This summer, do something important that will last a lifetime!


Join our Summer Staff and have a huge impact on a kid's life!  It will be a summer unlike any other. You’ll have the opportunity to live and work with people from around the world, gain great leadership experience, and become a kid’s hero.  It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it!  You’ll get paid to spend your summer having fun, gaining valuable experience as an instructor, and have a summer filled with s'mores, games, late night adventures, worship, and an incredible supportive community!  It’s a known fact that Camp friends are friends for life.  Come and join our community this summer to have the best summer of your life and leave a legacy to be proud of!

What we expect from our staff!

Respect for children and have an ability to relate to and the desire to work with them:  You’ll be spending all day everyday with kids. You will be their mentors, friends, confidant, and probably end up as somebody’s hero.

A commitment to teamwork and building a supportive community:  All staff are responsible for creating a safe and encouraging environment where campers are challenged to build a Christ-centered community of acceptance, trust, sharing, and forgiveness as they play, laugh, and grow spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially. The ultimate goal of a Stronghold summer staff member is to make sure that every camper feels loved, can be their true self, experiences the love of Jesus Christ, and builds meaningful relationships with peers, camp counselors, and with God.

Enthusiastic Leadership:  You are the spark that starts the fire, the switch that turns on the light, the gas in the engine. Be enthusiastic everything you do. Campers are inspired by your energy and enthusiasm.  Help your group to be where they need to be, doing what they are supposed to be doing, when they are supposed to be doing it!  If a counselor is having fun, their campers will have fun!

Long Hours:  While on duty, Stronghold is a round-the-clock job.  Staff are responsible for campers throughout the day, during each activity, and at night.  Being a counselor requires the patience and flexibility to guide and nurture a group of children and youth for extended periods of time with limited time off.

A willingness to share your faith and mentor campers: We are a Christian camp and though we are affiliated with the Presbyterian church, we serve campers of numerous denominational backgrounds. Our staff are expected to teach daily Bible studies consistent with the Stronghold curriculum.  We will do everything we can to equip you to feel confident in this. We know that no faith journey is perfect or complete. We ask our staff to be open enough to share where they are in their walk of faith and be open to walk with the campers during our time with them on their faith journey.

What our staff can expect from us!

Salary:  Our beginning base salary is $400/week and is based on the position and number of years a staff member has worked.

Room and Board:  Summer staff members are also compensated with room and board for the duration of their employment.

Time Off:  Staff are off most weekends between camp sessions as well as over the 4th of July holiday.  Counselors also receive breaks each day throughout the week and are free to spend these off blocks at camp however they choose.

Professional Development:  During staff training, we teach our staff everything they need to know about working at Stronghold.  We cover quite a bit of information and teach many skills, largely focused on working with children, working as a team, and outdoor living skills. Much of what you will learn and experience at camp will prepare you for jobs and careers later in life, such as leadership, time management, working as a team, interpersonal skills, and problem solving.  We are often told the skills they learned at Stronghold are still some of their most used skills in their professional lives.

Certification Courses:  Stronghold provides all staff with training and certification in first aid, CPR, and the use of an AED as well as an optional certification as an archery instructor.

Discernment and Direction:  Something about spending time outdoors with children and youth seems to provide a clarity and insight that many of our counselors are looking for.  After a summer at camp, many of our staff often decide to become summer camp professionals, teachers, counselors, or pastors because certain skills and a desire to serve others has been awakened within them.  If you aren’t sure what the future holds for you, you just might find it at camp.

FUN!:  Yes, we pay you to have fun.

If you have any questions contact our Program Director, Ryan Anderson, at or 815-732-6111 ext. 609

Available Positions

Assistant Summer Camps Director:
Assist the Summer Camps Director in the organization and implementation of day to day operations at Stronghold Summer Camps. A major responsibility is setting an example of Christian leadership for the staff and campers.

Summer Camp Counselor:
Make a difference in a young person's life by guiding them through their week in our Christian community at Stronghold. The daily responsibilities of a Small Group Leader includes Bible study leadership (from a prepared curriculum), recreation leadership, working as a team with other staff members, and supervision of campers through a variety of camp activities.

Resident Lifeguard:
Be the head lifeguard during pool activities and canoe trips. Teach water safety on canoe trips and at the pool. Schedule other lifeguards to cover all aquatic events. Keep the aquatic activities safe and the facilities clean and be part of an awesome camp community. 

Health Supervisor:
Be a first responder, providing basic first aid, maintaining medical supplies at the health center, administering medication to campers and staff, reviewing and keeping records, and providing emergency care.

Photographer/Media Co-ordinator:
Take pictures and video of all the great things happening at camp this year, make a newsletter for the campers each week, and make promotional materials for the next years camp, all while taking part in camp activities.

Challenge Course Director:
Lead group building and individual challenge activities on the Leap of Faith, Pole Climb Zip Line, and High Ropes and Initiatives/Team Building Courses. Work with youth and adult groups during the summer.

To Apply:
To apply to any of our summer staff openings, please fill out the online application or download the above PDF and mail it to Stronghold Camp & Retreat Center, PO Box 199, Oregon, IL 61061. You must have graduated high school to be elegible to apply. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan at Stronghold today!