A great staff is what any program is built upon. This is your chance to be a part of an exciting, growing program in an incredible location!
YMCA Hayo-Went-Ha Camps have a solid reputation for outstanding camping programs that began in 1904. Since 1981, HWH Camps have offered outdoor environmental education, challenge programs and specialized retreats that are rooted in the Y’s mission of building the spirit, mind, and body for people of all ages.
Committed to providing a safe, fun, and exciting learning environment that will make a lasting impression, HWH Camps provide outdoor learning experiences that inspire personal growth, team building, and appreciation for our natural surroundings to youth.
Where You'll Be Working!
Love where you work!
Over 3,500 children and youth will attend 1-5 day programs at both YMCA Hayo-Went-Ha Camp sites and YOU can be a part of the fun and excitement. The Camps are located in beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan about 40 miles apart.
Camp Hayo-Went-Ha for Boys on Torch Lake
This camp is the oldest YMCA boy’s camp in the world on its original site. Founded in 1904, Hayo-Went-Ha has 640 wooded acres along the shore of beautiful Torch Lake—noted by National Geographic the third most beautiful lake in the world. Features include modern and rustic buildings for accommodation along, numerous trails that lead to meeting spaces and activity areas, a SCUBA program and a Challenge & High Initiatives Course, where campers have the opportunity to climb a 50-foot tower with six routes, a two-story 36-foot high ropes course, a 28-foot pamper pole along with a freestanding zip line and team vertical elements.
Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha for Girls on Arbutus Lake
This camp is located on 135 acres of rolling hills and wooded trails just 10 miles outside of Traverse City and features a ropes course, climbing tower, low initiatives and equestrian program. A fully modern lodge built in 2004 can comfortably host 80 people year-round. A perfect place for meetings and relaxing!
Experiential Environmental Education (E3) Naturalists Serving as a positive role model for campers as well as acting as a teacher, facilitator, mentor, chaperone, kitchen assistant and housekeeper, E3 Naturalists will teach science classes such as animal, aquatic and forest ecology, geology and earth education as well as adventure classes including orienteering and survival. E3 Naturalists will also facilitate low challenge team building activities and the high initiatives course and perform basic housekeeping duties to keep the camp clean and safe. By working closely with students, teachers and other staff members, E3 Naturalists will ensure the educational goals of the program are being met.
Working for the Outdoor Education program at HWH was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. Whether it was hanging out with seven-year-olds at the climbing tower or eighty-four-year-olds on the Jordan River, there was always an adventure to be had at Hayo-Went-Ha! Nothing tops watching a roaring thunderstorm roll in over Torch Lake from the porch of the boathouse, or listening to the quiet snow fall from in front of the fireplace at Arbutus. Being a Naturalist at HWH gave me the opportunity to work with local school groups in our after-school Outreach program, adult groups looking for a weekend retreat, and an incredible staff from all over the world. The connections you make at camp, and as a part of the E3 program, truly last a lifetime! –Lindsay Hildebrandt, Clark University Grad student.
Perks & Rewards
Salary is dependent upon experience but on average starts at $50/day and is based upon a 5-day work week. Additional compensation includes lodging and food (even when groups are not in residence!) and up to two paid weeks of hands on training. There is potential for additional income with optional weekend work.
Working as an E3 Naturalist for Hayo-Went-Ha provided me with more valuable life skills than any other job or experience in my life. The staff training was elaborate and many of the activities I participated in, or facilitated, are the same things I am striving to implement as a part of a new student orientation for first year medical students. I constantly use the teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, and leadership skills I gained while working at HWH as a medical student, to become the best possible health professional I can be. –Liz Cleary, Michigan State University, class of 2018
E3 Naturalist positions are available during the spring (mid-March to early June; with the potential for continued employment through the summer/fall) and fall (late August to mid-November; with possible winter extension). Five-day work weeks can vary from 8-14 hours/day depending on the schedule and the needs of the group.
Spring Season E3 Naturalist Job Openings The Outdoor Education program is currently accepting applications for the spring season. Positions will begin in mid-March with two weeks of staff training and run through early June. A summer/fall extension is possible.
E3 Naturalists need to be: • Flexible • Fun • Energetic • Have a sense of humor • Timely • Student/customer-centered • Self-motivated • Demonstrated responsibility • Willing to learn • Willing to lead
Experience with children is required. Experience in challenge courses, team building, biology, and ecology is helpful, but not required. A college degree or the equivalent experience is preferred but not required.
Working in the Outdoor Education program has been the most rewarding and fun 'job' I have ever had. Working with a group of energetic, funny, and passionate people ensures that no day is ever dull or boring. Unique, exciting and challenging are a few of the phrases I would use to describe my time at Hayo-Went-Ha. A job like no other; in a place like no other. –Kevin MacNeill, Scotland, 6th season
Summer Camp Jobs
Summer Camp Jobs at Torch Lake (Boys) and Camp Arbutus (Girls) Counselor/Trip Leaders live in the cabins with up to 8 male or female campers and along with a co-counselor and are in charge of leading campers to various in-camp activities and being the sole responsible adults for out-of-camp wilderness trips. Counselors come from all over the USA and about 12 foreign countries. The camp team consists of a diverse population who all share a commitment to nurturing a camper in their youth development. There are days with long hours and living in the cabin with the campers means that other than your day off each work, you seem to always be "on duty." Those who have worked here for many years understand that the benefits of YMCA Camp Hayo-Went-Ha employment far outweigh these sacrifices. You will work with outstanding people and campers, you will experience the beauty of nature in spectacular settings, you will grow as a person in your interpersonal skills, and you will get to go on trips to some great national parks.
Additional Summer Positions • General Counselors • Equestrian Instructor • Driver • Arts & Crafts Director • Waterfront Director • Health Officer • Sailing Director • Ropes Course Director • Social Media/Photography/Marketing Coordinator
Both camp sites are looking for individuals, ages 19+, who can serve as excellent role models and committed to youth development. Staff members are carefully chosen for their commitment to the growth of the camper, enthusiasm, experience, interpersonal skills, and their ability to engage, have fun and forge friendships! Applicants who have worked at other camps and understand the "camp culture" clearly have an advantage in seeking employment with Hayo-Went-Ha.
Boy’s staff who have specialized skills/experience in SCUBA diving, sailing (both inland lakes and open water/keel boats), mountain biking, extended backpacking or canoeing trips are given additional consideration.
Girl’s staff who have specialized skills/experience with horses, sailing, biking, extended backpacking, kayaking, or canoeing trips are given additional consideration.
2018 Summer Camp Employment Dates
Lifeguard training begins on May 25th (Boys) or June 1st (Girls). For those who are already lifeguard certification will report to camp on May 29th. Employment then continues through until the close of camp on August 11th. There are opportunities to remain after this date, for pay, as a counselor/program area provider for coed camps that exist.
Our camp annually has a wait list of applicants as our unique combination of an incredible in-camp culture combined with phenomenal out-of-camp trips draws staff from all over the USA and internationally!
Connections & Application
To apply, fill out the online application, then email your cover letter, resume and three references to the respective contact below.
Outdoor Education (Both Camps)
Director of Outdoor Education, Conferences & Retreats
(231) 544-5915 email@example.com