Our Staff Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the hours of the camp day for Staff?

    All staff are required to be at camp in time for the daily 8:15am staff meeting. Our after camp meeting ends at 5:30pm.

  • How are campers divided into groups?

    Campers are divided by the grade they are entering in the Fall. Each group includes both boys and girls.

  • What is the dress code?

    We are a non uniform camp although each staff member will receive a Hillcroft t-shirt. Typical attire is shorts, t-shirts, sneakers and flip flops. All female staff have to wear a one piece or a tankini when in the water with children.

  • What is the staff to camper ratio?
    • In our 4 year old Group the camper/staff ratio is 4:1
    • Our Kindergarten groups have 2 adult staff members to 12/13 children
    • Other lower camp groups average 2 staff members to 13 children
    • Upper Camp Groups (4th Grade and older), our average group size is 2 adults to 14 children
  • What is the Salary?

    For all staff (excluding services i.e. dishwasher, cooks, waitresses, etc.) we are legally exempt from paying minimum wage. Instead our staff are paid a stipend depending on their age and experience. Salaries are paid every 2 weeks.

    We do ask that staff do not take vacation days during the 8-week summer program and they do attend all of our staff training days.

    Service staff are paid an hourly salary that will be discussed during interview.


  • Where do your staff come from?

    Everywhere!!!! Many of our American Staff are from the local area but we also attract many staff members from out of state. Hillcroft is also in the very unique position of being able to house 50 International Staff each season. Many of our overseas staff come from Europe and Australia.

  • Are staff background checked?

    All staff undergo a face to face/web cam or phone interview which lasts at least 40 minutes. As parents ourselves the caliber of our staff is of paramount importance. References are collected and all staff are entered into the NY State Sex Offender Registry Database. We also conduct an on line Nationwide Sex Offender Background Check. All International staff provide a criminal Background Check from their home country.

  • What do you do when it rains? Or is very hot?

    In the late Spring we write our Schedule for all 35 groups of campers. We have a regular day schedule with overlays for rain and hot days. Luckily many activities can run as scheduled despite the weather due to our many permanent buildings, porches and tents. However, some program areas, for example tennis, do need to move to a covered area during rain, or a shady area during those scorching hot days. Our Waterfront will continue to run in the rain and will only relocate during thunder and lightning.

A typical day at Hillcroft

A day at Hillcroft is very structured and varied with over 30 different activities. We believe a campers day should include swimming and both physical and creative experiences. Group staff participate in all of the activities that the children are involved in during the typical day.

4-7 year olds

Each morning there are 3 activity periods for the campers, each lasting 50 minutes.
one period will take place at one of our 3 swimming pools, either an instructional swim lesson or free swim.
Another period will be sport orientated, for example team sports, gymnastics, dance,
 (tennis, fencing, archery or climbing are offered to the 7-8 year olds) and the other period will be dedicated to more creative activities such as ceramics, arts and crafts, woodshop, and weaving.

Lunch is served at 11:45 am, followed by a half hour of rest/quiet play time. In the afternoon there are again 3 periods of varied activities. One of them is a swim and campers also enjoy activities such as farm, nature, outdoor adventure and cooking. At the end of the day the campers sit down for snack and counselors help them pack their bags before dismissing at 4:30pm.

8-12 year olds

The philosophy behind our programming for this age group is based on the simple fact
that these campers need and thrive in a choice based curriculum. Therefore, each period offers at least 4 different choices for the campers to choose from. The only mandatory activities are instructional swim, free swim and team sports. The campers have to swim twice a day and participate in team sports approximately 4 times a week. In the morning there are 4 periods and the choices offered are age appropriate and stimulating (see our section on activities).

  • Lunch is served at 12:40pm
  • In the afternoon there are 3 periods, again based on choice.
  • Snack is at 3:45pm followed by dismissal at 4:30pm.
  • Daily lunch included
  • Yes, we are peanut free

Our unique 8th and 9th grade program

Our teenage program and day has been specifically formatted to appeal to this age group. As well as choosing their own activities from within our master schedule, our teenagers also go on weekly day trips, such as bowling, water parks, ice skating etc…. The highlight of our first session is a 3-day/2-overnight trip to Boston or Baltimore… this is very much enjoyed by all.

We also offer special activities for our older campers where they can try their hand at being an assistant with some of our younger campers or they can choose to participate in activities that are not part of our regular schedule, for example golf with a golf pro, horseback riding, jewelry making etc… We are very proud of this program which appeals to our teenagers and is enjoyed by all.

Different team events and swimming races wearing specially designed t-shirts from our very own graphics studio. Campers are involved in designing and helping too.