WORK AT TAMAKWA
An experience that lasts a lifetime.
Tamakwa provides a place where our staff can grow both individually and collectively, to learn the skills of everyday living and to develop positive physical, emotional and ethical values that will help shape who they’ll become tomorrow.Apply Today
What is it like to be staff at Camp Tamakwa?
A magnet for great talent.
Tamakwa brings together creative people from all over North America and beyond.
Create bonds that last a lifetime.
When you work at Tamakwa you’re part of a long-standing family of friends who will stay with you all through your life.
Summers that set you up for success.
Tamakwa provides a wide-open space to develop valuable skills like leadership, creativity and independence.
This is not your typical summer job.
If you have any questions you didn’t see answered here, click on the link below.Contact Us
WHERE IS CAMP TAMAKWA?
In Algonquin Park, Ontario, 175 miles (280 kilometers) north of Toronto (2.5 hour drive).
WHAT IS ALGONQUIN PARK?
It is a provincial park, established as a wildlife preserve in 1893, and is one of the largest recreational areas in North America with 3,000 square miles of forests and 2,000 charted lakes. Algonquin is the most celebrated canoe trip area on any continent. Families travel from around the world to go camping in Algonquin and for us, we’re lucky have it as our backyard.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT TAMAKWA?
Trying to pinpoint Tamakwa’s appeal to three generations of campers and staff is no easy task. Tamakwa has been called a “people camp”. While the physical facility is top notch in every way, Tamakwa’s magic has always been the intangible quality of warmth and camaraderie among the camp family. That’s what we are, a family. Tamakwa is a small intimate place where everyone knows each other and we love to welcome new members to our family. Above all, Tamakwa is known for its spirit. Singing, cheering, and traditional values of camping are the mainstays of our camp life. In our minds, these values provide an important balance to the highly technological lifestyles of today’s urban youth.
WHAT IS TAMAKWA’S PHILOSOPHY?
Tamakwa provides a place where young people can grow and develop both individually and collectively; to learn the skills of every day living and giving; develop positive physical, emotional, and ethical values and habits through the day to day example of experienced and highly motivated adults; and to learn by real experience the worth and value of one’s self and of others. And one more sentence… to do ALL this in a nurturing secure environment, situated in a pristine wilderness setting where they learn to appreciate the wonders of nature.
WHO ARE YOUR STAFF AND HOW ARE THEY SELECTED?
Our staff is primarily composed of university students, many of whom are former campers or people involved in education. Most have had significant camping experience and they have come to us either because we’ve sought them out for their qualifications or because they sought us out based on our reputation. They are screened through applications, references and personal interviews. Our staff is diverse and frequently come from around the USA and Canada, as well as from England, Scotland, South Africa, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and many of the same places as our campers.
WHO ARE THE CAMPERS?
Boys and girls aged 7 – 16. A special Junior Tamakwan program is offered for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders. Our camp accommodates 250-275 children each session.
Camp is primarily comprised of Canadians and Americans. The Canadians are mostly from Toronto, but also from Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, London, Hamilton, and other communities. The Americans are predominantly from the Detroit area, with groups of campers from Buffalo, Rochester, Ohio, New York, California, Chicago, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, and all points in between. Tamakwans also come from Mexico, Israel, France, Italy, Turkey, England, Belgium, and Spain.
HOW MUCH STRUCTURE IS THERE IN THE PROGRAM?
Two of the five daily activity periods are organized in cabin groups, as are the canoe trips and many other activities. The remaining three periods are individual choice. Our scheduling approach provides every camper equal exposure and access to each camp activity. The individual choice periods allow campers to pursue their favorite activities. Every period is scheduled and every camper and staff member has a place to be. Free play periods are before and after dinner. So, the hours of the day tilt in favor of structure, although there is ample time for campers to do their own thing. The younger campers are given more direction and supervision in the use of their free time.
WHAT ABOUT CREATIVE PROGRAMMING?
Tamakwa is well-known for its special “All Day Programs” incorporating a creative theme with team competition in all camp skills, sports, and creativity. These special programs begin and end with a spectacular surprise presentation/introduction called a “Break”, and they are secretly scheduled in each camp session. Staff contribute to these special programs by running activities, dressing up and sometimes working in a group to plan and present them.
DO YOU HAVE MEDICAL STAFF AT CAMP?
Full-time camp nurses and a physician are in residence. We have our own health center with daily “sick-call” and an infirmary. The nearest hospital is 30 minutes away in Huntsville, and is a new and modern facility, which has competently serviced all the area camps for many years.
HONESTLY, HOW IS THE FOOD?
Well, according to a TORONTO STAR food columnist a few years ago, it’s very good. Tamakwa’s kitchen is operated by a professional catering service. The food is prepared on-premises and breads and baked goods are homemade. The three daily meals have three courses each. The menu has been designed with the utmost consideration for nutritional balance, variety, and children’s tastes. While the regular menu often includes meat, an alternative menu is available for vegetarians. In addition, a fresh fruit snack is served daily, as well as a light snack before bed. We eat family style, everyone in the dining hall at one time. One morning a week, we have a sleep-in and a fantastic buffet brunch is served.
WHAT IS HOUSING LIKE?
Everyone lives in cabins, substantial wood cottages with electricity. There are bathroom facilities (we call them “biffies”) in all of the girls’ cabins and in those housing the youngest and oldest boys. The middle range boys share the use of a central biffy or community bathroom facilities in the vicinity of their cabins. The cabins have been the focal point of a major rebuilding program begun in 1982. Since that time, we have restored or totally replaced every camper cabin.
Counselors and some Specialists live in cabins with campers. There are between 2 and 4 Counselors/Specialists in a camper cabin and their quarters are partitioned from the campers to afford a degree of privacy. Activity Leaders, Trippers and some Specialists live in staff cabins with between 2 and 6 staff living in a cabin together. Most staff cabins have private bathrooms.
DOES TAMAKWA HAVE ANY RELIGIOUS ORIENTATION?
Most of the campers and staff are Jewish, but many are not. We are one big family where everyone feels perfectly at home. Traditionally, we say grace at meals and have a liberal Friday night observance. Friday night speeches, as we call them, are of a creative non-worship nature… usually reflecting on a particular theme such as friendship, nature, cooperation, etc. It’s our “time-out” from the busy week to have a quiet evening. The nicest part about these contemplative services is the camp family assembling together on our “Slope” overlooking the spectacular view of South Tea Lake.
IS TAMAKWA AN ACCREDITED CAMP?
Tamakwa is an active, participating, and accredited member of the Ontario Section of the Canadian Camping Association, the Ontario Camps Association. Tamakwa’s directors are accreditation inspectors for the Ontario Camps Association.
Join the Tamakwa family
See below for our 2020 job openings.Apply Now
Activity Leaders are the heads of each activity and the quasi-camp professionals teaching and supervising their activity and staff, as well as assist with creative programming. (age 19+, general job description listed below and individual positions are listed separately on this page)
This is a unique office job in Algonquin Park which entails answering phones, filing, organizing, interacting with campers and staff.
An active job which includes helping us navigate being water-access all summer. Transporting everything, including people, to and from camp. (age 18+, boat and tractor driving experience preferred)
General cleaning of public areas around camp including bathrooms, dining hall, clinic as well as general maintenance around camp.
Nightly rounds of camp to help supervise campers and staff, as well as some cleaning of the dining hall and public bathroom areas. (age 19+)
Take care of one of our staff member's infants/toddlers throughout the day while their parent(s) work. (age 18+)