Summer Camp Counselor

    • Job Tracking ID: 512912-606707
    • Job Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Job Level: Entry Level (less than 2 years)
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: March 26, 2018
    • Years of Experience: Less Than 1 Year
    • Starting Date: ASAP
    • Campus Location: Mission
    • Status: Temporary/Seasonal
    • Department: Header: Humane Education
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Summer Camp Counselors are responsible for a variety of functions including teaching and overseeing group lessons and activities, supervising and mentoring children, caring for and handling a variety of animals, and assisting with the day-to-day management and planning of camp.

The San Francisco SPCA offers twelve week-long summer day camps for kids in grades 1 through 8. Children learn about pet care, animal issues, and about being animal ambassadors through games, crafts and activities, guest speakers, and hands-on time spent with animals. Our camp programs foster a sense of responsibility and respect for animals through inquiry and experience-based learning.

Essential Duties and Functions:

Conducting Camp Programs

  • Assume responsibility for leading and assisting with activities as assigned and work to achieve learning goals and objectives established by the Humane Education Manager.
  • Provide a positive atmosphere for campers. Model for children empathy, compassion, and respect for everyone and everything. Help to positively motivate campers to respect and listen to each other.
  • Assist with the preparation of camp activities, the acquisition of materials, and other preparations needed for implementation of camp sessions.
  • Participate in the development of camp activities and craft projects.
  • Supervise campers, camp volunteers, and activities and ensure that camp groups are on task. Provide feedback on summer camps, campers, and camp volunteers to the Humane Education Manager. Supervise campers during meal breaks and during aftercare as assigned.
  • Intervene and problem-solve when conflicts occur between campers.
  • Cooperate with SF SPCA staff and volunteers in a respectful and appropriate manner.

Care and Upkeep

  • Provide daily animal care for the humane education animals as assigned, which may include rats, birds, reptiles, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, rabbits, and other small animals.
  • Throughout the day and at the end of the day maintain the cleanliness, organization, and usability standards set forth by the Humane Education Manager for the camp classroom and work environment.

Customer Service

  • Practice and encourage the humane treatment of animals.
  • Provide quality customer service to guardians, clients, volunteers, and staff while actively promoting our mission, services, programs and events.
  • Promote donation and giving opportunities as appropriate.


  • Work cooperatively with all volunteers and recognize the talent and commitment they bring to the Society.
  • Foster the ideas of responsibility, maturity, kindness, personal accountability and commitment in youth volunteers.


  • Perform all duties in a manner that assures the safety of campers, oneself, fellow staff members, junior volunteers, and animals involved in any and all activities. Ensure policies, procedures, and ground-rules set out by the Humane Education Manager are followed.
  • Take immediate action to address any safety concerns that could put a client, staff member, volunteer, animal, or the organization at risk. Provide first aid treatment as needed.

Diversity and Inclusiveness

  • Work effectively with individuals and colleagues from diverse communities and cultures

Open Communication

  • Facilitate open, direct communication throughout the Society.
  • Embrace and promote the Society’s BLISS direct communication program.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

  • Frequently stands, walks, kneels, crouches, and sits on the floor when conducting camp lessons and activities. General mobility required, with regular movement about the campus.
  • Routinely required to use hands and arms to reach, grasp, lift supplies, tools, or laundry, and to clean.
  • Interacts and coexists with animals in the work environment. Dexterity and comfort with animals required to hold, harness, carry, and care for a variety of animals. While working with animals there is a small risk of exposure to parasites and infectious diseases.
  • Required to talk and speak clearly and loudly to groups inside, outside, and in small and large spaces. Required to hear questions and animals.
  • Must be able to manage up to fifteen children and maintain a safe environment when working with animals and groups of children.
  • Adaptability required, as the level of noise and distraction in the work environment varies.
  • Daily reporting hours may vary according to the needs of the department. However, typical hours are Monday-Friday from 8:15 AM - 5:15 PM.
  • This is full-time, temporary position, starting at the end of May through late August.
  • Consistently exposed to animals and animal allergens under conditions with limited alternatives available.

Reporting Relationships and Contacts:

Reports to the Humane Education Manager

Qualifications (Required):

  • At least 1 year of experience working in a leadership role with groups of children as a camp counselor, educator, teacher or similar job.
  • Animal handling experience and a passion for animal welfare.
  • Ability to work all days between May 21, 2018- August 24, 2018

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Commitment to the mission, values, goals, and success of the San Francisco SPCA.
  • Dedication to the success of our camp programs with:
    • a teamwork communication style, exuding a positive attitude and enthusiasm
    • solution-oriented with a can-do outlook
    • an ability to accept supervision and guidance
    • sense of humor, an easy-going attitude, and patience
    • flexibility, adaptability, and creativity (as our environment and available animals/resources fluctuates regularly and our camp program is always evolving)
    • a strong work ethic
  • Experience working as a camp counselor or teacher is highly preferred,
  • Experience working with groups of children of any age is a required. Desire and ability to work with children necessary. An ability to lead craft projects and to sing songs would be helpful.
  • Ability to communicate skillfully and effectively with culturally diverse communities of children, staff, and volunteers in a pleasant and tactful manner, including ability to instruct groups diverse in age, culture, and socioeconomic status.
  • An understanding of dog and/or cat behavior and positive reinforcement training as well as a good foundation in animal husbandry, grooming, basic needs and sheltering, and advocacy a plus. Dog handling experience a must.
  • Child First Aid/CPR training and/or Pet First Aid training a plus. 



The starting hourly rate for this position is $14.00 per hour depending on experience. Temporary and Seasonal employees are eligible for only those benefits provided by law.