Dates & FAQs

Dates for Summer 2024 (staff applications are closed for 2024).

Please note: Staff should plan to arrive to camp the day BEFORE training starts

Staff Training: June 2nd – June 9th (mandatory for all new staff)

Camp Program: June 10th – August 17th (in 1 and 2 week sessions)

Optional Lifeguard Training May 29th-31st

Optional Core Ropes Team or Boat Driver Training: June 1st

Staff Training

Staff GirlsStaff Training is mandatory for all new staff and is paid. Staff Training is packed full of activities to help you get to know your fellow staff members, to learn and practice the skills you will need working with kids and leading activities, and to familiarize you with our site, rules, and procedures. Counselors and support staff will also be asked to work for periods of time during Staff Training week in order to help prepare the facility for camp. Time off during Staff Training is limited, so we suggest you are prepared for camp when you arrive. Food and housing is provided during staff training. Make sure to bring a pillow and sleeping bag and some warm clothes, as it can often be cold this early in the season. Contact if you have questions about dates.


Mountain Camp is located on beautiful Ice House Lake in the Eldorado National Forest. We are at least 30 minutes drive from the nearest town, Pollock Pines, CA. Sacramento is 75 miles to the West, and South Lake Tahoe is 45 miles to the East. San Francisco is ~170 miles to the West and is a 3.5 hour drive.

Living Arrangements

All summer counseling staff live in rustic cabins with 8-14 campers and one or two other co-counselors. Cabins do have electricity, but they do not have plumbing. Shower houses are located nearby. You will sleep on a bunk bed that has a mattress provided by camp. You will need to bring linens or a warm sleeping bag (recommended) and pillow.

Transportation to Camp

Mountain Camp provides transportation to camp from Sacramento International Airport only on selected days and times before the beginning of Staff Training. You can also take a bus or train to Sacramento for pick up, but please contact us before booking any tickets so we can ensure that we’ll have a ride for you once you arrive. The drive to camp from Sacramento is about 90 mins.

Transportation at Camp

Summer staff members are responsible for providing their own transportation during time off.

staff music

Time Off

Daily – Our day consists of four 1.5 hour activity periods. Most of our summer staff will work 3 of these 4 periods and have one of these periods off. These time periods are ideal for taking advantage of our natural local workout facilities (swimming, biking, hiking, running), using the staff computers, writing letters, showering, taking a nap, etc. In addition to your period off, every other night you will be off from 9:30-11:00. You will check out with the director on duty at 9:30pm and must be back on site and checked in by 11:00 pm.

Weekly – Staff members receive an extended period of time off in between sessions which will amount to more than a total of 24hrs off each week. While there are many different places to see in the area, we are surrounded by beautiful forests and encourage you to go hiking or camping on your time off. Also, we’re approximately 45 minutes away from South Lake Tahoe, a great area to eat, shop and rest while away from camp.

Although we do not expect it for 2024, if the pandemic worsens before camp starts, it is possible that staff may have to commit to avoiding all interactions with the public on their time off and days off, due to safety precautions. If this is the case, camp will provide activities and special food for staff on days off that allow for both adventure and relaxation without interacting with the public.



Staff and Campers will be provided with 3 meals a day, plus a snack. Breakfast is typically a hot option with a cereal bar, yogurt, granola and fresh fruit. Lunch and Dinner have a hot option with a salad bar and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There is a vegetarian option at every meal, and we are able to accommodate gluten free and dairy free diets as well. You are welcome to bring your own food to camp; however it cannot be stored in the cabin (due to pesky animals) and must be stored in the staff refrigerator or staff office food storage area.

Staff Lounge (Tent)

The staff lounge is a large canvas tent with couches and a TV, designated for staff members to spend time off, watch a movie or relax away from campers.

Personal Cell Phones

Mountain Camp has a “no electronics” culture that keeps technology out of the daily camp experience for campers and staff. It is important that staff understand and support this core value, and are comfortable separating themselves from their cell phones. Staff members may only use personal cell phones during their time off, away from campers (in the staff lounge or off site). When staff are on duty, cell phones are stored and charged in the staff office. Staff may not carry cell phones on them while on duty or have them in their cabins at any time.

Computer Access

The staff office at camp has computers available for use only during time off. These computers are connected to the internet via satellite and, unfortunately, reception is slow. The computers work fine for email and social networking sites but are NOT fast enough for streaming music or video.


In efforts to conserve water, laundry is done offsite. Mountain Camp provides some assistance to help staff do their laundry. Staff can use a “Fluff and Fold” laundry service that is local and clothes can be dropped off with our store run and returned back to camp for a fee. The turnaround is about 3 days and costs about $1.80/lb with a 10lb minimum. Mountain Camp provides a weekly laundry reimbursement paid at the end of your contract, to help cover the cost of laundry.

Staff Team


Although most of the summer our temperature stays between 60 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the beginning of the summer is typically very cold (We have had snow in previous years). Staff members will need a warm sleeping bag and warm clothes to keep warm at night. Also it is important to bring long sleeved clothing and a winter hat (although we are in California, we are not on the beach!).

Evening Program (EP)

Every night, between 7pm-8:30pm, campers and counselors participate in an evening program activity. These include activities such as Beach Party, Clue Night, Campchella or Olympiad Night. Staff are assigned responsibilities during evening program and will help plan and perform one evening program each session. The Evening Program CCST(s) oversees this program area.


Mountain Camp is powered by love, but our electricity comes from a generator. We usually have power 24hrs/day but there may be periods of time at camp without electricity for generator maintenance. It will be necessary for you to have a flashlight (or headlamp) and some staff bring battery powered lanterns as well.


The curfew for all of our summer staff is 11:00 pm (Sleep is our #1 tool for well-being at camp!).


Personal Belongings

Please be reminded that you are living in a cabin with 8-14 campers ranging in age from 7-17. Most of your belongings will be in the cabin with you and Mountain Camp is not liable for any lost or stolen property. Staff are able to put small valuables (passports, plane tickets, cash, etc.) in our office lock box, and may store prescription medications with our nurse.


Due to security concerns, Mountain Camp does not allow summer staff to have visitors while camp is in session.

Use of Camp Equipment

Mountain Camp has equipment available to staff for personal use during time off. Campers always have first priority with all camp equipment and staff are expected to return camp equipment in goo working condition, or report any damages to a director. Staff is responsible for any damage to equipment while in their possession.

Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Policy

Smoking is not permitted in the Eldorado National Forest. The use of any controlled substances is absolutely prohibited while you are a staff member at Mountain Camp.  Absolutely NO alcoholic beverages may be brought onto camp property and no one is to return to camp under the influence. Vaping and all vaping devices are also not allowed on site.

Staff Screening

We fully screen all applicants before hire and during Staff Training with thorough background and reference checks and finger printing. This includes county, state, and national databases. In addition, we implement practices and routines for the supervision of campers and staff to ensure camper safety at all times.

Staff Payment Options

Both international and domestic staff can receive their salary on a Cliq Pay Card which operates as a debit/credit card and can be used at the point of sale, or to get cash from an ATM. Information about setting up direct deposit (for domestic staff) or pay cards will be provided after hiring, but before the start of camp.  Camp can issue checks to domestic staff if they prefer.