Southwoods’ Commonly Asked Questions by Prospective Staff

Southwoods is committed to empowering people. Our goal is to build confidence and self-esteem by reinforcing positive human values. We achieve that goal through cutting-edge programming implemented by a carefully selected and fully trained staff whose investment in children, like our own, is unparalleled.
Southwoods is located in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. We are 4 1/2 hours North of New York City and 2 hours South of Montreal, Canada. Looking at a map? We are between Lake George and Lake Placid. Search for Schroon Lake.
Southwoods employs about 130 counselors seasonally. All staff are required to have completed one or more years of college. The average age of our staff is 21. We hire staff from all over the United States, Canada and Overseas. (Overseas staff should email info@southwoods.com for more information about processing J-1 visas.)
Our campers each reside at camp for a four-week period. Each session 300 boys and girls from 7-15 years of age participate in our program. Our clientele is from middle class and upper class backgrounds.
Staff are employed for the entire season. Our season runs from Mid June -Mid August and includes participation in a one week camp orientation. Outdoor Educators, Waterfront Staff, Group Leaders, Activity Specialist, and Support Staff arrive slightly earlier for intensive training in their area.
Salary ranges depending on position and experience at Southwoods.
There are many more similarities than differences between these two positions. Both jobs require that they: live with campers, eat meals with their cabin, participate in evening activities, share evening on duty responsibilities, and be responsible for the overall well being of the campers they live with. Throughout the activity day, 9:30am -5:30pm, activity specialist’s and cabin specialist’s responsibilities will differ. Each activity specialist with leave their group for the activity day to instruct and run the particular activity for which they have been hired. The cabin specialist will move with his/her bunk from activity to activity, participating and assisting the activity specialist.
All staff are scheduled for one day off per week. Additionally staff have 3 evenings off each week. We provide transportation into town (Schroon Lake) a few evenings each week. Staff have Internet access, access to pay phones, and a staff lounge. On days off staff typically explore: nearby beaches, Lake Placid (Olympic facility), Lake George (Outlet shopping), Vermont (Teddy Bear Company, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory), Montreal (Olympic Stadium, white water rafting, underground mall, French quarter), Albany (shopping mall, movie theatres, Saratoga race track, capital of NY).
Staff make their own travel arrangements. Depending on where you are from you may receive travel compensation. Arriving by Plane? Albany Airport. Arriving by Train? Amtrak to Ticonderoga. Arriving by Bus? Adirondack Trailways to Schroon Lake (overseas staff arrive using this means from New York cities Port Authority).
Almost all of our staff live in cabins with campers. Cabin placement is decided upon during camp orientation. All of our cabins have been re-done or have been built brand new recently. A cabin holds 10-14 campers and 3-4 staff members. All cabins have running water (sinks & toilets) and electricity. Support Staff and Outdoor Educators do not live with children.
Southwoods is a non denominational camp and does not hold services on any day throughout the summer.
Being in the Adirondack Mts. each day there is a large swing in temperature. During most days it will reach the mid to upper 80s. In the evening it can cool down to low to mid 60s. Occasionally it does rain at camp. We call it liquid sunshine!!
We provide lots of choices. We serve a hot family style entrée at every meal. Additionally we have buffet tables set up at breakfast with a dry cereal bar, at lunch a salad bar and at dinner a salad bar, and a pasta or potato bar. We serve a vegetarian option at every meal. We serve kid friendly and nutritious meals. And of course, there is always the standard PB&J.
We provide a laundry service one time a week while the campers are at camp. The entire cabin’s laundry goes out together and is cleaned and folded by our laundry service. Nametags are a must!!
Southwoods requires that staff wear Southwoods t-shirts and that all staff apparel is rated G (logos and text on t-shirts etc). Tattoos and body piercing should be discussed.
Tennis, swimming, climbing, backpacking, caving, mountain biking, nature, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, water-skiing, swimming, windsurfing, ropes course, climbing wall, theatre, dance, arts, crafts, ceramics, woodworking, stained glass, yearbook, photography, video, gymnastics, archery, golf, volleyball, roller-hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, basketball…just to name a few.
A day starts about 7:30 am and last until about 9:30 pm. Unlike any other job, camp can be 24 hours a day. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love! Each day is made up of 5 activity periods. The camp schedule is very routine, but at the same time we are full of surprises and special events, which make no two days the same.

Summer Address:
532 NYS, Route 74
Paradox, NY 12858
Telephone: 518-532-7717

Winter Address:
PO Box 201
Granite Springs, NY 10527
Telephone: 914-214-8780
Fax: 914-245-1683

Contact Details