Working at Pinewoods Camp is a great way to spend the summer, if you enjoy people, traditional dance and music, outdoor life, and good hard work. Pinewoods sessions offer classes in American, English, Scottish, and International dance and music. The camp is owned and operated by Pinewoods Camp. Inc., a non-profit organization which rents out the camp to groups sponsoring weekend and week-long sessions for adults and families.
The camp is located on a twenty-five acre wooded site between two freshwater ponds in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Although only a short drive from the town of Plymouth, it feels far away from the “real” world. Campers are housed in rustic cabins and spend most of their time dancing in the open-air pavilions, socializing in the Camp-house, walking the paths through the woods, or swimming or boating on the ponds.
Pinewoods campers come from all over America, and a number of them come from abroad. Many return year after year and, over time, have become increasingly involved in the camp. As a crew-member, you join with staff, campers, and volunteers helping in making Pinewoods wonderful, as well as providing a positive experience for campers and for us all.
Here are brief descriptions of crew positions. Please note that some positions may not be available this summer, as preference may be given to returning crew with experience from previous summers.
The Camp Manager, working closely with the Executive Director, is responsible for managing the camp during the summer season, including camp opening and closing. She or he is responsible for enforcing camp regulations and policies, maintaining personnel records, and responding to camper and Program Provider needs. The Camp Manager handles day-to-day fiscal records, monitoring and ordering supplies, and crew scheduling. Work will also include the oversight of camp store and logo sales with help from an office assistant . The Camp Manager must be organized, responsible, able to work with minimal supervision, able to make decisions independently, and must be proficient with both MAC and PC computers. They must have excellent communication skills, former experience managing a camp, and the maturity to supervise the crew appropriately when needed.
Dining Hall Manager
The Dining Hall Manager is responsible for ensuring that the dining hall runs smoothly for both campers and the kitchen crew. They are responsible for supervising the set-up and clean-up of all meals; keeping the dining hall neat and sanitary; ensuring that all volunteer camper jobs are done; and acting as a liaison between the campers and the kitchen. The Dining Hall manager eats all meals in the dining hall, makes announcements at the request of and in conjunction with the Program Provider Coordinators, and facilitates camper dietary requests when possible and if needed. They may also fill in as needed with various kitchen related jobs when necessary.
The Dining Hall Manager needs to be hard-working, cheerful, have high-energy, and be co-operative. Meal times can be hectic and the Dining Hall Manager needs to remain helpful and friendly to campers. A sense of humor is helpful.
The kitchen crew consists of three cooks, four kitchen aides, a dishwasher, and a pot-washer. Generally, the head cook budgets and plans menus, orders food, and prepares meals. The other cooks may also participate in menu-planning and ordering and are responsible for preparing and serving 5-10 meals a week. The aides, under the supervision of the cooks, do prep work and help serve meals. Aides are also responsible for after-meal clean-up. The dishwasher supervises the campers on dish crew, runs the dishwashing machine, and shares responsibility for general cleaning with the pot-washer. The pot-washer is responsible for washing the cookware that cannot be put through the dishwashing machine, and shares responsibility for general cleaning with the dishwasher.
At Pinewoods, we serve a wide variety of food. When we serve a meat dish, there is always a vegetarian option. We serve fresh produce and camp-baked breads and desserts. Breakfast is served cafeteria-style; lunch and dinner are served family-style.
Kitchen work can be very demanding. A lot of food must be produced in a relatively short time. Meal-times can be hectic and the kitchen crew must remain helpful and friendly to campers. Cooks, in particular, work long, arduous hours, and they need a sense of humor in order to cope with the demands of day-to-day kitchen operation. Cooks and aides need to be hard-working, cheerful, high-energy, co-operative people.
The grounds crew, supervised by the Crew Chief, maintains the camp’s grounds and buildings. The Crew Chief oversees, coordinates, and manages the day-to-day maintenance of the camp facilities. This includes scheduling the crew’s daily work, responding to campers’ needs, and maintaining the camp’s vehicles and safety equipment. Often working alone, grounds-crew members clean the camp’s toilets and bathrooms and collect the trash daily, and they clean the entire camp on changeover days. In addition, they make minor repairs to plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry, and screen-doors; they work on the grounds, and occasionally shop for supplies in town. Grounds crew-members have night-duty several evenings a week, which could include assisting with the camp store.
There is space for several volunteers to join the paid crew. In return for room and board and time to participate in programs, volunteers work three and ½ days a week on regular kitchen or grounds jobs or on special projects. (If you have a special skill you think we’d find useful, please let us know.) Volunteers must be at least eighteen years old.
Work Hours, Pay, Housing
Crew-members generally work 35-40 hours per week and have two days off (not necessarily consecutively) each week. Work schedules vary according to job (for instance, the pot-washer and dishwasher may have time off during the day but they usually work later into the evening with after-dinner cleanup). Crew are encouraged to participate in evening dances and may participate in a certain number of day-time classes, work schedules permitting. Crew jobs run from late May or early June through Labor Day, with room and board provided. Summer crew salaries are paid bi-weekly. Some crew-members are needed to open camp in May and to close camp after Labor Day. All crew-members live on the grounds, generally in private cabins (volunteers share housing with other volunteers). Pets, drugs, weapons are not permitted. Housing is limited, therefore family members who are not also on crew or volunteering cannot generally be accommodated.
Life At Camp
Camp life is fun but demanding. There is always a full schedule and campers keep late hours to make the most of their short stay at Pinewoods. While campers leave after a few days or a week, the crew is here for three months. This may present some challenges: to work hard doing unglamorous jobs while it seems that everyone else is playing, to get enough sleep, and to keep up the pace for the entire summer.
Camp social life is very intense and there is little privacy. Crew-members work, eat, and spend their free time together or with the campers. There are 15 sessions over the course of the season, with a turnover of as many as 145 campers each week. The crew is expected to be friendly and helpful to campers and to get along with other crew-members. As the summer goes on, crew may find it increasingly challenging to adjust to each new group. Crew often act as a support system for each other and many long-term friendships form between individuals.
How to Apply
To apply, please visit the applications page.