer and enjoys cookouts, overnights, and camp-craft on our own 300 acres, and at nearby campsites. Special crafts and skills workshops such as pottery, carpentry, and photography, are offered each summer, depending on who is available to visit. Many guests come to share their ideas and talents with campers and staff.
Camp Kinderland offers a unique cultural program. In our summer program we often refer to our secular Jewish roots, and teach songs, folklore, history, and Yiddish language of Jewish secular life. We draw upon this heritage of ethical and social concern to promote progressive values, exploring themes of peace, freedom, environmental activism, labor and women’s rights, civil and human rights in general. We also incorporate and emphasize a multi-cultural outlook; our international festivals and celebrations of African-American, Latino, Native American and other cultures encourages people of all backgrounds to appreciate the diversity of our one human family. We are equal opportunity employers in every way.
Kinderland is a friendly place. Cooperation is a value shared by all. The community is extremely diverse, and alive with discussion, ideas, and creative energy. Staff is encouraged to participate in all areas of program development. As counselors, group leaders, or specialists, we treat children gently and with respect for their individuality. Yet we strive to make them aware of their responsibilities as members of their group, community and world. Through it all, we as staff develop our own close feelings of mutual support and friendship.
The Kinderland staff takes its responsibility for working with children seriously. Our number one priority is insuring the well being of our campers and staff. The use of drugs or alcohol is not permitted anywhere on camp at any time during the summer. This is the case regardless of the age or whether the person is working at the time or not.
There are a number of different types of positions at Kinderland. Below, they are split between program staff and support staff. In general, program staff work directly with kids all day, every day, and support staff are doing the behind the scenes work that keep the camp going.
Bunk Counselor: Generally, about 3 bunk counselors live in the bunks with children and supervise them full-time. It is the bunk counselor’s job to care for, play with, guide and love the campers. Bunk counselors must be at least 18 years old by the end of the calendar year in which they are hired.
Group Leader: Every age group has a group leader who supervises about 6 bunk counselors and 20-30 campers. Group leaders help with scheduling for their group and staff, lead trips off camp, and work directly with the camp administration. They also spend a lot of time with their campers, and get to know them well. Group leaders are generally older and have experience working with children.
Specialists: Specialists run activities with all of the groups. These are usually hour long sessions involving anywhere from 10 -30 campers (depending on the activity). Bunk counselors and group leaders lend support, but the specialist is responsible for setting up the activity and leading it. In the past, we have had specialist in the areas of sports, arts & crafts, drama, rec hall, nature, and for our ropes course, to name a few.
Life Guards: Life guards supervise our waterfront whenever anyone is in the water. Life guards must be certified. Every morning, the lifeguards or waterfront staff run instructional swim, and every afternoon, they supervise free swim. Groups will often request evening swims at the discretion of the waterfront staff.
Kitchen: The kitchen staff is a team. Each summer, they figure out a routine that works for them to keep the kitchen running well. While roles fit into broad categories, which are listed below, the details will be worked out when the whole team is together.
Maintenance: The maintenance staff does jobs such as trash collection, laundry collection and distribution, and repairs. They also make sure that bunks are stocked with cleaning supplies, and are responsible for cleaning many of the communal spaces in camp (e.g. the Robeson Playhouse, and the rec hall). Many of the maintenance staff also get to know the land well, and will occasionally lead groups on overnights.
Nurse: Our camp nurses must be licensed in Massachusetts and are responsible for treating ill or injured campers and staff. They also manage medication for all campers. If necessary, they work with local doctors and hospital to treat campers and staff who have more serious ailments.
Canteen Manager: Each night, the rec hall is open to staff. The space is supervised by the canteen manager. He or she cooks for the staff (grilled cheese and quesadillas mostly, but you can be creative) and cleans the kitchen at the end of the night. The canteen manager is also responsible for making sure the canteen and rec hall area is left in a clean and orderly condition for the following day’s activities.
Babysitter: Each summer, there are staff members who have children too young to be in groups. These kids form the “Starfish” group. It is usually made up of 4 to 8 kids under the age of 8. The babysitter works with this group each morning and afternoon. In the evening, the parents take over.