Staff Life & FAQ

What are my responsibilities as a counselor?
Counselors at our camp are responsible for the health and welfare of the campers, especially those with whom they live, and also teach in a specialty area (like tennis or arts & crafts) during the regular camp day schedule.

What is the staff day like?
Each counselor spends the bulk of their time during the day in their activity area, but has responsibility for bunk supervision and dining hall duty throughout the rest of the day. Staff receive one period off duty during the day. Counselors usually live in cabins with their campers, although we do have some opportunities for day staff who can offer specialized skills. Staff are expected to participate in, and often lead, evening activities. Our more senior staff members, many of whom have families of their own, provide specific activity skills, manage departments and supervise teaching staff.

Where is Camp Pembroke?
Camp Pembroke is located in Pembroke, MA, approximately a 45-minute drive from downtown Boston; two hours from Hartford, CT and four hours from New York City.

How can I get to camp?
Camp is easy to reach with a car. If you fly into Boston, we can pick you up. See directions and a map.

What is there to do nearby on days off?
There’s lots to do nearby: Pembroke is just 40 minutes from Boston, MA, 20 minutes from Plymouth MA, and 30 minutes from Cape Cod. Check out Things to Do Near Camp Pembroke on Pinterest.

Who is on the Pembroke staff?
Staff members come from all over the world, though mostly from the northeast United States. We also have staff from Canada, the UK, Eastern Europe and Australia. Each summer we host a delegation of counselors from Israel. Many of our counselors were campers here for many years.

Who are the children I will be working with?
Campers range in age from 8 to 15. Most campers come from the Northeast portion of the United States. Our campers are passionate about camp, the day and evening activities, their bunkmates and summer sisters, and the camaraderie they share. If you will live in a bunk, we will assign you to an age group we think will be a great match based on your skills.

How many counselors and campers share a bunk?
The American Camp Association standards guide our camper:counselor bunk ratios. The number of counselors varies from 2 to 4, depending on the number of campers in the bunk and the age group. Each bunk typically has 10-18 campers.

What is the pay structure? When and how do I receive my paycheck?
Counselors and other child-focused specialists receive a pre-agreed base pay which will be specified in your employment contract. You may also be eligible for certain bonuses and or benefits, which will also be specified in the contract, based on any certifications, camper tuition(s), and transportation, or transfer of license(s). Staff are paid either two or three times during the summer.

How much time off will I have?
Counselors work every day of the week, and get one free period on most days. Counselors also get free time from lights-out (9-10pm, depending on age group) to curfew (12:30am) if they are not scheduled for “on duty” cabin supervision.  Counselor staff also get six days off during the summer. These days-off begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at curfew (12:30am) on the following night. Curfew for all staff members is 12:30am and must be observed.

How do I get around on my day off if I have no car?
We want you to refresh and have fun! Camp will provide transportation to the train or the bus or to other local places for your day off. You’ll have to plan ahead and be a bit flexible: you’ll get one drop-off and one-pick-up per entire day off, and if the Director determines that other driving and camp needs must take priority at a given time, you may have to make other arrangements.

Is there Internet and phone access at camp?
You may bring your own cellphone to camp. However, to maintain and model our technology-free cabins, your phone may not stay in the cabin with your campers, and you many not carry it throughout the day. We provide a designated place for you to keep and charge your cellphone. The camp provides Internet for your use.

Can I receive calls at camp?
In the case of an emergency, you can receive messages and phone calls via the camp office. All personal calls must be taken or made only during your daily time off.

Is there a safe place to put my valuables while I am at camp?
Lockers with locks are provided for staff members to store personal belongings of value. We also have an office safe and will be happy to lock up your valuables. We will be available to open the safe at reasonable times.

If I take medicine, where do I keep it safely?
All medications, including non-prescription medications, must stay at the camp Health Center. Medications will be available to you to take when prescribed. For the children’s safety, no medications may be kept in cabins.

What is the weather like at Camp?
Most days of New England summers are warm, with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit (20s Celsius). Evening temperatures cool to a comfortable 60°F (16°C). Weather is typically cooler at the beginning of camp (during staff orientation) and at the end of the summer, especially in the evenings. Short periods of higher heat and humidity can be expected, and it does rain during the summer.

What should I pack for camp?
Most of the time you will be wearing lightweight clothing, but bring a sweater or sweatshirt, a light jacket and a raincoat, too. Laundry is sent out and returned the next day once per week.

Camp policy requires that all shoes must have backs and that flip-flops may only be worn to the waterfront.

Camp Pembroke staff wear camp “Staff” shirts during the program day. A number of shirts will be provided to you and more are available for purchase.

Should I bring blankets and sheets?
U.S.- and Canada-based staff members are expected to bring their own linens. International staff traveling to camp from outside North America are provided with sheets, blankets, a pillow and towels.

How can I manage food allergies and/or other dietary restrictions at camp?
The Camp Pembroke kitchen serves healthy, Kosher food with a salad bar at many meals, snacks twice daily, and fresh fruit always available.

Vegetarian diets or any special food needs should be discussed with the Director upon your application and can be addressed on an individual basis. We can help you manage most allergies and restrictions.

If I have questions, can I speak with anyone prior to camp?
Please do! Start with the Cohen Camps Recruiter at 781.489.2070 or email