Can I stay at camp on the weekends when I am "off"?
Yes, if you like, you may stay in your cabin or lodge. Since many staff are from far away, there are always a number of staff that stay at camp each weekend. We sometimes show movies for staff in the evenings, and many staff choose to go out for dinner together. There are meals provided for the staff on the weekends as well. All of these activities are optional. Staff who live nearby often go home on the weekends, and sometimes they invite other staff from far away to join them.
We also offer optional staff day trips to New York City, Washington DC, and Rehoboth Beach on the Atlantic Ocean for those who are interested. We pay for all or part of the bus trip, and you pay for whatever you do once you get there. More details are available after you are hired.
Is there a place to do my laundry on the weekends?
If you go home on the weekends, you can wash your clothes there. If you stay at camp, there are a couple of coin-operated laundry machines at camp. The cost per load would be $4-$6 in quarters plus your detergent (similar to the prices in town).
You are also welcome to use one of the coin-operated laudromats in town although you will need to find transportation to get there. We also offer a same-day, third-party wash-and-fold laundry service each week that costs approximately $12.
How close is the camp to places of interest?
All times assume that you're driving a car:
Within 10 minutes
- small town of North East, Maryland: Walmart, McDonald's, pizza, gas station, ice cream, laundry, grocery store, bank, post office, seafood restaurants
Within 25 minutes
- larger town of Elkton, MD: same as North East, but much greater variety
Within 35 minutes
- Christiana Mall and Newark, DE: small city, major shopping mall, major movie theaters, University of Delaware, many restaurants
Within about one hour
- Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Baltimore: major cities, international airports (PHL and BWI), professional sports teams, museums, outlet malls, and other large attractions
Within about two hours
- New York City, Washington DC, and the Delaware beaches (on the Atlantic ocean)
Is there a travel stipend?
No, but we will pick you up from the airport, bus, or train station (click here for specific details
Do I need to bring my own linens if I'm coming by plane?
For staff arriving by airplane, we can provide the following to you at no charge: beach towel, bath towel, washcloth, blanket, fitted and flat sheets, pillow, pillowcase and a plastic storage bin. We may take a security deposit from you at the beginning of the summer. This money is returned to you at the end of the summer when the items are returned to the camp in good condition.
Can I bring my own car? Is there a place for staff parking?
Yes, you can bring your own car to camp. There is a large area designated for staff parking.
If I'm coming by plane, train or bus, how do I get from the airport/train/bus station to camp?
We'll pick you up! On your staff home page, you have an option to tell us all of your arrival and departure information and whether or not you would like for like for us to pick you up. We will pick you up and bring you to camp and return you at the end of the summer at no charge from any of the following locations:
Airports: Philadelphia (PHL) or Baltimore-Washington (BWI)
Bus and train stations: Wilmington, Delaware
How many international folks are on staff?
In 2014, approximately 35 percent of the staff were not US citizens. These 40+ staff represented 18+ different countries including the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Kenya to name a few. We expect about the same number in 2016.
Do I need a visa to work at a camp?
Can you help me get one?
Yes. To work in the US at any summer camp, you need a J-1 Visa. Unless you have already applied to a placement agency (like Camp America, Camp Leaders, Interexchange, etc.), we will put you in contact with an agency here in the US to help process your visa paperwork. The cost for the paperwork is approximately $400 US. Sometimes we are able to prepay the fee for you, and then we deduct it from your first paycheck although certain agencies require that the participant pays the fee themselves. You are responsible for arranging and paying for your own travel. We will give you all of the details if you get hired.
One thing that you may want to consider doing as soon as possible is getting a police background check with your local police. It is a required part of the visa application process and may take several weeks to obtain.
Is there a secure place to keep my passport and other valuables?
Each staff member is issued a 1-foot high by 1-foot wide by 1-foot deep locker with a combination lock to store any valuables that will fit. You will likely share this locker with one other staff member for the summer..
What age group of campers will I work with?
During activity periods (see Typical Day for Staff), you will work with a range of campers from ages 8 to 16. As for the particular age group of the campers in your cabin - those campers with whom you will spend the most time - it is difficult to say until you arrive at camp. Units (click here to understand Units), and therefore age groups, are not assigned until mid-way through Staff Training week. Unit assignments are based on the age campers and the length of session (one-week or two-week) we feel your personality is best suited to work with. Once assigned a Unit, you typically stay in that Unit for the entire summer as you hone your skills with that particular age group.
In general, although our campers range in age from 8 to 16, approximately 75% of our campers are 11 to 14 years old. So it is most likely that you will be with campers in this age group.
Where do I sleep, and what is it like?
Nearly all staff sleep in a room with one or two other staff and eight to eleven campers. To see photos of the rooms in cabins (one-week campers and staff) and lodges (two-week campers and staff), click here
What is the weather like?
Although the weeks of staff training are a bit cooler, by the start of camp, hot and humid summer weather has begun. Average high temperatures are in the mid to upper 80's (30°C) with occasional days in the upper 90's and even the low 100's (38°C). Average low temperatures are in the mid to upper 60's (18°C), although the night humidity makes it feel more like the 70's (21-26°C). Average rainfall is slightly over 4 inches per month. The 80-85°F water temperature in the Bay is also quite comfortable.
Is there internet access for staff?
Yes. The camp has a dedicated high-speed fiberoptic internet connection availabe in the staff lounge. There is also wi-fi throughout the front area of the camp. Many staff bring their own laptops while other staff use the camp-provided computers in the staff lounge. You can access the internet during your daily personal time (1.25 hours per day) and on the weekends.
Can I use my cell phone at camp?
For our campers, there is a “no cell phone” and “no internet” policy at camp. This includes pagers and other wireless communication, internet, and gaming devices. We want our campers to be fully engaged in the camp experience and become a part of this special community during their time here.
Staff are permitted to use their cell phones, but only when they are not with campers. Specifically, staff are only permitted to have or to use their cell phones on their 75-minute "personal time" each day and on the weekends when they are not working. Cell phones and other electronic devices must be used discreetly in locations away from campers during these times such as the staff lounge. We encourage our staff to embrace the opportunity to spend the summer as “unplugged” as possible too.
How often do we get paid?
The first check is in early-July. The second one is in mid-July. The last check is mailed to you near the end of August after camp is over although sometimes we are able to give you the check on your last day at camp. If you prefer cash, you can convert your paycheck to cash at our local bank in town.
Is there a staff dress code and/or uniform?
For Sunday check-in and Friday departure, the staff all wear name tags and Sandy Hill staff shirts which are provided by the camp. You need to bring khaki or tan shorts to wear on Sunday and Friday. Click here
to see us in our "camper arrival uniform". This identifies us to the parents and campers. During the rest of the week, you can wear your own shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, or jeans.
You may not wear any clothes that are excessively revealing (very short or ripped shorts, bikini bathing suits, etc.) or that display lewd or otherwise offensive or suggestive text or graphics. Our goal is to make a clean, pleasant, and professional appearance. For a more detailed description of our dress code, see the Staff Standards
. Additional information is also available on your staff home page once you have been hired.
Should I apply if I have to miss part of the summer?
It depends on which position(s) you're applying for and when and how much of the summer you need to miss.
If you are interested in a Counselor or Leadership Staff position, you must attend all of staff training (starts June 13th) and any specialty training that is required of your position. Specialty training start dates vary by type (waterfront, ropes, equestrian, etc.), and the start dates range from June 4th to June 11th. In general, you are not allowed to miss a week of camp unless we can find coverage for you during that week. If you think you have a special situation, please contact Jen, our Staff Director,
to discuss it before applying.
Junior staff including CITs, Junior Counselors, and Assistant Counselors are exempt from these minimum requirements with the exception that Assistant Counselors must commit to at least 5 weeks of the summer (although most do all or nearly all of the summer).
Is there a chance for staff to get to do the different activities that the campers do?
Yes, occasionally. We try to use the training weeks at the beginning of the summer to allow staff to experience some of the different activities at camp. During the camp week on your personal time, you may be able to experience some things too. The general guideline is that your participation in an activity cannot prevent or interfere with a camper's chance to do it. On the weekends when camp is not in session, you can use certain facilities and equipment provided you get prior permission from the directors and are properly qualified to use it. The exception to this is for the horses and speedboats, which are generally off-limits on the weekends.