Smiling School Break Camp staff in Berkeley

Employment Opportunities


 APPLY HERE FOR SUMMER 2023 STAFF POSITIONSas of 5/1/23, we only have two staff spaces for July 3-21 (no camp July 4th) session, for Counselor, Group Leader, or Site Director, with required in person shadow day the week before, so you would need to come in for full day on Wed or Thur, June 28th or 29th, depending on what group you are assigned.  It might be possible to come Friday, June 30th if you are NOT in town the other days.

  • For new staff, the application takes about half hour to complete. You can start it, save and return to complete before submitting.
  • For return staff, the application takes about 10 minutes, asking mostly about dates.

Consistent staff have always been a primary ingredient in our camp being successful, so we prioritize those who can commit to more than one summer session, and for entire sessions, but sometimes it also works out for shorter periods. We want campers, youth leaders and staff to build community through having time together. To help promote and give some incentive for that, read more below about multiple session bonus.

SUMMER SESSION DATES 2023: June 5-June 9, June 12-30, July 3-21 (no camp July 4), July 24-Aug 11 (might be option to work only July 24-Aug 4 or Aug 7-11)

Starting wage from $17-$23/hour, depending on positions. If return, sometimes salaries are higher, as we increase with experience at our camps.
Multiple session bonuses: Sign up for 6 weeks or more, and complete, then receive $250-$600 additional pay per 3 week session or pro-rated for shorter, which increases the hourly wage by $2-$5/hour. Exact amount depends on position and if new or return.

If you are not able to work a full day, or your availability doesn’t fit into these sessions, you will be able to share in the application and we might not be able to confirm with you until closer to camp.

“Working at Monkey Business Camp was such a wonderful experience. Being hired to play and have fun and show love to these amazing kids and work with such a supportive and fun staff was a remarkably fulfilling experience!”

Position Descriptions:

Site Directors, hours approximately 8:10-4:45 (with break mid-day), lead camp through close collaboration with their team, providing mentoring for staff and youth leaders, creating daily rapport with families, and initiating the magic and fun that makes each Monkey Business summer unforgettable. They are the heartbeat of camp! They greet and communicate with parents at drop-off and pick up. They work with a daily schedule that is already created, with options to choose from within the times of day, including games, art, hikes/walks to parks, circle group times.

Group Leaders, hours approximately 8:10-4:50 (with break mid-day), are like Assistant Directors, responsible for reading and maintaining details in leadership handbook and in general helping support the site director in creating an incredible summer of magic and fun that makes each Monkey Business summer unforgettable for the campers, youth leaders and staff team. They sometimes step in to greet parents at drop-in or pick-up or become site director for the day.

Counselors, hours approximately 8:10-4:50 (with break mid-day) bring caring, playful, and energetic vibe to co-create and assist in making an incredible summer program for the campers, youth leaders and staff team. They might help with set up and clean up, help with giving other staff breaks, and visit various sites.  Our counselors are usually age 17+, occasionally age 16 if they have grown up at our camp and we have a larger team.

Special Guest/Staff Breaks/Sub: This is an 8:30-4:30 position (or could be less-see minimum hours below) position where you have one main group you are connected with to help staff have breaks mid day, and staff and youth leaders to have team meetings once a week. If working full time, you visit all 4 groups and can share special activity you enjoy or join what’s going on. In this position, if staff are out sick, you will shift and support that group for most of the day.  Minimum hours are 1st Monday of camp sessions to greet campers: 8:30-2:10, T-Th: 11:55-3:10 and M & F: 11:55-2:10. Let us know on application in note area what number of hours you would prefer.

Sub-if you are available, but not as many hours, or on a daily basis, apply for this position

SCHOOL BREAKS- THANKSGIVING, WINTER, FEBRUARY, SPRING CAMPS- see more about programs at Berkwood Hedge School in Downtown Berkeley.

SUMMER- Positions available at our Tilden Park program.

Please see below regarding year round employment options.  

“I had the best time feeling free and joyful working at camp. Monkey Business is structured so well for youth (as well as staff) to explore and connect with community. I cannot wait until next time. Bring on the fun!!”

YEAR-ROUND EMPLOYMENT: Commit more and receive more benefits for that-Up to $2,000/year!

Be part of our community in a more ongoing level.  We are grateful to have an intergenerational team on each of our staff teams.  We pay above average salaries for the field, and contribute toward health care, vacation and sick time for those who commit to working all of our school break camps, plus at least 6 weeks of our summer program. Ongoing staff benefit our community, and help make it what it is.

We are looking for people who:

  • are called to working with kids in a camp environment
  • yearn to be part of a community committed to excellence, joy, creativity, justice and love
  • want to make an impact on future generations, and have the younger ones influence them
  • like down time during parts of the year to pursue other projects or travel
  • are dependable, creative, and kind

Required Dates (year long commitment), depending on when you join (for example, you could start during Thanksgiving and work through Summer).  Please visit our school break camp page to see exact dates for this year or expected ones for upcoming year:

  • Thanksgiving Week Camp: always the 3 days before Thanksgiving, with set up and team meeting usually the Saturday or Sunday before
  • Winter Camp: over the two weeks around the holidays when schools are closed, with set up and team meeting the Saturday before the 1st week. We usually have enough staff that some can take off part, but not guaranteed.
  • February Camp: Tuesday-Friday after President’s Day (always on a Monday), with full day set up and team meeting on Monday.
  • Spring: Monday-Friday, the first week in April (aligns with Berkeley Unified usually), with full day set up and team meeting the Saturday previous.
  • Summer Camp: We usually host three 3 week sessions, plus a couple additional, with in person staff orientations leading up to camp.  At start of summer, for 1st session, there is an in person orient, usually the week before camp, and other sessions, staff will come for in person shadow day/team meeting usually Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, depending on their team. TBD Zoom orients: The Saturday of Memorial Day, we usually have one for new staff in the morning, and ask all staff to save early afternoon a couple of hours in case we host. All staff in town will attend an in person Youth Leader orient, as well, usually the 3rd Thursday of the month in the evening, from 4:45-8:30 (dinner provided).

There sometimes are additional options to work day long programs or at events during the year.

In subsequent years, we usually follow local public school calendars, Berkeley Unified for Spring Camp, West Contra Costa/Albany for February Camp.

HOW TO APPLY FOR ANY POSITIONS: When open, we would have online application, but please feel free to send e-mail and cover letter to our office, if interested, at other times.


A camper shows a snack he has created, and poses to smile with a counselor

“As a former counselor at Monkey Business Camp in Tilden Park, I can honestly say that MBC is a ton of fun! A typical week might include sports, non-traditional games, nature walks, arts and crafts, theme days, and so much more to challenge and entertain your child. There is an appropriate staff-to-camper ratio and every activity is planned out and well organized. The staff even makes sure campers take water and sun-screen application breaks! If you’re looking for a camp that will return your child happy, healthy, and worn out from all the fun, Monkey Business Camp delivers.”

“MBC is amazing on so many levels–fun, professional growth, and building lasting relationships. I will never forget what I experienced this summer; everyone is a huge family–campers and workers are invested in this camp!”

“By and large I greatly enjoyed working with the staff at MBC. Most every experience was positive and I felt connected to the rest of the team, which really made the summer much more fun. Also, the kids really love coming to MBC so you’ll get to have a ton of fun playing with some really awesome kids. I really valued my interactions with both staff and campers.”

“My experience at MBC was amazing, in great part due to the incredibly high quality of the Staff, YL’s and Admin staff. The campers and parents were wonderful too, but Heather has built a model that so many other places could aspire to emulate.”

“The behind the scenes support makes the camp easy to create with a sense of fun at every turn. Even the most non- creative person can make this camp fun and exciting with just the protocol offered. But, obviously it is more fun to engage one’s creativity. And, you can’t help but fall in love with all the cuteness of the campers.  I worked with the young ones.”