International Summer Camp UK

Camp Counsellor Role

The Camp Counsellor role is essential in making sure campers have a magical experience at Camp. It is a role that will be fulfilling, tiring, super fun and give you the chance to be part of a fantastic staff team.

The Camp Counsellor's role is essential in making sure campers have a magical experience at Camp. It is a role that will be fulfilling, tiring, and super fun and give you the chance to be part of an awesome staff team.

At camp you'll become more than just a Camp Counsellor, you'll become a friend, an older sibling, a role model, and a hero to every camper who walks through our doors. Campers will look up to you as you sing in the dining hall or paint your face for V&C. They will come to you for advice, and look to you as a positive role model. They will watch how you navigate interpersonal interactions, communication, problem-solving, and leadership. Long after camp has ended, they'll continue to tell their camp stories about amazing memories that you made happen. Their Camp Counsellor

There are two key responsibilities for a Camp Counsellor. One is to look after a cabin group of 8-12 campers and the other is to run elective activities in the morning and afternoon.

What is a Cabin Group?

A cabin group is a group of 8-12 campers, who are roughly the same age who stay in an accommodation room together, sit together at mealtimes, do an activity together before dinner, are usually together during the evening special event and are generally where the closest friendships are usually made.

Each camp counsellor looks after a cabin group for each two-week session. Each cabin group usually has 2 counsellors looking after them.

Cabin groups give campers a place at Camp. They feel part of and connected to their cabin group and it is where friendships and memories are created. It ensures campers always have a place to sit in the dining hall and feel a connection to their closest friends. 

Camp Counsellors are responsible for ensuring the campers get to know each other, deal with any issues such as homesickness, recognise if your camper is having a hard day, run activities for the group, be a positive role model for them and ensure they have a special experience at Camp.

What are Elective Activities?

Electives provide campers with the opportunity to plan their own personalised activity schedule. Elective 1 is in the morning for 2 hours and elective 2 is in the afternoon for 2 hours.

They focus on developing key skills and personal growth. Campers choose 2 electives per week.

You are required to have the skills, experience and confidence to be able to lead your elective(s). We usually have at least two counsellors running the elective together but there may be times when you will be running the elective on your own.

We may require you to teach more than one elective during your time at Camp. Some of the electives have been paired up below:


  • Outdoor Adventure
  • Film-Making & Journalism
  • English Language
  • Tennis
  • Sports & Football
  • Creative Superstar & Art
  • Rockstar! (Piano/keyboard, drums or guitar)
  • Performing Arts
  • Dance

Please see our elective page for further information on what activities take place within each elective


Time What's Happening What is happening? Example Work Schedule
8am - 8.30am Wake Up
  • Wake up the campers in your cabin group and bring them to breakfast
8.30am - 9.15am Breakfast
  • Counsellors sit at a table with their campers for all meals
  • Counsellors are expected to keep an eye on making sure each camper eats and drinks enough for a fun-filled, active day
9.15am - 9.35am Cabin Cleanup
  • Campers are responsible for different duties under the counsellor’s guidance.
  • Cabins usually decorate or build stuff around their cabin to make it look fantastic.
  • Cabin inspection is done everyday and the winning cabin for the session gets a special prize
9.35am - 9.45am Circle Time
  • Campers all meet to get energized for the day! Some stretching, yoga and maybe a dance routine are usually part of our morning energizer routines.
9.45am - 11.45am Elective 1
  • Deliver assigned elective
11.45am - 12.30pm Electronics Time
  • Campers have access to their phones for 45 minutes. Counsellors check on their cabin group campers
12.30pm - 1.15pm Lunch
  • Counsellors sit at a table with their campers for meals (if working)
1.15pm - 2.30pm Siesta
  • Chill out time for everyone! Campers and counsellors head back to the cabin and chill out. Campers can read, chat with friends or sleep.
  • Campers may hang out in a few common areas (sports hall, library area, flagpole area) as long as there is a counsellor in the area. Counsellors are expected to know where their campers are at all times.
2.30pm - 4.30pm Elective 2
  • Deliver assigned elective
4.30pm - 5.45pm Cabin Group Activity
  • Camp Counsellors run an activity for the cabin group - this could be anything from crazy art projects, to yoga, to basketball, swimming, using the slip-n-slide, doing a nerf war, making smoothies - the options are only limited by your creativity (as well as some important health & safety measures!)
5.45pm - 6pm Flagpole
  • Flagpole is a fun cabin “check”. Each cabin name is called and instead of saying “here or present” the cabin typically says/does something random, funny or wacky such as a quote from a film, a line from a song, a joke etc.
6pm - 7pm Dinner
  • Counsellors sit at a table with their campers for meals (if working)
7pm - 7.15pm All-Camp Prep
  • Depending on the All-Camp activity that evening, counsellors will get the cabin group prepared for the evening! It might be getting ready for the talent show, getting dressed up in wacky tacky for the camp dance or it could be getting ready for the zombie apocalypse activity.
7.15pm - 8.30pm All-Camp
  • Most of our evening programmes are large events. Examples are Hawaiian luaus, pool parties, talent shows, quiz nights, a dance, campfires and team games
  • Counsellors spend the evening programme with their cabin group 
8.30pm - 9pm Free-Time
  • Campers get the chance to hang out with their friends before bedtime
8.30pm - 10.30pm Bed Time
  • Time for bed. We try to make sure nighttime routines are chilled out, fun and also involve a cabin chat 

About You

Candidates must demonstrate the following skills and characteristics:

Essential Experience:

  • Experience working directly with groups of young people aged 7-17
  • Must be able to solely look after a group of 8-12 campers on their own - counsellors need to be experienced and confident
  • Willing to work with all age groups - 7 - 17-year-olds
  • Fluent in English
  • Ability to be a positive role model for young people
  • Experience of working in a fast-paced and demanding environment
  • Maturity to be responsible for the care, well-being and safety of young people
  • Ability to facilitate friendships between campers
  • Ability to run different activities such as art, sports, baking, swimming etc
  • All applicants must successfully pass full background and reference checks 

Essential Personality & Skills:

  • Kindness
  • Caring
  • Responsibility 
  • Fun
  • Confident
  • Silly
  • Patience


  • Experience of working in a residential youth environment 
  • Experience of working with young people from a range of nationalities

We've made some exciting changes to our staff packages and roles for summer 2024. Our aim is to have the very best staff team - full of energy, enthusiasm and positive role models and in return a great staff package to underline the value of your role and work.

Wages and Work Schedule

Staff are scheduled to work approximately 11 hrs per day and work schedules will be available a week in advance. Wages are paid via bank transfer and are usually paid in two instalments, one at the end of your first month (August 1) and the other shortly after the end of camp. Underneath are the gross wage amounts before taxes - National Insurance and PAYE deductions (deductions are based upon your current tax codes). The amounts below already include the government accommodation & food deduction allowance of £9.10 per day. Our 2024 Camp Counsellors will be paid the following amount for a 7-week role (this includes a 6-night residential staff training period). 

  • Camp Counsellor £4200

Staff who have worked a full summer before and who are working another full summer will receive a £150 bonus. However, this will come with extra responsibilities such as; having the ability to hit the ground running, be an outstanding role model and mentor to new staff, act as a solo counsellor if needed and have the ability to perform at the highest level for the entire summer.

Time Off

We know how important it is to recharge and take care of yourself.  We work hard to give staff as much time off as our programming will allow. Camp Cooper is run on two-week session schedules and staff get 2 full days off during each 2-week session. Staff also get a day off at the end of each 2-week session. We will try to accommodate as many time-off requests as possible and we always accommodate special time-off requests such as for weddings and graduations. 

Staff also get an assigned work schedule of approximately 11 hours per day. When you are not working, this is your own time to do as you please - to chill, exercise, make phone calls home or explore the local area, whether that be a beach walk at Edinburgh or exploring the vast woodlands in Crieff. 

We encourage staff to make the most out of their summer working by going on as many adventures as possible on their time off. We can point you in the right direction regarding places to explore or adventures to be had in the local area.

Summer Contract Dates (For Crieff and Edinburgh)

Start Date: Monday June 24, 2024. Arrival time 10am

End Date: Saturday August 10, 2024. Departure time 4pm 

These dates include our mandatory staff training period

Unfortunately, we are unable to hire any new staff who are unable to start on Monday, June 24 for staff training. 

Professional Development

From the interview process to staff training, all the way to end-of-session feedback, the skills you learn while working at Camp Cooper are invaluable. Staff not only learn how to work with children in a professional capacity, but also increase their communication, time management, organisation, and conflict resolution skills. 

We are also happy to write references and letters of recommendation upon request.

Good Food

We provide three meals a day, seven days a week for our staff, and we are able to accommodate most food allergies and vegetarian diets. Our food is home-cooked with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. We pride ourselves on having healthy, nutritious, and delicious food for our campers and staff.

A Place to Live

Don’t worry about having to pay rent this summer! All staff are provided with a clean, comfortable room to sleep in while they are employed. Rooms, more often referred to as cabins are usually made up of 3 to 6 counsellors. We, unfortunately, cannot accommodate couples sharing accommodation or guarantee anyone having their own room.

Staff Training 

Our 6-day intensive staff training week is a critical part of Camp Cooper. We set the tone for the summer and learn how to create a fun and positive atmosphere, how to run creative activities and how to ensure the campers are safe.

Our staff training is being held at Ardmay House surrounded by the beautiful wilds of Scotland. Staff from both Edinburgh and Crieff will come together for an epic training week

Staff training is fully residential and by the end of the 5-day period, staff will have made firm friends with each other and will be confident in being an EPIC Camp Cooper Counsellor.

 Apply Now for Summer 2024