Working at Camp Dates & FAQs

Dates & FAQs

2020 Employment Dates & FAQs

ALERT: All 2020 summer sessions are cancelled. For more information, click here. Being optimistic camp people, we hope that the situation will be different enough next year that we can run camp in summer 2021 and keep our campers, staff, and camp families safe. Information for next summer will be posted later this Fall and we begin hiring in November. 

Staff Training June 4-13, 2020

Employment FAQ

Camp June 14-August 8, 2020

All staff must participate in Staff Training. Additional paid work options include opening camp (May 23-June 3) and closing camp up for the winter (August 9-15).


Base pay is $4,050, for 9-1/2 weeks of training and camp. Pay increases $300 if you are a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness EMT, Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Instructor, or American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor or have worked at Deer Crossing before. Relevant certifications in core camp activities may earn a $100 additional pay.

Staff receive one full day (24 consecutive hours) off each week, plus the occasional activity period or evening off. Staff are paid at the end of each two-week camp session. International staff are paid at the end of the summer; if needed, earlier payments can be arranged. Additional pay is earned if you can help open ($960) or close ($675) camp. Lodging (platform tents), meals, and uniforms are provided to all staff.

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 650-465-5087. 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