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Day Camp Director

Camp Appalachia Way, Scott Depot, WV, USA

Job Type

Full Time

About the Role

Position Purpose:
To further the mission of Camp Appalachia through the development and management of program, human resource, financial, marketing, and strategic operations.


Essential Job Functions:

Design, deliver, and evaluate camp program that meet the needs and interests of youth and the camps target markets to ensure their delivery in a safe and quality manner. 

  • Remain current with information on the developmental needs of youth and apply them in the camp setting.

  • Annually seek and analyze input from youth, families, and staff regarding the quality, safety, and enjoyment of the program and staff.

  • Develop and implement crisis and risk management procedures.

Design and ensure delivery of programs and activities appropriate to the

camper population.

Implement human resource management practices to recruit and retain seasonal and year-round staff.

  • Recruit staff based on camper enrollment and program management requirements.

  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate seasonal staff.

Manage property development and maintenance needs to ensure stewardship of current resources and identification of future needs.

  • Conduct annual assessment of property and maintenance needs.

  • Prepare annual and long-term property plan.

 Oversee the daily operation of day camp including food service, hospitality, program, business, and health care. 

  • Oversee the management of food service operation through supervision of a Food Service Manager and other staff. 

  • Secure sufficient coverage in health care staff and their implementation of the health care plan.

  • Develop and oversee the business management functions of the camp including financial record keeping and office systems.

  • Oversee the systematic approach to data base management for campers, families, alumni, and donors.

  • Work collaboratively with internal and external groups to ensure the enhancement of the camp operation. 

Other Job Duties:

  • Any other role or responsibility as deemed appropriate by the Director. 

  • Must be proficient in computer skills and related word processing, data management, and Internet computer software.  

  • Must have knowledge of some maintenance, office and kitchen equipment as well as ability to drive different vehicles.

Qualifications: (Minimum Education and Experience)

  • B.S. or equivalent in recreation, education or a related discipline.

  • At least 25 years old.

  • Prior camp staff experience in a supervisory role

  • Ability to take initiative, effectively communicate, and manage groups.

  • Strong record of program planning and implementation.

  • Desire and ability to work in a camp setting.

  • Good role model, high integrity and level of professionalism, and adaptable.

  • Positive attitude and ability to build a cohesive team.

  • Ability to relate effectively and compassionately to diverse groups of people from all social and economic segments of the community.

  • Exceptional skills in human relations, budgeting, sound fiscal management, financial development, program management and staff development.   Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.  Ability to think and act quickly and safely in emergency situations.

  • Current First Aid and Adult and Child CPR certifications.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of youth and youth development; skills needed in planning programs and setting schedules.  Knowledge of human resource management, maintenance, transportation issues, budget and finances, and program activities specific to the camp’s population would be desirable.

Physical Requirements:

This position would require the ability to listen to others, observe others actions, read text and information, comprehend instructions and manuals, physical ability to move about the camp property in various environmental conditions.

About the Company

Camp Appalachia is a yearlong camp whose target camper is a child between the ages of 7 and 17 and is at a high risk for destructive life choices. We will be providing a little to no cost resident camp experience to kids who are directly affected by the opioid epidemic, kids in the foster care system, and kids who have one or more parents incarcerated. We currently have a summer day camp, but we are in the process of bringing our ten residential cabins up to code so that we can be a resident camp as well. We operate 12 months per year with our focus being opioid prevention, outdoor education, leadership, and resiliency building.

The reason our camp was started is because we have a deep desire to help serve the people of our community, especially our underserved and high-risk youth. Our founders and leadership team believe in West Virginia. We have identified substance abuse prevention and learning the skill of resiliency as two areas where the kids in our community need help. We have partnered with Bill Odell and the Putnam Wellness Coalition to provide the substance abuse prevention portion of our programming. We have also partnered with West Virginia State University and their Health and Human Performance department to make our programs dynamic and full of impact. Our counselors and staff are trained to provide trauma informed care. We have targeted Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, Jackson, and Cabell counties as our primary areas of focus.

According to "The Effects of a Summer Camp Experience on Factors of Resiliency in At-Risk Youth," a study done by Towson University, camp is a useful and effective tool to help at risk youth develop resiliency. Occupational therapists have suggested that a shift needs to occur from a problem-based model to a strength-based model. A problem-based model focuses solely on fixing the child's problem, so the problem is always most prominent, while with a strength-based model, a child's resiliency and ability to adapt and overcome these problems and issues is highlighted. In their research, they noted that Positive Youth Development (PYD) is founded on the belief that successful development does not occur from the absence of risky behavior, but from the presence of positive attributes that enable youth to reach their full potential (Lerner & Benson, 2003).

The very nature of camp fosters this strength-based model. When campers arrive on their first day, they are placed in their respective groups. These groups are together at most times throughout the day and will participate in activities that make all campers work toward a common goal. This could be anything from a simple scavenger hunt to acting out a skit. The camp is programed to build a strong “camp family” bond early on. Once these bonds are formed, activities move from being group based to individual based. At this point, the camper is more comfortable and feels part of a camp community; therefore, it can be easier to try new things. If they are initially unsuccessful, staff and other campers offer support and encouragement until a particular activity is mastered. This builds self-confidence by showing the camper that although a task is hard or intimidating at first, it is possible. This change in thought process can be taken away from camp and applied to all areas of life and build resiliency and confidence for them to pursue other activities in school, at home, and in their respective communities.

When a person hears about a camp, it is generally associated with the summer time. Although we do have summer day camp and summer resident camp offerings we are in operation 12 months per year. In the non-summer months, we offer Outdoor Education, in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Forestry and Project Learning Tree. We assimilate substance abuse prevention into all areas of the outdoors.

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