Summer Jobs at Roughing It

Make a Difference in Children's Lives! As a summer camp counselor, you can have a deep and lasting positive impact on campers and their future.

Preteen Girl Campers Play Collaborative Group Game
Campers posing with the counselor and canoe

Why Work at Roughing It?

Make a Difference

As a staff member, you have a deep and lasting positive impact on campers and their future.

Work Experience

Graduate schools and employers value work experience from Roughing It.

Fun & Friends

Get out into the fresh air and pleasant California weather for the summer. Make many new staff friends.

Competitive Pay

Roughing It is one of the highest paying camps in California.

The Roughing It Story

Roughing It is owned and operated by Ann & Hobie Woods, who have many years of experience in organized summer camps and youth leadership. Their dream of founding and directing their own camp became a reality when they opened Roughing It Day Camp in 1972.

Roughing It offers an outdoor camp curriculum that emphasizes positive growth and self esteem. Campers look to our tremendous staff as role models and that is why we hold counselors to the highest standard. Staff instill team work, cooperation, friendship, and establish a wonderful camp community. Activities are lesson based, to challenge campers with new skills and encourage them to be the best they can be.

Available Summer Positions

Roughing It Day is currently hiring staff who have a sincere desire to lead and serve children. We hire individuals of the very highest moral character who will serve as exceptional role models for our campers.

See Summer Positions


The biggest take away that campers get from Roughing It is that they’re asked to challenge themselves in ways that don’t happen in a more structured school environment.

The biggest benefit is that we learn the importance of being an individual within a group. To be a group here, you have to be able to work together and to go through problems together. We ask campers to be creative, we ask them to be kind and above all, we ask them to think about how they interact with other campers and I think that there are only a few outlets, especially for younger children that actually provide that.

Charlie, 2nd Grade Boys Counselor
3 Years at Roughing It

Camp can teach the campers a lot of life skills.

One of the big ones that we work on in my group is working as a team and cooperating because when they get to see that final reward when they all work together and they come and they make this product and its better than anything any of them could have made individually, that’s really rewarding to them and it’s really rewarding to me. I think that’s a great skill to have, at camp and in life.

Jimmy, 3rd Grade Boys Counselor
7-Year Camper, 1st Year Staff

When a camper comes to Roughing It they are building confidence, and they are learning teamwork with their group members.

They’re just growing – personal growth in so many different ways, skill development, emotional growth, conflict resolution, and learning to build stronger relationships as they’re working together.

Natalie, Unit Leader
2 Years at Roughing It

I really love camp because the campers get a chance to learn with each other and grow as a group.

Morgan, Kayaking Counselor
1 Year at Roughing It

A summer at Roughing It means having a lot of fun every single day.

You’re coming out to camp and you’re running around and you’re interacting with friends and most of all making these memories that are going to last a lifetime. You’re working together with different campers and you’re all coming together to do something that’s fun and exciting and outdoors.

Natalie, Unit Leader
2 Years at Roughing It

I came back to Roughing It for one reason – I love camp!

I love to see all the campers grown, I love to see them at the beginning and at the end because they really get comfortable, and they really create friendships.

Meagan, Waterfront Director
2 Years at Roughing It

I really like to think that when the campers leave that they believe that they are capable of way more than they originally thought when they came into camp.

Charlie, 2nd Grade Boys Counselor
3 Years at Roughing It

I honestly think it’s the experiences that make camp so special,

all the activities that we have and the chances that they get to do all these new interesting things especially at the ages that they’re at. It’s important to learn how to fish, swim, ride a horse, do crafts, learn about the environment. I think those are all the key aspects of camp and what camping is all about.

Baxter, Assistant Waterfront Director and Fishing Counselor
2 Years at Roughing It

Camp is a great chance for campers to learn to be really independent.

When I see them having a good time, that really warms my heart to know that I’m actually making a difference.

Sam, Unit Leader
3 Years at Roughing It

There was always something in my day to make me smile.

The B2s’ jokes, the B1s’ huddle, the Little Raccoons’ cheers, hugs from the G1/2s, G2 saying hi when I pass; I just loved to see kids having fun in a healthy way.

Wendy, Unit Leader
2nd year staff member

This summer was full of many fond memories for me.

I will remember many campers for many reasons, but what I will remember most is the sound of laughter and the sight of smiles that I saw every day this summer. I’d like to thank all of the counselors who, through their kindness, caring, and friendship, made Roughing It a fun place for (all of us) to come to. I’d also like to thank the campers for their enthusiasm, which made working this summer less of a job and more of a treat. Thank you all for the fond memories.

Eric, Unit Leader
3rd year staff member

Working at Roughing It helped me realize that when the going gets tough the tough REALLY get going.

Shivani, Assistant Riding Director
1st year staff member

I want to thank you for treating all of your employees like family.

Sarah, HDC Counselor
1st year staff member

My most memorable moment at camp was seeing a camper lope for the very first time on the trail, and knowing she had learned to ride correctly because I taught her!

Kim, HDC Counselor
1st year staff member

I loved the bus rides, the giggles, the raking out stalls, and the teaching.

Roughing It has truly given me the ability to believe in myself as a teacher and an individual.

Erika, HDC Counselor
1st year staff member

At the end of the day, the most rewarding aspect of the job is to know that you have in some way positively impacted a camper’s life.

Stasi, Swim Director

My last nine years at Roughing It have been very rewarding.

Moving from being a camper to a CILT to a Junior Counselor to a staff member, I’ve learned that kids are probably the best possible group of people to work with. This camp has been a significant part of my life.

Leslie, Asst. Swim Director
2nd year staff member

Thank you all, so much, for an awesome summer! I still haven’t run out of camp stories to tell!

Kristen, Kayaking Staff
1st year staff member and former camper

I learned a lot about working as part of a team, and how to appreciate all the different things in each camper that makes each child special.

Ashley, Rowing Staff
1st year staff member

Working at Roughing It, I learned that kids, no matter what they do, aim to please.

Darryl, Group Counselor
1st year staff member

I loved the times when campers would share something from their “outside” life with me.

It showed that they valued me as more than a counselor – as a friend.

Andrew, Group Counselor
1st year staff member

On the last day of camp a camper told me ‘I don’t have friends at school, but now I do’

and when his mother came to camp to hug me and thank me. She said I was the reason her son was always smiling now – that’s when I knew I had made a difference.

Eric, Group Counselor
2nd year staff member

I think that it’s much more important to act as a positive role model than to act ‘cool.’

Molly, Group Counselor
1st year staff member

Helping campers to conquer new challenges, and watching the uncertainty in their eyes be replaced by the confident and courageous look that only comes when you have reached deep down inside of yourself, and conquer your fears.

Seeing this happen to a member of your group is something I hope every counselor is able to experience. This is really what our job is all about!

Ashley, Group Counselor
1st year staff member

Kids have amazing imaginations, and they know a lot more about life than we think.

Ryan, Group Counselor
3rd year staff member and former camper

I just loved my campers and am so happy for the time I got to spend with them.

All the great little moments added up to a wonderful summer. I hope to work at Roughing It again. The past two summers have been amazing and I love camp so much…

Carla, Group Counselor
2nd year staff member