Meet the Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp Directors

Executive Directors, Steve “Cujo” and Sara “Salsa” Kuljis, have been at the helm of Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp since 1998. They are second generation directors of this well loved and respected program which was founded in 1973 by Sara’s parents Jim and Manya Slevcove. With three kids of their own, they know the value of having heroes and role models who help shape their children in positive ways.

Sara has served on the board of the American Camp Association, Southern California/Hawaii Section, and is a frequent speaker and trainer for the Association. In addition, Sara conducts a variety of parenting workshops and podcasts.

Steve brings extensive experience in building and facility management, business administration, and wilderness camping. Steve served as legislative chair for Western Association of Independent Camps, and as a board member of the California Coalition for Youth.

Associate Director, Reverend Ron “Skeeter” Eckert, has served with YSSC for over twenty years. As a long time director, Ron honed skills essential for effectively leading programs and shaping the lives of children and youth. He also serves as the onsite Director of YSSC’s sister program Emerald Cove Day Camp in San Juan Capistrano.

Jessica Peterson is the Program Director for Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp. Jessica joined the camp directors full time in 2019 after serving on staff in a myriad of ways for 8 summer seasons. She graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Masters in Theology and brings a passion for spiritual and youth formation. With her background in church ministry and youth development, she is enthusiastic in shaping and serving campers and staff alike. Jessica shares her love for camp ministry with her husband, Brandon, having both met while working at camp. He’ll be seen around camp participating in campfire songs and eating monster cookies!

Savannah Lawrence is the Administrative Director for Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp. She started her camp journey at seven years old at our resident program, Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp! Her love for camp led her to become a counselor in 2017 as well as a Young Life leader for four years at Azusa Pacific University. She has a B.A. in Journalism with a Media Studies emphasis and background in marketing, writing, graphic design, and social media management. Her passion for child development and camp has led her to our team!

Melanie Mackay is the Program Director of Emerald Cove Day Camp. After spending her 4 summers of college on staff at Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp, Melanie joined full time with the Day Camp team in 2016.  With a background in youth development, Melanie is now in her sixth year working to shape the program, staff and campers of ECDC with a passion for training and developing young people. Melanie’s husband, Teddy, is a high school English teacher who continues to invest his summers into the program, staff, and wonderful campers of ECDC.

Campers love YSSC, because campers love our summer staff. Working at YSSC just might be the most challenging, most surprising, most exhausting and most meaningful job someone could ever have. And probably the most fun too! Typically, our staff family includes 70 college students and graduates. These young adults represent 25-30 colleges and universities, and nearly 55% of them return for multiple summers. YSSC’s summer camp program provides an opportunity for all staff members to interact with children, and also hone their skills in leadership, service, communication, team building, teaching, problem solving, and putting Christian faith into action.

YSSC campers range in age from 8 to 16. Approximately 70% come from Southern California, with the remainder coming from Northern California, other states and even a handful from other countries. The majority of our campers come from middle to upper income households, although YSSC remains committed to providing opportunities for financially disadvantaged children to also attend the program.

Staff are selected based on Christian maturity, experience working with children, communication skills, and zest for life. We purposefully hire a diversity of temperaments, talents, and backgrounds to create a balanced and healthy staff family. Length of service ranges from 10 to 13 weeks depending on a staff member’s role.

Before you apply, please review our community life standards that we ask all of our seasonal staff to uphold.

Highroads Traditions

2023 Dates of Employment

Counseling: June 9 – August 25
Boat Drivers and Backpack Guides: May 29 – August 25
Program Leads and Activity Specialists: June 5 – August 25
Food Service and Operations/Maintenance: June 9 – August 25
Infirmary Staff: June 5 – August 25
Office and Media Staff: June 9 – August 25

Preference is given to qualified applicants who can serve the entire summer.

More Details for Interested Candidates
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Candidates for counseling and program staff must have completed one year of college by June of that year.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are available for the full summer. Some staff will be asked to arrive earlier or stay longer.
  • All staff must be current CPR certified valid for the entire summer and able to articulate a personal faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Staff will work a six-day week. Schedules are dictated by programming and the need to supervise campers 24 hours a day.
  • Salary begins at $291 per week (plus room and board which equates a $510 per week value) for summer staff.
  • Applications will be accepted from November 1 – through the Spring and Summer season and must be submitted prior to scheduling an interview.  Applicants who have been selected for employment will be notified via email or phone communication.
Position Descriptions

Counselor – At least 18 years old and entering second year of college. Provide care and round-the-clock supervision for a cabin of 5 -7 campers per session. Responsibilities include management of camp schedules, enforcement of camp guidelines, leading activities and enhancing community living skills. Experience in teaching Bible study and behavior management desirable. Ideal position for those who enjoy outdoor life, are in good health, have experience working directly with children, and desire to share your faith in Christ with kids.

Activity Specialist/Rotator – Upperclassman desired, with experience in supervising both children and peers. Teach specialty activities such as marksmanship, archery, skateboarding, ropes course, crafts and nature study. Serve as 24-hour substitute counselor to 4-5 cabins per session. Provide general program support under direction of Activity Supervisor. Must demonstrate initiative, flexibility, creativity, strong communication skills, and stamina.

Boat Driver – At least 18 years old and in college. Must have experience driving ski boats and have current lifeguard certificate. Responsible for boat driving and maintenance, and instructing campers in water-skiing, wake boarding, knee boarding and banana boating fundamentals, as well as implementing safety rules. Provide general program support as requested.

Backpack Guide – At least 19 years old and in college. Must have at least a minimum of current certification in Wilderness First Aid, however, Wilderness First Aid Responder (WFR) is preferred. Experience required in wilderness mountaineering, orienteering, and rock climbing and the ability to teach these skills to campers. Experience in teaching Bible studies, counseling and behavior management is desirable.  Provide general program support as requested.

Food Service – At least 18 years old and a high school graduate. Must have strong work ethic and ability to take direction, work with minimal supervision and work well with others. Responsible for food preparation and meal service, as well as other kitchen chores. Must be able to operate standard kitchen equipment, be healthy, have stamina and able to lift/carry up to 50 lbs.

Office Assistant – At least 19 years old and in college. Responsible for daily updating camp website, providing administrative support, communicating with camp families, distributing high volume of camp mail, assisting in office projects and chores. Must have ability to take direction and multi-task, be well organized, accurate and dependable, work with minimal supervision and able to lift/carry up to 40 lbs. Word, Excel, and Internet literate. Strong communication skills desired.

Photographer/Videographer – At least 19 years old and in college. Experience in video and digital photography. Ability to take direction and multi-task, responsible, well organized, and work with minimal supervision. Responsible for taking, editing and uploading photos on the website daily, producing video and slideshows throughout each summer session, cataloguing of images (including archiving, backing up, etc.) and assisting with media equipment set up as needed. Personal photography equipment and photo editing skills (i.e. Photoshop) preferred.

Nurse/Infirmary Manager – At least 20 years old and nursing student, EMT, registered nurse, or higher. Responsible for managing camp infirmary (“Club Med”) and guest RNs who rotate each session. Must be able to administer first aid, assess injuries, maintain files and supplies, communicate with local doctors and camper parents relating to medical cases, and train staff in general health and hygiene guidelines. Excellent organizational, record keeping and communications skills required.

Operations/Maintenance – At least 18 years old and high school graduate. Must take direction well, demonstrate strong work ethic, and work with minimal supervision, and work well with others. Daily responsibilities include dishwashing, cleaning of facilities, general maintenance tasks, upkeep of grounds, and special event set up. Longer term projects may include building repair, construction and landscaping projects. Related experience is not required, but preferred. Must be healthy, have stamina and able to lift/carry up to 50 lbs.

To apply, simply fill out the online application and submit. References and background checks will follow after a face-to-face, Zoom or telephone interview. We look forward to exploring summer opportunities with you!

Apply Here

Applications will be accepted from November 1 through April 30th. Applications must be submitted prior to scheduling an interview.  Applicants who have been selected for employment will be notified via email or phone communication.

Available Positions

Click on the photos below for descriptions for the positions that we are hiring.

Counselor
Activity Specialist/Rotator
Boat Driver
Backpack Guide
Food Service
Office Assistant
Photographer/Videographer
Health Center Manager
Operations/Maintenance
Internships

Details to keep in mind

YSSC summer themes

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Candidates for counseling and program staff must have completed one year of college by June of that year.
  • All staff must be current CPR certified valid for the entire summer.
  • Staff will work a six-day week. Schedules are dictated by programming and the need to supervise campers 24 hours a day.
  • Salary is $291 per week (plus room and board which equates a $510 per week value) for summer staff.

To apply, simply fill out the online application and submit. References and background checks will follow after a face-to-face, Zoom or telephone interview. We look forward to exploring summer opportunities with you!

Apply Here

Applications will be accepted from November 1 through April 30th. Applications must be submitted prior to scheduling an interview.  Applicants who have been selected for employment will be notified via email or phone communication.

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