Returning Staff

Welcome Back to Kinneret

We’re excited that you’re considering being back at Kinneret for another summer! Now that you have some time at Kinneret under your belt, you play an important role as a senior staff member. You know how to use your group theme to invent new spins on classic camp games. You’ve practiced and drilled down how to give the rock throwing talk to campers. You’ve developed strategies and techniques on how to support and mentor your CILTs. You’ve come a long way! 

As you head into next summer, we know you have some important things to think about. Is it valuable to be back at camp for another year, or does an internship look better on resumes? Can camp help you get to where you want to go? While Kinneret cannot give you the best of both worlds and offer you an internship and camp, we can help you further develop the 21st century skills that employers and companies look for while giving you continued support and summer fun. Take a look at how some of our staff members grew their leadership skills over multiple years at camp. Can you imagine all the ways you can develop this summer? 

21st Century SkillYear 1Year 2Year 3+
Creative Thinking

Brian, 4th year on staff
My first year on staff, creativity was more focused on following the handout on how to use group themes. My group named the different parts of camp and came up with small twists to change up games, all based on our theme. Looking back, I was practicing standard creativity. For me, creativity was all about how I can be different in my own way. My themes got wacky my second year. I wanted to come up with ideas that were out of the box, ideas that others wouldn’t necessarily think of the first time around. I also grew better at getting the buy in from my group, and selling them on my wacky ideas. My 3rd and 4th years on staff, I began thinking large scale about practicing creativity. I wanted to build something that was larger than just my group, something that involved the whole camp community. Our group threw a carnival for camp!

I also shifted my mindset on what it means to be creative. Now, to me, being creative is about collaborating with others on different ideas instead of putting the whole responsibility of coming up with fresh ideas onto myself.

Sana, 5th year on staff
My first year, I was a co-counselor and had another staff member to lean on. This was the time when I really developed my “how to” skills, like how to explain activities and how to give the rock-throwing talk to campers. I really leaned on my LT member and co-counselor whenever I needed help, and my questions leaned on “what should I do?”. I also had a co-counselor my second year on staff – but this time, I was the one with more experience. This year, I noticed that I was better at predicting the future. I already knew how to recognize signs of struggle because I saw them the year before, and so I practiced problem solving before the problem even arises. Years 3 and 4, my focus shifted more toward encouraging campers to practice *their* leadership skills. I made sure to make our activities more open ended. Instead of asking my campers “should we do this or that?”, I asked them “what should we play here? How should we switch up this game?” I became more of a facilitator, and gave my campers the room to practice coming up with their own ideas and explaining to our group.

Jessica, 5th year on staff
My first year on staff, I was more reserved and anxious than I am today. I was more hesitant to take initiative and to start conversations with campers. I relied on others to take initiative while I observed their interactions before I felt comfortable stepping in. I felt more confident my second year, especially because I knew the language we use at camp and was better at using it. It felt easier for me to fall into a role where I could communicate with campers and staff. I still wasn’t super comfortable with confrontation, but I did feel comfortable asking my LT person for more help. I felt a boost of confidence! I was more comfortable taking the initiative, and I had more 1-on-1 disciplinary and goal-setting conversations with campers. I felt excited to step into a mentorship role where I was working with other staff and giving them advice.

How to Apply

Start an application by clicking the “Start My Application” button below. Make sure you’re filling out the Returning Staff Application!

After we receive your application, you will be invited to an individual interview with Ryan. Here, you’ll get the chance to catch up about your past year, talk about how your previous summer at Kinneret went for you, and your new roles and goals for the upcoming summer.


I love camp, but I’m debating between joining staff again for another summer or pursuing an internship opportunity. Do you have any advice?
We understand, there’s a lot of pressure to add in internship experience on your resumes. But we also want you to know that the skills you gain in camp will help you in whichever career pathway you go down in the future. It’s up to you to decide how your summer will be best spent, and we encourage you to seek out the experience that you will find most rewarding. We invite you to check out our staff resources page, where you will find more info about how to talk about camp on your resumes, the value that camp brings, and more insight on the internship versus camp debate.

I want to be back this summer, but I don’t know if I can make the full summer commitment. Should I still apply?
Definitely still apply and set up a meeting with Ryan. Please email him with your availability as well so you can discuss it at your interview. You know how hard it is for a group to lose their counselor during the summer, but we are often able to accommodate missing some time, depending on your position.

What questions should I start thinking about as I prepare for next summer?

  • Here are some questions that Ryan may ask you during your interview: 
  • What’s an area that you want to push yourself in or is not as developed as you would like it to be? 
  • Is there something you wanted to accomplish last summer that you haven’t achieved yet? 
  • What was something that you found difficult last summer that you want to improve upon this summer? 
  • What was something you liked about staff orientation? Is there something that you would have liked to learn more about but was missing from the orientation?