Deer Crossing Camp


Hiring: Rock-Climbing Instructor & Counselor


Deer Crossing Camp is an outdoor adventure in California’s High Sierra and offers a unique opportunity for campers and staff alike. Deer Crossing was founded in 1983 on two key principles: (1) through competency comes self-esteem, and (2) true leaders first learn to lead themselves. Classes in outdoor activities and wilderness safety develop competency. Special challenge activities and memorable stories build resiliency and leadership skills in both campers and staff.

Our program teaches campers ages 8–17 water-based (sailing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing) and land-based (rock climbing, technical tree climbing, archery, backpacking, arts and crafts, improv comedy, guitar) activities. Leadership programs for qualified teens ages 14–17. Class sizes are small, usually 3-8 campers, depending on activity. American Camp Association accredited. 

Employment Dates:

June 6-August 10, 2019 (includes Staff Training)

Where are we:

Deer Crossing is located at 6400' elevation on Loon Lake in Eldorado National Forest. At our back door is beautiful Desolation Wilderness with 100+ lakes and numerous destinations to explore. There is no road into camp; campers hike in 2.5 miles and all supplies and gear are boated in. It is a true wilderness living experience, with limited access to the Internet and no cell phone reception. We are a small camp, with up to 50 campers at a time—one big, happy, adventurous family!

Who do we hire:

Deer Crossing Camp attracts staff who are at least 18 years old, outgoing and energetic with a love for wilderness living and providing children with opportunities to learn and grow in an atmosphere of adventure and fun. Each staff member fills two roles: activity instructor and general counselor. We look for experienced instructors in our core activities—rock-climbing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, and canoeing.

Rock-climbing instructors:

Rock-climbing instructors have at least 100+ hours of experience on real rock; are familiar with setting top-rope protection without bolts being in place; can set cams, nuts, chocks, and do wraps on rocks and trees; can set up protected belay stations; are familiar with self-equalizing anchor systems (e.g., cordelettes); have lead climbed or cleaned wall after lead climber; and can climb at 5.7+ on the Yosemite rating system.

Climbing Instructors may have the opportunity to learn to teach technical tree-climbing. All staff must have strong swimming skills, and if not already certified lifeguards, must be capable of being certified during staff training. Backpacking experience a major plus. We look for staff who are outgoing and friendly, high energy, adventurous, helpful, caring and thoughtful, willing to help with camp chores and maintenance, and capable of following the rules of our wilderness facility. 

Where do staff live:

Staff sleep in platform tents (with mattresses) near the lodge, scattered among camper tents. Meals are served in the lodge overlooking the lake. Separate staff and camper bathrooms with hot showers are located in the lodge. Wifi Internet access is available for staff use several times each week.

What are staff paid:

Base pay is $3,565, for 9-1/2 weeks of staff training and camp. Pay increases $300 with Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or EMT certification valid through 8/10/19. All staff are certified in Wilderness First Aid (if not already WFR or EMT certified) and American Red Cross Lifeguard/First Aid/Professional CPR during staff training. Staff receive one 24-hour day off each week, plus the occasional activity period and evening. Staff are paid every two weeks, at the end of each camp session. No smoking of any type, no recreational drugs (whether legal or illegal), no drinking at camp.