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Why work at Mystic Lake YMCA Camp?

Working at Mystic Lake not only changes the campers lives- it changes yours as well! Mystic Lake places a focus on hiring team-work oriented, enthusiastic, dedicated individuals who want to put in hard work and create a memorable summer for the children we work with. The best staff person will be willing to put in long days of playing tag, building forts, making friendship bracelets, singing songs and creating lifelong friendships with fellow staff and campers.

Types of Positions

All positions include living in cabins with children as to foster close relationships and to provide the best staff to camper ratio.

Cabin Counselors - must be 18 years old.  Cabin counselors are the glue that holds camp together. This position includes providing for the daily care of campers including their basic needs, but also providing life changing enrichment activities. Cabin counselors will lead the cabin group in team building, adventuring and help the campers to create their own version of the best summer ever.

Junior Counselors - must be 17 years old.  Junior counselors work closely with both cabin counselors and program counselors to keep our campers safe, happy and engaged.

Program Counselors - must be 18 years old.  Program counselors take on the role as cabin counselors with additional responsibilities in program areas. Program counselor areas of expertise include arts& crafts, high adventure (rock wall, giant swing and high ropes course), shooting sports, photography, theme& inspiration, teen leadership programs, lifeguarding, STEM and managing the camp store.

Adventure Trip Staff - must be 18 years old.  Adventure trip staff must have experience in backpacking and be able to teach backpacking skills to young people. Trip staff will facilitate backpacking trips to North Manitou Island, South Manitou Island and state parks in Michigan.

Ranch Staff - must be 18 years old. Ranch staff will teach riding and horsemanship to wrangler campers.  Responsibilities include fostering a safe environment for both the horses, staff and campers while helping campers to grow in their skills both in the care of their horses and the technicalities of riding.

Leadership Team - Minimum of 18, prefer 21 years old and up.  The leadership team includes Summer Camp Director, Assistant Summer Camp Director, Equestrian Director,  Waterfront Director and Health Officer. To inquire about a leadership team position please call camp directly and speak with the program director about availability and requirements.

Internships - Mystic Lake is able to offer internships for students needing to complete an internship for credit for their college programs. Reach out to Amiee at to inquire about how we can tailor a program internship at Mystic Lake.


A summer position with Mystic Lake begins in June with training certifications and online child safety training.  Prior to the arrival of campers staff spend an intensive week at camp learning about program areas and child development. Summer commitments are usually 10 weeks and will require living on site at camp. Following summer there are opportunities for outdoor education, retreats and conferences work.

Hiring Timeline

Return staff and leadership team positions will be committed to by January 1. New staff are invited to apply to Mystic Lake starting the first of the year and will be promptly responded to.  We will begin to offer interviews to those candidates who could be a good fit for our team on a rolling basis.  Hiring continues through June, positions do fill so apply early!

We also have support team positions available in our kitchen. Please call camp directly to inquire about working on our food service team! 517-827-9650.