Where is this amazing place you call Camp Havaya?

We’re located on 120 beautiful, wooded acres in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania — about a two-hour drive from both Philadelphia and New York City.

What’s the hiring process like?

All new and returning staff applicants (even those who were campers!) must fill out our online staff application.

First-time applicants will need a recent photo and email addresses for three references to complete the application. Good references can come from school (a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal), a professional position (a supervisor at a job, a family for whom you babysit on a regular basis, or your supervisor in a place you volunteer regularly), or character reference (a rabbi, cantor, or educator at your synagogue). Please do not use family members to submit a reference on your behalf.

Once you submit the application, we’ll review it and be in touch — usually within a few weeks. The next step is an interview. Even If you’ve been a longtime camper, the interview is a chance to get to know you as a staff member. You don’t have to prepare (there are no trick questions!), but you should make sure you’re in a space (both physically and mentally) where you can focus and have a 30-minute professional call. Our goal is for this to be a conversation, so come ready to talk and share!

After your interview, we’ll take a couple weeks to review our notes and check your references. If everything looks good, we’ll send you a contract and get excited to welcome you to Camp this summer!

I can’t commit to working the whole summer. Can I still apply?

Yes … but. We do sometimes hire staff members for one session, but our goal is to hire you for the full season. If you can’t stay for the whole summer, please e-mail Adra after you complete your application and let her know what dates you’re available. You’ll still go through the full hiring process, but we won’t officially offer you a position right away; if we still have unfilled spaces in the spring, we’ll be in touch and send you a contract.

Where do staff members live?

Counselors, lifeguards, etgar (challenge course) staff, and program staff live in cabins with 10 – 14 campers and one or two other staff members. Campers and staff sleep on bunk beds and have shelf or cubby space for clothing storage. All cabins have electricity, ample lighting, and insect screens. Bathrooms are located in the cabin and include clean toilets, sinks, and showers. (Staff living in the Eco-Village will live in circular yurts, with bathrooms located nearby.)

Operations and other non-program staff generally live in staff cabins. This is dorm-style living, with bunk beds and shelf or cubby space for clothing storage. All cabins have electricity, ample lighting, and insect screens. Bathrooms are located in the cabin and include clean toilets, sinks, and showers.

Supervisory staff generally live in semi-private rooms with one or two other people, and a shared bathroom down the hall. There are very few single rooms available for summer staff members.

A note about gender and living arrangements: We recognize that gender lies on a spectrum. Especially for non-binary staff, we know thinking about communal living can feel particularly challenging. While staff must choose whether to live in a space with primarily male-identifying (“boys”) or female-identifying (“girls”) campers and staff, each of our cabins has people that identify themselves in a variety of different ways. If you have questions about which living space would be the best fit, please don’t hesitate to be in touch!

Tell me about the food. Do you accommodate special diets? How about food allergies?

Our food is consistently ranked among the best at Jewish camps across North America. Why? It’s because we’re committed to serving food that is fresh, varied, and full of flavor. And summer after summer, our food is ranked among the best at any Jewish camp in North America! All of our food is kosher and we have plentiful vegetarian food as well as vegan, lactose free, and gluten free options. (In a commitment to the environment, we generally serve meat no more than five times per week.) We strive to run a nut-free program and we work closely with families to accommodate other food allergies and needs. Check out our menu!

What kind of training will I receive?

All staff members are expected to participate in an in-person orientation prior to the start of the first session. (This 10-day orientation is included in the staff dates.) This time together is spent setting up Camp, learning about child development, planning programs, and building the staff community. And did we mention it’s a lot of fun?

We know some staff members – especially those who have not yet begun college – may have school commitments that interfere with Staff Orientation. Please be in touch if this is the case, and we’ll work together to ensure you receive the training you need.

We provide on-site training for lifeguard and etgar (challenge course) staff. We offer a variety of other training opportunities through the summer. When possible, we work to cross-train staff so they can jump in to help in a variety of places across Camp; not only is this helpful over the summer, but it gives you marketable skills when you get home!

Will I get time off?

Absolutely! We know this is hard work – and you need to time to relax and regenerate. Staff members generally have an hour off during the course of the day; many nights you’ll also have some time to unwind after campers go to sleep. You’ll have up to six days off during the summer; international staff members will have additional time off before Family Camp. Time off is scheduled prior to the start of each session; in order to build community, we don’t give time off during Staff Orientation.

What (and when) will I get paid?

Salaries are based on a variety of factors, including years at Camp, level of education, certifications, and other experiences. You can see our general salary guidelines here.

Staff members are paid at the end of their contract. Please note that all employment agreements are structured with a completion bonus; if you leave Camp before the end of your contract, you will forfeit that portion of your salary.

How Jewish is Camp? What if I’m not Jewish?

We create an environment that embraces diverse experiences and beliefs while remaining distinctly—and strongly—Jewish. Each day begins and ends with a spiritual moment; throughout the week, we have services, meditation, yoga, and other opportunities (including camper choices) for connecting to something bigger than ourselves. Shabbat is a day to sing, dance, play, and experience a day of rest like in no other place! Throughout all of this, campers and staff approach Jewish life on their own terms and, because it’s personal, the connection they make to Judaism is lasting.

While Judaism is at the core of our values and program, we love having staff members of other religions – or no religion at all! As with all we do, our goal is to be welcoming and inclusive; we’re not looking to change anyone, but to celebrate all of us.

Change a child’s life.

Ready to have one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences ever?