Building Accomplishment, Character, & Confidence

Our counselors are generally ages 17-25.  Most of them come from Auburn or surrounding communities such as Weedsport, Port Byron, Union Springs, Jordan-Elbridge, and Skaneateles.  Most of them are in college, and many of them went to Camp Y-Owasco as campers.  ALL of them are caring, honest, respectful, and responsible, and ALL of them have an energy and love for what they do and put the campers FIRST all the time.  
The number one thing we look for when hiring a candidate is whether he or she is a positive role model for children.  Our camp staff typically are recruited from area colleges and community centers.  Many are seeking degrees in education, recreation, or other service-oriented fields.  Candidates for summer staff positions must have an extensive interview with the Camp Director that can range from 1 to 2 hours in length.  If the interview is favorable, the applicant must pass a sex-offender registry check and information is gathered for a criminal background check.  

O u r   C o u n s e l o r s
All staff go through a rigorous week-long residential training at camp, which includes First Aid and CPR, childcare principles, effective and appropriate behavior managment strategies, crisis management, instructional techniques, child abuse prevention, bullying intervention, group dynamics, public speaking, and everything a staff person needs to know about Camp Y-Owasco programs and traditions. Many of our staff are lifeguards certified by the YMCA of the USA or the American Red Cross.
S t a f f   S e l e c t i o n
S t a f f   T r a i n i n g
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I heard your staff has weird nicknames.  What's with that?  
You heard right!  All Camp Y-Owasco staff (including the director!) have a "campname."  Campnames are used by many camps across the country.  We find that they add another layer of culture to our camp and help us separate ourselves from what happens in "the outside world."  We want to reinforce that, at camp, it doesn't matter who you are (or who everyone else thinks you are) in the outside world because, at camp, every kid is free to be the person he or she knows they are inside.  We hope that they transfer this ability to their everyday lives when they go home.  That may sound kind of mushy and cheesy, but it's true.  Campnames also are fun!  Campers typically don't have campnames, but there's nothing saying they can't.