ESF Camps Reviews

Updated August 26, 2015
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18 Employee Reviews

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  1. Best Job Ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Activity Specialist in Chestnut Hill, Dauphin, PA
    Current Employee - Activity Specialist in Chestnut Hill, Dauphin, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at ESF Camps (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great training. Super organized and they provide me with plenty of supplies. Curriculum is created which is cutting edge and age appropriate. I have worked at a lot of camps in the area and this surpasses all of them. A+

    Cons

    The position starts when I am completing my last week of school.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. You are inspiring children and providing them with something that no other camps offer. Traditions, exciting activities, experienced staff.


  2. Worst Summer Job Ever

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Chestnut Hill, Dauphin, PA
    Former Employee - Teacher in Chestnut Hill, Dauphin, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at ESF Camps part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free parking for employees on site. The "idea" behind the camp is of value, but not put into practice. The food at camp was pretty good and affordable at 5$ a plate.

    Cons

    Terrible pay, despite the travel, training, and education requirements of counselors and instructors. Unpaid and mandatory training, even for veteran camp employees (10+ hours) before camp when it is not scheduled in (so they don't have to pay you). Unhappy office employees who make it difficult to resolve issues or problems. Coercive and disrespectful management at the Chestnut Hill location; immense micromanaging and poor leadership. Lack of support for new counselors and instructors; you are told to expect being pulled to fill in gaps at the camp where you may not be certified or qualified. Lack of materials and resources for counselors and instructors (confusing why this is the case when the camp is so expensive). This leaves counselors and instructors in an awkward position when they are told to "teach" when they don't have the materials they need. Counselors and instructors are incredibly disrespected and made to feel guilty if they have a medical emergency and cannot come to camp - even if they have given documentation. The "car line" is a huge waste of time and there is not a clear system for counselors and instructors to understand in order to be effective. Parents are deceived into thinking that camp sites are safe and supportive of child growth, but that would be difficult when their teachers/counselors are so unhappy.

    Advice to Management

    Re-train the full-time/management/director staff and force them into diversity training/communication workshops. Increase your pay based on the education and experience of your staff. Do your own inventory and check in with instructors to make sure they have enough resources and the right kind of resources for campers. Create a buddy system for counselors so they feel valued and supported when they have an emergency or a college visitation and cannot work.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Just horrible.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Summer Camp Counselor in Phila, PA
    Former Employee - Summer Camp Counselor in Phila, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ESF Camps part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Best reasons working there were the AWESOME coworkers I was able to encounter for 2 years despite that we were being treated horribly and the kids since I didn't work at a regular site. The kids do make your day go by easier when you get a genuine connection with them

    Cons

    The pay is absolutely horrible. It's like you take the pay because you have no choice. The CEOs pick and choose who they like and don't treat everybody equally. They company makes more than enough money to pay people correctly.

    Advice to Management

    Try some trainings on diversity and try paying people more money. Your workers don't always feel as welcomed when the directors come around. Instead we frowned and put on a fake smile hoping that maybe you would know our names but never did. You guys always let go of the people who genuinely care about the children and every summer it just gets worse and worse.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    It's the Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Camp Counselor in Moorestown, NJ
    Former Employee - Camp Counselor in Moorestown, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at ESF Camps (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Absolutely zero pros to working for this "concentration" esque camp. The kids have no choices and are forced to do the same boring activities over and over again. The so called "specialists" are just glorified counselors who have been there longer than a couple years. (most likely drank the juice, aka brainwashed). The most sickening part of this operation is they have these CITs (counselors in training) who were once campers, and then they take an entire summer to "train" to be a counselor and are completely unpaid! What is wrong with these people!?!? Take your "Rowan" degree and just wipe with it.

    Cons

    The camp itself is a Con. These parents shell out thousands of dollars for their kids to be miserable and complain all day. The management does not allow for any lee way, the kids have zero freedom, and most importantly the kids are treated like dirt. The employees (counselors) are treated like trash as well. As if we made no positive impact on these kids daily lives, the management was always quick to let you know what you are doing wrong and to make sure the little things were done each day. Overall do not ever send your kid to Moorestown ESF camp, let alone any ESF camp. They take away the youth in kids.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the micro-managing, learn how to run a company, and stop blaming the counselors on your poor decisions and life choices. See you at the top.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Camp Counselor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at ESF Camps full-time

    Pros

    The kids are great and we has lot of fun activities at the camp. I meet a lot of other great counselors.

    Cons

    Overworked and underpaid. I worked overtime and still made very little money. Everyone was very tired and hungry throughout the day which made workdays very hard.

    Advice to Management

    Take better care of your employees! I had an emergency one afternoon and was made to feel bad for requesting to leave to see a doctor.


  7. 5 years and still going

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at ESF Camps part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    This is by far the best institution that I have been involved with that involves children. I am going on my 5th summer with ESF and can't be more excited. ESF does what any camp should do and put the campers before all else.

    Cons

    Many counselor a think of it as a hang out when it is not. It's a JOB jobs are meant to be hard and difficult. I agree the pay isn't the best but it is the best summer JOB there is. Counslers who expect to come and hang out all day really bring down the expirence for the children.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage staff that you are approchable and can come to you with anything.


  8. Helpful (2)

    I loved all my coworkers but this job is terrible. Not worth it!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Counselor in Haverford, PA
    Former Employee - Counselor in Haverford, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at ESF Camps full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers but there aren't many pros aside from that. If you want extra money (which you will, since it pays minimum wage) they offer $10/hr at Club Overtime before and after camp.

    Cons

    Stressful, underpaid, and ridiculous requirements from employer. High turnover because people are miserable. They offer you very little support after you're hired.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to listen to your employees and stop having a thousand arbitrary requirements and restrictions. You make it seem like you care more about liability than the happiness of your staff. Put fewer kids in each tribe -- one had over 25 for just two counselors!


  9. Helpful (5)

    Counselor

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Summer job and you get experience with kids, great for education majors and those seeking work in education

    Cons

    Management treats you like you're 5, there is SO MUCH paperwork to do everyday. Write down when the kids took a sip of water, what time they had sunscreen, make a log of how much they ate


  10. Helpful (3)

    Don't practice what they preach

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at ESF Camps part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The campers have fun. The staff when held on to are great.

    Cons

    Management. A corporate structure that is so tight it's ridiculous. Upper management doesn't know what half their sites are really doing. Pay is abysmal, appreciation is slim to none. The idea that you can climb the pipeline within the company is a joke. Lots of extras that aren't in the contract. Treat people who educators and directors on their staff for 5 plus years like someone with no experience. You're just a cog in the wheel to mgmt. it's supposed to be camp!


  11. They really care about the children.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Counselor in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Counselor in Philadelphia, PA
    Recommends

    I worked at ESF Camps part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They value the experience of the camper highly. The campers are amazing and you'll fall in love almost right away! There is a wide variety in activities. They give out both supervisor and peer submitted rewards.

    Cons

    It is difficult to get reemployed. Counselors are held to very high standards even if you're a rookie. They have very strict safety protocol that can easily lead to a lot of rookie mistakes warranting sometimes harsh criticism from supervisors.

    Advice to Management

    Diversify the work force.



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