Volunteer Counselor and Director Job Descriptions

Deaf Camps, Inc. is a 100% volunteer-driven organization. All board members, directors, and counselors are volunteers, and all funding goes directly toward Deaf Camps, Inc.’s camp programs. Most activities during camp are led by Manidokan staff members. The primary responsibility of volunteer directors and counselors is to supervise campers and provide communication access.

Expectations for Counselors

  1. Abide by all Manidokan rules and regulations.
  2. Supervise campers and participate in camp activities at all times, except when on scheduled breaks. Counselors must commit to the entire week of camp. 
  3. Be aware of any special medical needs among your campers and make sure that campers receive required medication, follow special diets, and that you are aware of any allergies your campers may have.
  4. Attend pre-camp training(s) and daily counselor meetings during camp.
  5. Provide an appropriate example for campers, in behavior, dress, and attitude.
  6. Enforce behavior expectations for campers.
  7. Keep your camp director informed of any problems or concerns.
  8. Ensure the overall well-being of campers by encouraging them to use sunscreen, drink enough fluids, get enough sleep, and eat a balanced diet.
  9. Sign at all times when in the presence of deaf campers and counselors.
  10. Treat all campers, staff, and counselors with respect.


Expectations for Directors

1) Work with other directors to plan and run camp.

  • Attend Directors’ Planning Meetings.
  • Communicate with directors between meetings via email.
  • During camp, maintain communication with other directors.
  • During camp, attend directors’ meeting each morning at 8:10 am (one representative from each camp).

2) Recruit and train counselors.

  • Work with other directors to ensure that each camp has enough counselors.
  • Ensure that your counselors have submitted required paperwork.
  • Keep counselors informed of necessary information before camp.

3) Plan camp activities.  Building on Daily Schedule provided by Manidokan, allot time each day for:

  • Cleaning rooms and common areas
  • Free or quiet time (“FOB/Feet on bed” or “Cabin time”)
  • Morning/evening worship
  • Showers
  • Counselor meeting

4) Provide leadership for counselors.

  • Communicate with counselors prior to camp and make routines and expectations clear.
  • Set break schedule for counselors.
  • Designate responsibilities for each counselor and communicate them to counselors.

5) Provide a safe, structured environment for campers.

  • Make camper rules and behavioral expectations clear.
  • Establish a behavior reinforcement system.
  • Post and follow a daily schedule.
  • Ensure appropriate supervision of campers at all times.
  • Designate camper groups, with specific counselors responsible for knowing campers’ whereabouts at all times. When assigning counselors to groups, take into account signing skill, experience, and ability to interpret if necessary.
  • Make sure counselors understand that when they are not on a scheduled break, they should be supervising campers (or providing other camp support as assigned by the director).
  • Consult with the nurse on the first day of camp to make yourself aware of any medical needs your campers may have, and inform counselors as appropriate. Make sure campers receive required medications, follow special diets, and that you (and appropriate counselors) are aware of any allergies, etc.
  • Ensure that, during swim time, one watcher is sent per each 5 campers. (This is a legal requirement.) Watchers need to watch the campers in the pool, and may not be swimming or playing in the pool themselves. Each director is responsible for making sure that enough watchers are sent with his or her campers to the pool.
  • Ensure that 1-2 counselors sit at each table during meal times.
  • Ensure the overall well-being of campers by encouraging counselors to remind campers about using sunscreen, drinking enough fluids, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet.

6) Set a loving and firm example for counselors and campers.

  • Cooperate with other directors and counselors to make decisions for the good of the entire camp.
  • Resolve conflicts with openness, honesty, and love.
  • Treat all counselors, staff, and campers with respect.
  • Sign at all times when in the presence of deaf counselors and campers and make it clear that you expect counselors and campers to do the same.

15 thoughts on “Volunteer Counselor and Director Job Descriptions

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  1. Will a notice go out announcing when the applications are being accepted for volunteers? How does one get an application?
    Thank you. Beth Lesser

    1. Hello!
      Thank you for your interest in applying to be a counselor with Deaf Camps, Inc. At this point, our counselor positions and waiting list are full, except for a few spots for male counselors. We begin taking applications on March 15 each year, and the available positions fill quickly! Please contact us on or after March 15, 2015 if you would like to apply for next year’s camp.

      1. I do not know if it is too late to volunteer at this camp for the summer but I would like to apply. If you are full I would still consider volunteering next summer. Please let me know.

      2. Hi there! All of our counselor positions for Camp 2014 are filled. We open up the application process to new counselors on March 15 each year, and our positions usually fill by the end of April. Please contact us at deafcampsinc@gmail.com on or after March 15, 2015 if you would like to volunteer for next year’s camp.

  2. I am interested in applying when March 15, 2016 comes. However, I wanted to know the level of fluency needed for ASL when applying for the volunteer position. I am currently conversational and working towards an interpreting minor in my undergraduate program. Would this affect the camp section that I would choose to volunteer for when applying as well?

    1. We have counselors with a wide variety of signing skills. You would apply for a the volunteer pool, and then we place counselors in the various camps,depending on the needs of each camp.

  3. HELLO, Are there positions for a beginner in asl learning and just wanting to help out for 2019?

    1. Yes! We do have a limited number of spots for beginning signers to volunteer in our ASL camps. Please email us on or after March 15 of next year to receive the application paperwork.

  4. Hello! When will registration be open for volunteers for Summer 2019? And when will this camp be and how long?

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