Our camper-to-staff ratio here at Birch Trail is 2.5 to 1, giving each camper comprehensive, attentive care from carefully chosen people who love working with kids!

Happiness and Confidence

Our program combines freedom of choice—and the resulting sense of independence for our campers—with the structure of a balanced and coordinated schedule. Lesson plans for projects are geared to each camper's age and skill level, with schedules that alternate on an every-other-day basis for variety.

We are looking for people who are sincerely interested in working with children for an extended period of time. We want staff members who are patient, understanding, sensitive and nurturing. These intangible qualities are hard to find and harder to measure; our experience has shown that we need to interview at least 10 applicants for each staff opening—our commitment to excellence offers no shortcuts when it comes to our campers' physical, emotional and social needs. The hardest job you'll ever love, working at Birch Trail will offer opportunities to get back to nature, make lasting friendships, earn valuable career experience and—best of all—have tons of fun!

 

Our hope when we hire someone is that we have made a perfect match; the best staff member is someone who is happy to be at Birch Trail, loves children and is full of energy. If you are at all interested in being a part of the Birch Trail team, take a moment to fill out the short application and we'll be in touch with some more comprehensive information about spending your summer at camp!

The "Recessive Gene Theory"

We think that people committed to kids—to the long hours, to the silliness, to the chaos, to the structure, etc—all carry a precious piece of DNA. Our staff members are people who thrive on the benefits of making a positive difference for kids. How do you know if you are right for camp? We are looking for people who really love to be and work with kids. What if you're great with kids but you don't know what you could teach for activities? No Problem! We can teach you how to sail or how to make a clay pot, but we can't teach anyone how to truly accept, support and nurture a child.

Our campers and staff come from cities all over the United States and different parts of the world. This geographic diversity among campers and staff is very special to us. Where else can you form a community based on common goals, practice respect, and gain appreciation for the unique differences of many individuals?

Orientation

Staff orientation is your time to learn how to do your job at camp. Because the work you do is so important, our orientation period is over eight days long! Each job in camp requires special training, and because we all arrive at different times and do different jobs, training will differ as well. Wilderness trip leaders, for example, will spend time with our trip director exploring the wilderness areas our campers visit. Counselors will participate in team-building progressions and learn about daily life at camp, while kitchen staff will be guided by our kitchen manager, and so on... Working together (and having fun all the while), we will become a team and our new skills will enable our campers to have a terrific summer at camp. By the end of orientation, you'll feel like a veteran Birch Trail staffer and you'll be ready to handle anything!

Our Facilities

Living in an outdoor environment away from a city may be a very new experience for you, just as it is for many of our campers. Chances are that you will see deer roaming through camp in the early morning, along with squirrels, chipmunks, turtles and the bald eagles that nest in a tree behind one of our cabins. You will have plenty of time to orient yourself in camp and get comfortable before it is time to change your focus from yourself over to the campers.

Birch Trail (which we refer fondly to as BT) may look and feel different from most places you have been. Camp is located on 420 wooded acres, with nearly 3,000 feet of shoreline. We live in cabins; some are new and some are older, though they all share a few things in common: all have bunk beds, a place to sit and read, a beautiful view and a whole lot of character. Cabin counselors have space separate from the girls that is most commonly divided by a wall. All specialty staff members live in staff housing and though they may not eat with a cabin, they are still expected to attend all meals. When time permits, specialty staff members participate in other camp programs and tasks.

Bathrooms? This may be a new experience for you! All three of our wash houses have recently been remodeled and there is one located in each of the villages.

Before camp begins, we will send you a packing list so that you have a good idea of what to bring to camp. On a typical day someone might throw on sweats for breakfast, change into shorts and a tank top or t-shirt by mid-morning and cover-up with a sweatshirt or jacket for evening programs. But don't fret—the weather is wonderful so we don't need air conditioning and the lake temperature is just perfect on most days!

Our People

Our campers range in age from eight to 15 years old. At camp, 3rd-6th grade girls make up the Maple Village and 7th-8th graders comprise the Linden Village, leaving the 9th-10th grade girls in the Tamarack Village.

Our campers and staff come from cities all over the United States and different parts of the world. This geographic diversity among campers and staff is very special to us. Where else can you form a community based on common goals, practice respect, and gain appreciation for the unique differences of many individuals?

Birch Trail's Wilderness Trip Program

Every cabin group at camp goes out of camp on a wilderness trip. These trips are lead by folks we call "trippers." The youngest girls will go to state parks in our area for three days, while older campers will have the opportunity to take three-day river and hiking trips.

The oldest girls in camp can select from a more challenging menu of wilderness experiences, some lasting up to eight days long. They may head to the Boundary Waters National Canoe Area, hiking on Isle Royale, or the Apostle Islands to sail. Are these "survival" trips? That depends on what you mean. We believe in minimal impact camping through trips that are well-prepared, well-led and properly equipped. We want everyone to learn, enjoy and anxiously await their next trip.

In most cases, one counselor from each cabin will assist on the trip. We will ask you at the beginning of the summer if you like camping trips. Counselors staying in camp while their cabin is out are often assigned to other duties during their "free" time.

Our campers and staff come from cities all over the United States and different parts of the world. This geographic diversity among campers and staff is very special to us. Where else can you form a community based on common goals, practice respect, and gain appreciation for the unique differences of many individuals?