> Programmers


We have 5 programmers at each of our three camps.  Programmers each have a specific program area that they run, and then they work together as a team to create the theme of the week and activities that will give campers the best week of their summer! 

What is the schedule of the summer?

Programmer orientation begins at different times depending on the programmer position.   Programmers attend programmer orientation during early June in which they learn about their individual areas as well as work together as a programming team to brainstorm ideas for the summer ahead. During ASO, training encompasses everything from team building and empathy activities to first aid and lifts and transfers.  We also train in emergency procedures and spend time doing team building exercises.  This is an incredible experience for all involved. In the middle of orientation we have a New Camper Weekend.  This weekend is for any campers who have never been a part of our program before.  Following orientation and New Camper Weekend we start with our full week camp sessions. Click here for a list of Important Staff Dates and Camp Session DatesRate of pay for Outdoor Pursuits, Rec, Games and Ropes and Arts and Crafts is $82/day for new staff.  Return staff and both Aquatics Programmers receive $84/day.  Room and board is provided for all staff at no cost to the employee.   

The program areas are:

1) Outdoor Pursuits: This individual is responsible for running the campout portion of our program.  Each of our camps has a location onsite where buddy groups take turns “camping-out” for an evening of camp.  The OP programmer will serve dinner and breakfast, plan super fun camp activities and hangout with campers! This programmer will sleep in the camp-out area for three nights per camp session. The OP Programmer will also undergo extensive training during orientation in running the Giant Team Swing and helping run the Climbing Wall.  Having food-safe is an asset. 

2) Rec, Games and Ropes: This person is responsible for running the Climbing wall,  the Giant Team Swing and other sports. They are required to have an Adventure element facilitation certification.  This certification can be obtained at Camp Winfield in pre-orientation.

3 )Aquatics - Pool: Requires an NLS Pool Certification.  This person will run the pool programs!

4) Aquatics – Waterfront: Requires an NLS Waterfront Certificate.  For the waterfront programmer for both Squamish and Winfield a commercial driver’s license (Class IV in BC) is an asset.  The waterfront programmer will run waterfront activities including swimming and short canoeing expeditions. 

5) Arts and Crafts: This programmer will run the arts and crafts activities for campers!  Some experience planning and running activities necessary. 

In certain weeks, the programming team will be expanded when we have some camp partners join us, including Special Education Technology BC, BC Wheelchair Sports and Sportability.  

While each programmer has a very specific role to play at camp – equally important is the role that they play on the programming team.  It is really important that everyone on the team has a positive attitude and is interested in stepping outside their comfort zone to create a magical and fun vibe at camp!

A Typical Day at Camp as a Programmer!

No day at camp is typical but below is an explanation of what the flow of a day might look like...

7:00-7:20am - You wake up and start getting ready for another fun filled, adventurous, and rewarding day with some amazing campers and staff.  Some staff members will grab a coffee in the dining hall, while others go for a morning run or dip in the lake, while others will sleep until the last possible second... Programmers meet at dorm duty outside the dorms before 7:20 and check in with their counselling buddy groups (each programmer joins a group of campers each week and offers support during meal times) before heading to their morning meeting .

7:30 am - Each morning, the programming team meets up at the programming office at 7:30 am to have a programming meeting.  At this meeting, you will go over the days events, and organize who is doing what.  If the meeting ends before breakfast, you can use the time to set up, prep for any of the upcoming events or get into costume.

8:30 - Hungry staff and campers will pile into the dinning hall for a delicious breakfast.  Once groups are relatively settled, the programming team will burst into the dinning hall, be LOUD, and capture the whole camp’s attention.  You might give an update on the ‘Captain Hook’ watch and then introduce the Regular Programs that are going on in the morning.  You might tie your regular programs into the weeks’ theme.  For example, canoeing at the lake might be ‘ship training for pirates’ or the rock wall might be ‘sail climbing’.  Once you’ve made your announcement, you can grab a plate and eat with your buddy group (ie. The group of campers that you are part of for that week).  Make sure not to wear a hat at the table or you will get called on for a song.

9:30-10:00 - Use this time to set-up the 10 am regular program. 

10:00-12:00 - The programmers will be facilitating the regular program in their area.  For example, the rock wall and pool will be opened for pirate training, and they will be making pirates hats in the Arts and Crafts.

12:25 – Programmers Unite!  Better have a quick meeting to plan this afternoon’s announcement!

12:30 - Lunch time.  Once again, the programming team will come in and make an announcement. Perhaps there is a bad guy sighting in the dining hall.  Oh my goodness!!  We better get the whole camp to come together this afternoon in an All-Camp activity to try and catch the bad guy!

1:30-2:00 - Use this time to set up for the All-Camp or go over one last time how it will play out.

2:00-4:00 - The programming team will be running an All Camp activity.   Typically, each programmer will facilitate a station, and the buddy groups will rotate through the stations OR all of camp will be involved in one big wide game.  Examples of stations are: pirate training at the low ropes, obstacle course, making pirate hats, writing a song to lure the bad guys etc.  The All Camp might end by trapping the bad guy or some climatic show down with the whole camp around.

3:40-4:00 - Programmers will clean up from the All-Camp while volunteers will be giving out juice and snacks to counsellors to give to their campers.

4:00-5:15 - This hour is known as ‘Rest Break’.  Campers and some staff will hang out in the dorms while the majority of staff get a break! 

5:30 - Dinner time!  Once again, the programming team gets the attention of the dining hall (make sure to be creative!)  You might comment on the great work by the campers at the All Camp and reward them with some fun activities in the evening.

7:00 - Once again, programmers will be facilitating Regular Programs. This time the pool is open, the big swing is letting campers reach new heights, there are drama games at arts and crafts and a chill canoe trip at the lake! 

8:30/9pm - Juice Break - Depending on whether it’s a kids week or teen week, the program will end around 8:30 or 9:00 pm.  Programmers will hand out the water and fruit to counselors to give to campers.

8:45 - Programmers might join their buddy group in the dorm and spend some quality time with some campers by reading them a story etc.    

9:30 - Evening meeting - a chance for the team to meet up and debrief the day. What worked well, what could we improve on?  What is the plan for tomorrow?  How can we keep the energy flowing?!

We have a dorm duty system provided by counselors and programmers on a rotating basis.  2 programmers will generally do dorm duty on the last night of each camping session.  They will head into the dorms at 9:00pm and they will stay up in the dorms until 7:30am the next morning, at which point they will go to sleep for the day – waking back up in the later afternoon to participate in the weekly debrief.  Most staff end up really liking dorm duty!  

Days at camp are long!  At the end of the day you might wonder how you will possibly do it again tomorrow – but at the same time you wonder – how could you possibly not!! The days become a blur….but you will never forget those absolutely magical moments! 

You can find a staff application here!