Hidden Villa is open via reservations only. Please go to our visit page to reserve your time to visit.

Summer Camp Residential Counselor


Hidden Villa Summer Camp develops young leaders who are committed to social and environmental justice and are equipped with a sense of awe for natural and human beauty, tools for non-violent, multicultural community building, as well as the confidence to make positive change in our families, communities, and world.

Hidden Villa Farm and Wilderness Preserve is seeking an energetic, responsible team player for the position of Residential Counselor. Hidden Villa is a non-profit organization with a 75-year history, focusing on environmental education. We use our organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach and provide opportunities to learn about the environment and social justice. Hidden Villa stretches over 1600 acres of open space in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 40 miles south of San Francisco.

General Information:

  • 17+ yrs of age to apply (no exceptions)
  • 17 year olds must have completed high school by June 1, 2021
  • Must be available to work for the entire summer
  • Will be required to wear mask/face covering while on duty
  • Sleep outside, under the stars for the whole summer at Hidden Villa
  • We will request all staff to receive COVID-19 testing throughout the summer (provided by Hidden Villa)
  • We are unable to support J1-VISA international applicants this year (please check back in 2022)
  • Must support our health and safety culture by practicing social distancing at camp
  • Meals provided for the entire summer at Hidden Villa by Epicurean Group (includes weekends/time-off)

How to Apply

Login or create an account here and make a reservation.

Staff hired in 2020 or former camp staff (does not include CITs/LITs) should select the Returning Staff Application.

New applicants and former CITs/LITs (who have not worked a full season at camp) please select the New Staff Application.


About the Position

Position Title: Residential Counselor 

Reports to: Unit Leader

Exempt/ Non-Exempt: Exempt 

Position Summary

Under the supervision of the Unit Leader, Residential Counselors work collaboratively to implement their residential program and create positive learning opportunities that support Hidden Villa‚Äôs Mission. The Residential program is comprised of three grade cohorts, 5th to 7th  grade, 8th to 9th grade and 10th to 12th grade. Residential Counselors are hired to work in a particular cohort for the duration of the summer. There may be occasions when you are asked to work with a different cohort as needed.


  1. Ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all campers in your group.
  2. Be a role model for each camper in your group.
  3. Design and teach/co-teach age-appropriate activities to groups of campers.
  4. Collaborate on leading and co-leading morning reflections and evening activities.
  5. Work with your Head Counselor/Unit Leader when there are camper adjustment or discipline problems.
  6. Recognize and respond to opportunities for discussion of individual or group problems or concerns.
  7. Provide opportunities for the group so that each individual experiences success during camp.
  8. Sleep on-site in your assigned program area when camp is in session.
  9. Participate in scheduling for your program prior to the start of each new session.
  10. Follow the schedule for your program as written by Head Counselors and Unit Leaders.
  11. Monitor and interact with campers during meals and all unstructured time.
  12. Be available in sleeping area at night to support campers.
  13. These are not the only duties to be performed. Some duties may be reassigned and others assigned as required.

Desired Experience/ Qualifications

Essential Functions

  1. Ability to communicate and work with campers and staff in the program to which you are assigned, and provide necessary instruction to campers.
  2. Abilities to observe camper behavior, assess appropriateness, enforce appropriate safety regulations and emergency procedures, and apply appropriate behavior management techniques.
  3. Visual and auditory ability to identify and respond to environmental and other hazards related to camp activities.
  4. Physical ability to safely supervise farm chores and wilderness hikes.

Desired Qualifications

  • Desire and ability to work with children between the ages of 9-18 in a residential outdoor setting
  • Ability to accept supervision and guidance and implement changes
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Current CPR, First Aid, and CA Food Handler certifications; or willing to obtain
  • Ability to teach and/or lead activities related to our camp mission
  • Ability to mentor Youth Leadership campers
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Flexibility and patience
  • Ability to utilize youth work appropriate self-care techniques

Terms of Employment

Benefits: $480-510 per week + experience. Outdoor living space & meals provided.

Duration: Contract starts June 1st 2021 and ends August 10th 2021.

Physical Requirements
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This job operates in an outdoor setting. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. While performing duties of this job, the employee is required to regularly stand; walk up to 7 miles on uneven terrain. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

Hidden Villa is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and campers.