Staff FAQs

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get a lifetime of experience this summer

Working with children and peers at camp can change your resume! Develop and strengthen vital 21st-century skills like:

  • Communications & Listening
  • Empathy & Support
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Flexibility & Resilience
  • Time Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership

Thank you for your interest in joining staff at URJ Camp Kalsman! 

Where is URJ Camp Kalsman Located?

URJ Camp Kalsman is located in Arlington, WA just about 50 miles north of Seattle.

What is the procedure for applying to work at camp?

You can apply online here. Once we have received your application you will be contacted to set up an interview. Once we have completed your interview and your preliminary paperwork has been received we may come to a verbal agreement. It is the understanding of URJ Camp Kalsman that we consider these verbal agreements as commitments. It is not appropriate for you to speak with another camp about employment after agreeing to work at Kalsman. Upon accepting a position with URJ Camp Kalsman you will be sent a contract, a health form, tax forms, a copy of the personal policies and other forms. You are required to sign the contract and return it to our winter office by the date listed on the bottom of your contract in order to formalize our agreement.

What else can I expect to receive from Camp Kalsman and when will I receive it?

In the spring (no later than the end of April) you will receive an information email from camp which will include a packing list and travel information.

What are the dates of camp?

Dates for the summer sessions are available on our dates and rates page here. Please plan on arriving to camp at least one week prior, if not earlier, for staff orientation.

I’ve worked at a camp before, do I really need to be at Staff Orientation?

Yes! A comprehensive Staff Orientation program is held during the first week of the summer season. During this week, staff members are presented with a great deal of information – from Camp policies and procedures, to working with groups. Staff Orientation is required for all staff members. The goals of staff orientation are two-fold: (1) to give staff members the opportunity to meet, get to know, and develop strong working relationships with each other and (2) to prepare staff members for the challenges of working in a residential camp setting. Group-building experiences, training sessions, and concentrated planning done with other staff members are all combined into Staff Orientation. Combined with the Staff Manual, reading packet, and the good judgment and common sense of the individual staff members, staff orientation should provide the tools and skills necessary to guarantee a successful summer for all.

How often do I receive time off?

Each staff member usually receives one period off per day. Nighttime is, however, prime time for unit and entire staff meetings and certain nights are designated as “in-nights” Friday nights are always “in-nights” at which time staff is not permitted to leave camp. We will also frequently have social and educational programs for the staff at nighttime. Staff will receive 5 days off during the summer. Days off may begin at dinner and end at dinner the next day. Staff will have several days to choose from each month. However, only so many people can sign up for each day off based upon the unit size and schedule.

What if I am a vegetarian, keep kosher or have other diet restrictions?

We offer a complete vegetarian menu and salad bar for the camp population. Many of the participants who keep kosher choose to eat the vegetarian meals. We will do our best to prepare meals that correspond to your needs. If you are a vegan, you may find it necessary to bring your own substitute protein source, as it is difficult for us to cater to those specific needs.

What are considered prohibited behaviors at Camp Kalsman?

The following behaviors at Camp Kalsman are taken very seriously and may result in dismissal:

  • Use or sale of illegal drugs, misuse of prescription drugs (including medical marijuana), possession of marijuana, and possession of any alcoholic beverages in camp or during camp-sponsored activities.
  • Use of Camp waterfront facilities (pool or lakefront) when designated as closed.
  • Physical or verbal abuse of campers or other staff members.
  • Stealing or shoplifting from the camp community or in public.
  • Male staff in female housing and female staff in male housing at any time.
  • Please remember that 21 is the legal age for alcohol consumption.
  • Camp Kalsman is currently in the process of revising its policies regarding marijuana due to the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington State. A revised policy will be posted prior to the summer.
May I receive visitors during camp?

Staff may have no visitors at camp without the advance permission of the Camp Director or the Assistant Camp Director. Such visitors are not permitted to go beyond the administrative area of the Camp until the staff member meets them. Permission from the Camp Director or Assistant Camp Director is necessary for them to go into the cabins and program areas of the Camp. Visitors are not allowed to use the facilities of the Camp without permission and are in no way to disrupt the camp program. Visitors may not stay at camp overnight.

What is the URJ?

The URJ – Union for Reform Judaism – helps to create and sustain vibrant Reform Jewish congregations wherever Reform Jews live. The synagogue is at the very center of Jewish life, transforming individual members into caring, committed Jews, inspiring them to live Jewish lives. The URJ provides opportunities for individual growth and identity which congregations and individuals cannot provide by themselves including 14 residential camps, a day camp and trips to Israel. The URJ is also the main supporter of the Hebrew Union College (HUC) – the seminary that trains Reform Rabbis, Cantors and Educators.

What is the smoking policy at Camp Kalsman?

All URJ facilities are no smoking institutions. Staff may find it difficult to leave camp during the day and in the evening. We highly encourage our staff to try to use this time as a great way to start on a healthier path of life by quitting. Smoking on campgrounds, including the use of e-cigarettes or other vaporizers, is prohibited and may result in a review of employment. Absolutely no marijuana may be consumed on the premises.

Will I have access to my e-mail?

Computers will be available for staff use, on a first come first served basis, in the Zula (staff lounge). Staff members will have free access to the internet. We do not provide an e-mail account; therefore we recommend that all staff have an internet-based e-mail address through services such as Yahoo or Hotmail. Staff members are asked to be considerate of others and limit their computer usage time.

After I sign my contract and my file is complete, what happens next?

About a month prior to staff orientation, you will receive a staff forms packet in the mail. This mailing will contain information about your arrival to camp, a staff biography form, a staff preference form, and other materials. These forms will need to be returned to the camp prior to arrival. You may also receive your staff manual with this mailing. You should read it before you arrive at camp and bring it to staff orientation.

As a cabin counselor am I also expected to be an activity instructor?

We hire cabin counselors to work as counselors and a separate staff of specialists to instruct most of our daily activities (i.e. basketball, arts & crafts, tennis, etc.) We do, however, expect counselors to attend activities with their campers and assist specialists with activities. Any counselors interested in leading a specialty activity are encouraged to let the Assistant Director or Activities Director know. We will make special arrangement from you to lead such activities when possible.