Staff Frequently Asked Questions

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • When can I apply to work at Tenacre Day Camp?

    Tenacre has 2 important employment criteria:
    1. Staff members must be at least 17 years of age by June 1st.
    2. There is a minimum qualification for camp counselors in Massachusetts to have at least 4 weeks of experience in a supervisory role with children (babysitting counts!) or 4 weeks as a camper.  
    If you would like a copy of the state regulations or additional information concerning recreational camps for children, please visit or call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau for Environmental Health’s Community Sanitation Program at 617-624-5757
  • If I can’t work all summer, should I still apply?

    Yes, absolutely! No matter your availability, we encourage you to apply!  The busiest weeks of the summer are in July (after July 4thweek) and early August.  We need most of our staff to be available during the busy weeks.  During the interview process, please provide us with your summer schedule, and we will try to work with you.  

    If you ask for time off during the summer, our ability to grant time off depends on the dates of your request.  If we already have quite a few staff out during that same time, we may not be able to honor your request. The earlier you make your request, the greater the chances we'll be able to grant time off. 
  • What happens after I apply?

    After you submit the online application, your application will be reviewed by the camp office. If your qualifications seem to meet our needs, we will send you a calendar link (within 3 – 5 days) that will allow you to choose a day and time to interview.  Interviews are either on zoom or over the phone.
  • Do I need any special certifications to work at Tenacre Day Camp?

    Lifeguards need to have CPR and Lifeguard certifications, and we also encourage swim staff to get their WSI certification, although it is not required. 

    Some of our Activity Specialists will need special certifications.  If you are a college graduate and want to teach Archery, Ropes Course, or Yoga, you will need special certifications or training.  

    To work as a counselor at camp, you do not need any special certifications.  
  • Do my 3 references need to be from employers?

    You can use a variety of people to be a reference for you.  Consider asking teachers, professors, employers, volunteer supervisors, or friends of your family that have known you for a long time.  References cannot be related to you, so don't ask your family members.  
  • Do I need to see a doctor before I come to camp?

    All staff members must complete a Health History Form (online) and undergo a physical exam prior to camp (exam date within 18 months of the last day of Camp).

    The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires all staff to provide proof of the following vaccines: 

    MMR: 2 doses
    If you were born before 1957 in the U.S., you are considered immune. In this case, you will need to provide laboratory evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella.  

    Varicella (chicken pox): 2 doses
    If you were born before 1980 in the U.S., you are considered immune. In this case, you will need to provide a reliable history of chickenpox (the doctor will make a note on your physical form of when you had the disease) or you can have your blood drawn and then provide laboratory evidence of immunity.

    Tdap: 1 dose 
    The Tetanus shot must be given every 10 years

    The camp maintains a full-time registered nurse from 8am – 4pm. 
  • Do I need health insurance?

    Staff members need to carry their own comprehensive health insurance for any non-work related injuries or illnesses.  Any activity not sanctioned by the camp, which causes injury, will be at the expense of the employee.

  • How will I be paid?

    We issue standard checks for payment bi-weekly.  The checks are distributed to staff on Friday afternoon or mailed to the staff person’s address that is in CampSite (Staff Dashboard). Tax forms (W-2’s) are mailed to the same address in January.  We do not currently offer direct deposit to our staff.
  • What is the Alcohol, Tobacco, Vaping, and Drug Policy?

    Tenacre is a smoke-free campus, including vaping. We have a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use.  Alcohol consumption is not permitted on the grounds, and staff members are prohibited from returning to camp under the influence of alcohol.   

    Please understand that if staff use or possess any drugs, including marijuana, or alcohol on the Tenacre campus, while they are employed by Tenacre Day Camp, that they will face termination and possible legal consequences.
  • What are the lunch options?

    Staff can bring their own lunch each day (peanut/nut free). The other option is to purchase lunch from the camp's kitchen (subject to availability). There are 2 special staff breakfasts and 2 special staff lunches during the summer. Camp provides pizza for lunch for staff every Friday.
  • Can I have my cell phone at camp?

    Cell phones are only allowed during break time in the staff room (when you are not responsible for campers).  You must be comfortable separating yourself from your cell phone during the camp day. 
  • What happens at camp when it rains or when it's extremely hot? 

    All staff need to bring a rain coat to camp each day (we suggest keeping one in your car at all times). In the event of rain, we still need to assist campers to and from their cars during arrival and dismissal.  

    The Tenacre campus is an elementary school, and there are numerous indoor spaces that we can use during rain or extreme heat. The buildings are air conditioned.

    Full Day campers and staff eat outside when the weather is nice, and inside the cafeteria when the weather is poor.  

    The 3 and 4 year olds eat inside their home-base classroom all summer long, depending on COVID protocols. 

    The campers swim in the pools when it rains, but not if it’s down pouring or thunder/lightening. 
  • What are other important policies that I should know?

    • Staff are not permitted to be left alone with a camper for any reason.
    • A child should never be picked up or carried.
    • Pool Staff need to provide their own red bathing suit. 
    • The Camp provides a daily nut-free snack.
    • Counselors apply sunscreen to campers each day.  
    • Cameras and/or picture-taking of staff or campers are NOT allowed on campus. The camp photographer takes photos throughout the camp season. 
    • "Fun Fridays" are special event days at Tenacre. Campers and Staff look forward to Olympics DayKids Wanna RockAnimal Kingdom, and more!  Each week of the summer is also a theme.  
  • What other ways are there to make money?

    We have pre-camp programs at Tenacre in June, and a Aftercamp child care program during camp weeks.
    You can earn more money by being a counselor (assistant coach) for our Rising Star Sports weeks in June. This is a morning program for 3 – 7 year olds. The children play group games, and learn the basics of soccer, baseball, and t-ball. The working hours for these 2 weeks are from 8:45am – 11:45am, Monday – Friday. 
    Tenacre has a swim lesson program for 3 weeks in June. You need to be a certified lifeguard in order to apply.  The program offers ½ hour group and private lessons from 10am – 5:30pm. We are able to hire staff for half day hours as well.  
    The Aftercamp Child Care program is offered to our camp families during the camp weeks. The program is until 5:15pm Monday-Friday.  If you are interested in working extended hours, please tell the camp office. 
  • How do I translate my camp employment to my resume?

    Working at camp provides powerful job skills.  Here are some tips for making sure your camp experience is well represented on your resume
  • Who's who at camp?

    Camp Office Staff: Throughout the year, the camp office staff prepares for the upcoming summer. We recruit and enroll campers, interview and hire staff, oversee maintenance, manage the camp’s finances, and oversee all aspects of the camp. 

    Summer Directors: Each Director is responsible for a main program at the camp.  The programs at camp that have a Director are: Aftercamp, Swim, Full Day, and a Director for the 3 and 4 year old groups.

    Counselors: 3 – 4 Counselors are assigned to be with a group of children, and the age group that you work with will be based on the camp’s need, and your preferences will also be taken into account.  The campers look to their counselors for how to behave and how to talk.  Counselors set boundaries with their campers, have fun with their campers, and are kind to them at all times.  

    Floaters: Floaters are responsible for providing minute-to-minute supervision to a group of campers, and floaters help to run daily activities as needed.  Under the guidance of the Summer Directors, floaters will sometimes be assigned to assist with special events and administrative needs.

    Activity Heads: Activity Heads plan a specific activity (Archery, Nature, Science, Art, Ropes Course, Yoga, Music, Sports, etc.) and teach specific skills to the campers.  They have lesson plans prepared and are responsible for purchasing supplies.  

    Lifeguards/Swim Instructors: Lifeguards teach 20 – 25 minute lessons for the first half of the day, and guard in the afternoon during recreational swim times.  Most 3 and 4 year olds swim 1:1 with their instructor, and the older campers swim in small group lessons.   

    Specialty Instructors: Tenacre runs one-week specialty programs and these are separate from the Day Camp. Specialty Instructors are responsible for running their half day or full day program. 

    Specialty Counselors: Counselors that work in these programs will be assigned to assist the Specialty Instructor.  Most programs have 10 – 15 children.  

We Are Accredited

Tenacre Day Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), and is celebrating more than 40 years of providing a safe, fun, wonderful day camp experience for children.  Learn why choosing an accredited camp is important. 

Learn More About the Tenacre Summer Program