How to Become a Camp Director


Those who become camp directors have a love for camp activities and their impact on people’s lives. They enjoy working in teams, and applying their administrative savvy and creative talent to their work.


Camp directors are individuals that are able to stay the course during slow working months, while also able to endure periods in which they are very busy and their work is stressful. They must also be able to endure other struggles, such as budgetary pressures, personnel issues, dealing with facility management, and many others.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to forge a career in this field. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Camp Director

You'll likely require a bachelor’s degree in a field such as Camp Management, Outdoor Recreation, Recreational Leadership, Management, or a related field. Employers generally prefer to hire candidates who also have experience in the recreation field on top of their education. 





General Job Description

Camp directors are the primary administrators and planners of day of recreational camp programs. They are responsible for overseeing the general operations of day and overnight camp. Camp directors also oversee camp counselors and other camp employees, which typically includes assessing work performance and taking disciplinary actions when necessary.



Typical Job Duties

• Define camp goals

• Develop and implement programs and activities which reflect camp goals

• Recruit campers and staff by preparing brochures, making telephone calls and participating in other promotional activities

• Conduct staff training sessions prior to and during camp

• Assign, schedule and oversee staff activities

• Assign staff and campers to cabins and groups

• Prepare an evaluation and summary of current season including inventories, staff evaluations, camper reports, and recommendations for the following season

• Maintain an atmosphere that develops good morale and overall well being

• Organize and development crisis management and emergency procedures

• Maintain and review records and evaluations of all programs, operations, staff, and facilities

• Monitor safety and all related procedures



Who Employs Them?

Camp directors are often employed by organizations involved in the administration of recreational day and overnight camp programs. The camp programs may be created to serve certain sectors of the population, such as children, families, members of religious groups, sports teams, children or adults suffering from illness, senior citizens, and many others These organizations include:


• Fitness, recreation and sports centres

• Non-profit agencies

• Religious groups

• Recreation agencies

• Privately owned or family run camp programs




Work Environment

Schedule: Many camp directors work year-round, and typically work regular full-time weekday hours. Some camp directors may work nights, weekends, holidays or other unusual hours.


Conditions: Camp directors typically work in an office setting, and may work at the campsite or off the campsite. They are typically not involved in much physical activity, although if they are there is a risk of incurring physical injury. 



Typical Salary Level

The salary level of camp directors can be determined by many factors, such as their level of education, their level of experience, where they work, who owns the camp, and many others.


Canad: According to the 2017 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants occupational group, which includes camp directors, earn an average salary of $68,900 per year. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available from reliable sources for other Canadian provinces or territories at the time of writing (June 28, 2019).


United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for workers in the Social and Community Service Managers occupational group is $65,320 (2018 figures). 



Current Job Opportunities

Our job board below has "camp director" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.




Similar Career Profiles in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to this one, as they involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Camp Counselor

Community Program Director

Recreation and Leisure Supervisor

Recreation and Sports Director



References for This Career Guide

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a camp director.


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Accommodation Service Managers.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 1, 2019.

Management:Social and Community Service Managers.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 1, 2019.

Explore Careers:Camp Director Certificate.” (n.d.). American Camp Association website. Retrieved November 1, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Camp Director

The 'Applicable Majors' for this Profession' section below shows fields of study relevant to a career in this field. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors for This Profession

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a camp director. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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