Junior Counselor, Poolesville, MD - 17 September 2017
I was a camper at Calleva for nine years, and recently completed my first year as a junior counselor over the summer. One of the best things about Calleva is the friendships and bonds you create with the people you work with at Calleva. The campers are also amazing-- they can be tough, but by the end of the summer you'll only remember the (many) good parts. Calleva is great if you have many hard skills like climbing, rafting, kayaking, etc.; if you don't have these skills, Calleva hold weekly training sessions. However, if you don't learn these hard skills at all Calleva will be tough. You can also use any of the gear at Calleva for a few days as long as you return it all back in one piece, and work at their Dirty Dinners and Markoff's Haunted Forest during off-seasons.
There are few cons about working at Calleva, and the main one is pay. As of 2017, a junior counselor is paid $100 a week, a head counselor $300, and an instructor somewhere between $600-$900 (I'm not 100% sure of the exact pay for instructors). This wasn't a problem for me and most other counselors as we were working for more than just money, but I know many counselors who are either working at other camps or simply not returning to Calleva because the pay is so low. Transportation can also be a hassle if you live in certain areas-- I knew someone who kayaked to work every day!-- but most staff took the camp buses and it didn't seem to be too much of a problem. Also, Calleva takes up a lot of your time since the minimum weeks you have to work is 7-9 depending on your role.
Overall, Calleva is a wonderful place to work if you want to have fun, get dirty, and make lifelong bonds along the way!