Trip Director

Company: North Star Camp

Job Type: Contract, Seasonal

Job Description

Who We Are

North Star Camp is a residential boys summer camp located in Hayward, Wisconsin. Every summer, approximately 200 campers come to the shores of Spider Lake to make new friends, learn new skills, grow as individuals and make memories that last a lifetime. Our incredible staff come from all over the world to create a nurturing and fun environment. We are actively hiring great role models who are passionate about working in youth development and spending the summer outdoors. If you are energetic, collaborative and hard working, and are ready to make a difference and have the best summer of your life, all while developing skills that will be valuable for your future career, we’d love to have you apply!  

The tripping program at North Star seeks to expose campers to new environments and foster an appreciation for nature in a fun and safe manner, while focusing on developing minimal impact camping skills, self-confidence, team work, and building relationships within the cabin groups.

The Role In a Nutshell

We are looking for a Trip Director to lead our robust wilderness tripping program. Every cabin goes on a wilderness trip each session, from as short as a 2-day, 1-night trip on a local river to a 9-day, 8-night canoeing and portaging trip to the Boundary Waters of Canada. The Trip Director will be responsible for overseeing the entire trip program, implementing processes to ensure the safety of our campers and staff while on the trip, and providing training, mentorship, and feedback to the trippers throughout the summer. The Trip Director will likely lead some trips as well! This role starts May 31 and runs through August 11 at our summer camp in Hayward, Wisconsin. (The role begins May 24th for WFR training if you need to be certified — a cost covered by North Star Camp.)

A Typical Day At Camp As The Trip Director (even though there’s no such thing as a typical day at camp…) 

  • Eat breakfast with two of your trippers and some other out-of-cabin staff members.

  • Head to the Trip Shack to do some final checks for the trip that is leaving after breakfast. Food packed in the coolers? Satellite phone ready to go? Directions to the departure and pick up points printed? Do the trippers have extra throw ropes and emergency supplies? (Don’t worry – you’ll have a checklist to go through, but those are just some things on the list…)

  • The cabin is done with their health checks and the kids excitedly grab their life jackets and paddles. They climb into the camp van to head out on their adventure. You drive the trip out to their put in spot and help them unload and pack their canoes for their wilderness adventure. You say goodbye to the trippers and send them on their way!

  • Upon returning to camp, you have a little bit of time before lunch, so you head to the program office to review the feedback surveys we received from campers who just got back from trips. You compile a list of feedback – good and constructive – to pass along to the tripper when you have a check-in with them next.

  • Right before lunch, you hear some car horns blasting which is the signal at camp that a trip is returning. You run to the hill to greet them and hear about all the fun the cabin had out on the river for the past few days!

  • The lunch bell rings, so you head to the Lodge to grab some food and sit with some of your camp friends. 

  • After lunch, you help the tripper who just returned unpack, clean and put away some supplies. It’s good bonding time with your tripper and you can hear how things went on the trip. The tripper is frustrated because the cabin she just took out had a difficult trip because the weather wasn’t very cooperative. You listen, ask if she would like some suggestions for next time it rains on trips and make a plan to check in later in the afternoon. 

  • You’re leaving on a trip the next day, so you take some time to pack out your supplies. Food menu is planned, food is packed away, and you run through your list of supplies needed for the trip. You take another look at the map to plan out the route, noting where the campsites are. 

  • Now that the supplies have been packed, it’s time for you to pack your personal gear. Head to your cabin to pack your clothes for the trip.

  • It’s dinner time! You sit with the cabin you’re taking out the next day and play some tabletop games to get to know them.

  • After Evening Program ends, you head to the cabin and help the campers pack for the trip, making sure they have enough warm gear, a sleeping bag, water shoes and more! 

  • Head back to your cabin to get a good night’s sleep for the trip’s post-breakfast departure the next day.

On the actual trip itself, you are responsible for facilitating a safe and fun experience for the cabin. You will be leading the trip down the river or on the hiking trail, stopping at appropriate times to give everyone a rest. Additionally, you’ll be working with campers and counselors to prepare meals and snacks, as well as working with counselors to plan fun evening programs around the campsite. 

This Job Might Be For You If:

  • You love the great outdoors. We practice Leave No Trace principles on trips and our tripping program is one of the pillars of our overall camp program. One of the major perks of the job is that many campers have never gone on camping trips before, so you are able to share your love and enthusiasm for nature with the next generation.

  • You love to motivate adn bring the best out of people. As Trip Director, you will be the direct supervisor of 4-6 other trip leaders. You’ll need to learn what motivates your staff and how to maximize their potential at camp. Giving timely and honest feedback is a key part of how we operate.

  • You’re the type of leader people want to work with and for. Being a member of North Star’s leadership team is a lot of responsibility. Being an empathetic leader that people are excited to work with is super important as you head up the tripping program. Building relationships with each of your staff members is key. 

  • You’re organized and a master of logistics. Route planning, food preparation, camping supplies, tents, camper medication, weather forecasts…there are so many things that will be on your plate before, during and after trips. You’ll need to make order out of chaos in this role to ensure the trips run smoothly.

  • You’re responsible and a great communicator. There are inherent risks with being out in the wilderness, far from civilization. Whether you’re leading the trip or your trippers are the ones doing the leading, you’ll want to make sure things are being done to keep the trips safe, while also super fun. Having good communication with your trippers and with the camp directors is crucial.

  • You’re calm under pressure. Camp is a fast-paced environment with curveballs coming all the time. The same can be said especially when you’re out in nature. An ominous storm cloud coming in fast? A capsized canoe trying to cross some rapids? When a problem arises, you’ll need to be cool under pressure and spring into action to help solve it safely and efficiently.

  • You’re willing to share your talents with the rest of camp. Can you jump rope while balancing a cup of water on your head as you sing “Wagon Wheel” with perfect pitch? Know how to play the ukulele and harmonica? Campers love to see our staff members’ hidden talents and we’d love to see yours too! Our trippers are a super fun bunch, so we can’t wait to see what you come up with to make our camp community smile!

Perks of the Job

  • A competitive salary

  • Room and board (3 meals a day and snacks at night) for the entire summer

  • Travel expense reimbursement

  • Fully paid WFR certification course and Lifeguard Training

  • Ability to work closely with other camp professionals on the leadership team, mentoring and overseeing a major camp program

  • A beautiful camp surrounded by a stunning waterfront

  • New friendships and memories that will last a lifetime

  • All the s’mores you can imagine

Essential Functions of the Job

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds

  • Ability to be on your feet for extended periods of time

  • Current and unrestricted driver’s license

  • Additional tasks and duties as assigned

Interested in Applying?

Great! We’d love to hear from you. Learn more on our website and submit an application.

Availability:  If the job is posted, we're still hiring for it!

How to Apply

To apply, please visit https://bit.ly/NSChiring
Posted on: November 21, 2022
Job Type: Contract, Seasonal
Job Starting Date:
May 31, 2023
Application Closing Date:
May 20, 2023
Years of Experience: 1 – 2 years
Population(s) Served: Youth - General, Youth - K-12, Youth - Teen
Job Category(ies): Summer Camp