What It’s Like to Be a Camp Counsellor at Muskoka Woods

Being a camp counsellor is one of the best summer jobs around. Not only does working as an overnight summer camp counsellor prepare young adults for future career endeavours, it’s just plain fun! Many counsellors find being a role model for the young guests in their cabin extremely rewarding. Plus, many counsellors make lifelong friends with other staff they meet at camp.

We asked one of our veteran (and award-winning!) counsellors, Luca Olivieri (pictured) — who has been spending his summers at Muskoka Woods since 2016 when he started as a Venture counsellor — to give us the lowdown on what being a camp counsellor at Muskoka Woods is all about.

What made you want to work at Muskoka Woods?

The summer before I started at Muskoka Woods, I worked at a day camp in Toronto, and I found myself wanting more of an overnight camp experience. When I went searching for summer camps in Ontario, I came across Muskoka Woods on the top of every list and I went to the website and just fell in love with every video.

What’s the best part about working at Muskoka Woods as a counsellor?

The best part about being a counsellor at Muskoka Woods is getting the opportunity to be a role model for a cabin full of incredible kids and getting to know them throughout the week! It was extremely rewarding to hear the kids say they had an incredible week in my cabin and that I helped to make them have an incredible summer.

What are some of your favourite Muskoka Woods memories as a staff member?

I have amazing memories from camp! The first being Spy Camp! In the summer of 2019, I was in charge of a cabin, along with my co-counsellor, with 10, nine-to-10-year-olds who were there on a secret mission! We went around camp at night and had secret assignments and had to crack a case on who was causing problems at camp. The week ended with an incredible boat chase and a hangout night at the skatepark!

Another great memory that I have of camp is the weekly program in Junior High called Animal Races. I did 27 weeks of Animal Races and every single one was an experience to remember! Seeing the guests in my cabin go from, “No way are we doing this!” to them fighting over who gets to go next was incredible and was a moment where many laughs were made.

Finally, my last favourite memory of Muskoka Woods was in 2019 when we had the staff banquet. Every year at the end of the summer some of Muskoka Woods’ staff are recognized for their work through the summer. At this banquet they were announcing the male counsellor of the summer and as I was listening to the candidate, I was trying to piece together who it was when finally, a key clue made me recognize that it was me! I was extremely grateful for it and it was a definite peak in my Muskoka Woods career.

If you’re interested in joining a fun, dedicated team of camp counsellors and staff at Muskoka Woods, check out our job postings. See you in the summer!!

About the Author

Paul Cade has been a part of Muskoka Woods since his first summer as guest in 1996. He spent time working in the kitchen, on Water Ski Staff, as the General Athletics Area Head, as a Staff Coach and an Athletic Director for three years. Paul graduated with a Recreation and Leisure Studies diploma at Humber College and was a recent graduate of the Arrow Leadership program. He has been overseeing the Muskoka Woods Summer Camp since 2016 and prior to that he spent 6 years working as a full-time youth pastor in Oakville and Ajax. Paul has a passion for developing young leaders for today and the future. Paul met the love of his life Victoria at Muskoka Woods in 2006. They are married with three young children.

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