Working at Camp Dates & FAQs

Dates & FAQs

2024 Employment Dates & FAQs

We are now hiring for summer 2024!

For more information on how we are keeping campers, staff, and camp families safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, click here.


Staff Training  Tues. June 4 – Sat. June 15

Employment FAQ

Camp  Sun. June 16 – Sat. August 10

Optional Opening  Fri. May 24 – Mon. June 3

Optional Closing  Sun. August 11 – Sat. August 17



Base pay for Instructors is $5,300 for 9+ weeks of training and camp. All Staff are expected at Training with only rare exceptions. Pay increases $300 if you are a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness EMT; $300 if you are a certified Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Instructor or American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor; and an experience bonus of $250 per prior year as a staff member, (starting your second year on staff). Relevant certifications in core camp activities may earn an additional $100 each.

Additional pay is earned if you can help open camp ($1,250, 10 work days) or close camp (6 work days, $750).

Staff receive one full day (24 consecutive hours) off each week, plus the occasional activity period and evening off. Staff are paid at the end of each camp session. International staff are paid at the end of the summer; if needed, earlier payments can be arranged. Lodging (platform tents), meals, and uniform shirts are provided to all staff. Packing list is minimal.

Submit an Application

If you think Deer Crossing is a good fit for your skills and interests, complete the online application.

Employment Information


Staff and campers are housed in walk-in tents on wood or sand platforms, located in separate areas for girls and boys under the pine trees behind the lodge. Female staff share two-person tents in the girls’ area and male staff share two-person tents in the boys’ area. All tents have foam mattresses. You must bring a sleeping bag (warm to 30°F), pillow, and fitted single bed sheet. Blankets are available for unseasonably cold weather.
At Deer Crossing’s 6500 feet (1950 elevation), days are usually quite pleasant, low 80’s to mid-90’s F (27–35° C). Nighttime temperatures can get very cold. Sleeping bags should be rated for at least 30° F (-1° C) so you are warm at night. During our mountain summers, it occasionally rains—and sometimes hails—typically just for a day or two.
Typically, each staff member gets some Internet access three evenings per week and perhaps on days off. Because Deer Crossing is an electronics-free zone for our campers, any use of electronic equipment at camp by staff—whether cellphone, iPod, or laptop—must only be done when campers are out of the lodge or have gone to bed. There is no cell phone service at camp. The nearest access is a 3-mile (5 km) hike away. The nearest public phone is about 15 miles (24 km) away.
We recommend using regular mail. They can send you letters and postcards at:
Your Name
Deer Crossing Camp
P.O. Box 1227
Pollock Pines, CA 95726 USA

We pick up mail at least once a week, a 90-minute drive one way. Because of the time it takes to reach camp, all mail should be sent to you no later than the first few days of August. If sent later, it may arrive after you have left and will not be forwarded.

For emergencies, give family and friends camp’s Summer Emergency number 805-637-4776. They can also email the camp office In either case, the camp office will let you know what’s going on as quickly as possible.
Yes, you can park in the wilderness parking lot, usually at no charge, or directly across from camp on 2nd Dam. So far, the only break-ins have been committed by bears looking for food. So as long as nothing in your vehicle smells like food, looks like food, or looks like it might contain food (e.g., pack of gum, vanilla car scent, empty soda can or cooler), all should be well.

If you bring a vehicle and are willing to use it on behalf of camp (reimbursed at the federal mileage rate), we will ask for proof of registration, insurance, and driver’s license in advance. A driver’s report will be requested.
If you have the same day off as another staff member with a vehicle and are invited to join them on a trip to town, you may visit nearby historic towns, run errands, eat out, visit a laundromat, or just hang out in an Internet café. Staff who remain at camp on days off can sleep in, read a good novel, go for a hike, participate in camp activities (e.g., learn rock-climbing), or lounge in the sun during Open Beach. Staff at camp on their days off still eat all meals with the rest of camp.

“I feel so lucky I got the job as a Climbing Instructor at DCC in 2013. 2016 will be my third summer at Loon Lake, second as Assistant Director and I still have so much to learn. Deer Crossing has been the greatest learning and life-changing experience of my life. I’ve become a better climber, teacher, leader, and person, and I’ve had a chance to gain skills that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I hope to use my experience to make a difference in campers, helping them achieve more, challenge themselves to climb the highest trees and peaks, and help them leave camp stronger and more confident.”
– Fred S., Instructor 2013, Assistant Director 2015–2016