Working at Canoe Island French Camp can be a unique experience both for those visiting the United States for the first time, and for those who are already familiar with Northwest United States. With a staff of 26 and only 50 campers at a time, staff and campers quickly get to know each other, making for a family atmosphere in camp. Away from the distractions of modern technology, highways, and malls, campers tap into their own creativity, curiosity and desire to learn. Living on a private island is a rare experience. Be a part of an enthusiastic, creative, fun, and professional team who are dedicated to bringing French language and culture alive for children ages 9-16 and families. Most positions are filled by the end of February, so counselors should apply as early as possible to receive full consideration.
Through various testimonies of Canoe Island French Camp’s staff you will discover in this series of videos our camp’s traditions and history, what working at camp is like, and how very special our natural environment and community are.
Campers look to counselors for acceptance and understanding, and hence, counselors have a significant impact on campers’ self-esteem and confidence. You will gain experience in the areas of leadership, communication, organization, and teamwork, as well as further your knowledge of French and French culture and history.
Counselors need to be at least 18 and have had at least one year of university, be conversant in French and English, be able to teach French at least at a beginning level, and be able to lead one or two activities. Training week in mid June will cover safety, emergency response, working effectively with children, teaching French and planning the activities counselors will lead. Download a description of the activity leader positions.
Counselors live in tipis on wooden platforms with cots, mattresses and electric lights with 4-5 campers and are expected to speak French most of the time and be able to hold conversations in English. Contracts are for 10 weeks of camp plus one week of staff training. Additional work may be available in spring and fall with family and group programs. Download a description of counselor responsibilities.
Kitchen Manager/Chef, Cook and Baker
Kitchen Manager/Chef, Cook and Baker should have experience cooking for groups, be classically trained, and be interested in cooking recipes from the cuisines of France and other Francophone countries that are enjoyed by young people. Experience cooking for dietary restrictions is expected. The Kitchen Manager/Chef usually starts late April or early May and works through mid-September. The cook and baker may start a little later depending on programming volume. Applicants must be able to work in the US legally. Because the work schedule is often more than 90 days in length, camp work visas do not apply. Applications are accepted year round. Download the job descriptions for the Kitchen Manager/Chef, Cook and Baker.
Nurses must be Washington registered nurses and volunteer for one session, either 2 or 3 weeks. A child is welcome to attend camp free of charge. Nurse responsibilities include storing and dispensing medication, overseeing the health of campers and staff, maintaining a high level of hygiene in camp, and working with the cooks to insure food allergies and intolerances are accommodated. Download a description of the nurse’s responsibilities.
We choose volunteer program, kitchen and maintenance assistants each summer from among our past campers. Applicants for these positions must be at least 17 years of age by the start of work, be a past CIFC camper, be mature, responsible and self-motivated, and must be able to assist for five weeks (2 sessions). Volunteers receive free room and transportation from Seattle. We begin accepting applications for volunteer assistant positions in the fall and make hiring decisions by February at the latest. Before applying, please read the job descriptions for the kitchen assistant, maintenance assistant, and program assistant.
If you have any questions about the volunteer assistant positions or the application process, please contact our camp director Margaret Schafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.