ESF Camps Reviews | Glassdoor

ESF Camps Reviews

Updated June 24, 2017
45 reviews

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3.4
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45 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Day Camp"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moorestown, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moorestown, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fun summer job with a lot of responsibility

    Cons

    Pay wasn't great and the hours were long.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Counselor at Day Camp (six to nine year olds)"

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

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

    Pros

    -Working with kids
    -Diversity of activities (Sports, Swim, Fencing, Art, Archery, Etc.)
    -Specialist Staff was great with the kids and VERY nice
    -Themed weeks and dress-up days were fun!

    Cons

    -THE KIDS DO NOT HAVE FUN. If I took away nothing else from the summer it is that overstructuring everything and an aversion to lawsuits has lead to the most boring summer for these poor kids. I tried my best but the kids were bored with the activity and rarely got chances to let loose any energy or creativity.
    -non-competitive pay ("work for the love of kids, not money" said the for-profit company when anyone asked for money)
    -cancelled overtime multiple times with no notice (I would have to check every day)
    -Base staff (counselors) were untrained and in many cases unmotivated from day one
    -understaffed
    -Paperwork constantly, A counselor has to manage sunscreen sheets, water sheets, camp-o-grams (I had 30 kids in my 'tribe'), check in and out sheets, question of the week sheets, and more which needs to be filled out while working with the kids
    -no breaks for the counselors are allowed

    Advice to Management

    -If you want the best employees who work their hardest, give them a fair wage. It is a camp, not a charity. The camp I worked at was in a very affluent area, there is no reason for such low pay for the amount of work demanded.
    -give the kids more room to be kids and have a fun summer. We had water balloon days where kids would be grouped up, not with their friends, to throw balloons at trees. That isn't fun. Let art be less structured with projects and give kids more freedom to create things within a themed unit. They need more time to run around and play games and get their sillies out before they'll be able to enjoy activities like science or reading lessons.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "ESF Summer Camps"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Lawrenceville, NJ
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Lawrenceville, NJ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at ESF Camps full-time

    Pros

    ESF is a great place to work. The staff that work there make you want to come back to work everyday. It is great for interaction.

    Cons

    The hours at the camp were long. Pay wasn't that great. There was some miscommunication around the camp site.

    Advice to Management

    Hire an assistant director. More staff is needed just in case people want to have a summer vacation.


  4. "Eagles Sports Camp Counselor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Summer Camp Counselor in Wyckoff, NJ
    Former Employee - Summer Camp Counselor in Wyckoff, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at ESF Camps part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Eagles Sports Camp highly values their employees. They take time to ensure the kinds of people they hire are kind, genuine, honest, and caring people. In turn, they create an environment of respect to keep employees returning each summer. Compensation is great, and there is no night/weekend work involved.

    Cons

    Because it is a summer camp, it is only season work. While the compensation is great, six weeks may not be enough work for a summer.

    Advice to Management

    A pre summer training period would be a good idea for coaches and counselors who are new to child care/team management.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Underpaid Babysitting"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    The kids. You honestly will love them, but hate how much privacy the camp takes away from them. The camp is safe for the campers.

    Cons

    The camp eliminates any wants or desires of the kids, or any chance for kids to be kids and in place puts an overprotective dictator who's primary concern is safety. You will be underpaid and under-appreciated for all of your work. It is a shame that all and any of your work will be subject to scrutiny from your director. It is a dystopia for campers and counselors alike, but if you are a counselor you put up with it for the kids. The kids however are often forced by their own parents to go to camp, and only continue after because their friends go there, it's a downward spiral of unfortunate circumstances.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of trying to increase employee morale, try to increase the value that you place on each of your counselors - there is assuredly a difference.


  6. "Baseball Coach"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phila, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phila, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good opportunity to work with kids on the fundamentals of baseball. Work within a team approach.

    Cons

    The salary is not competitive


  7. "ESF Greenwich"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sports Camp Director in Glenside, PA
    Current Employee - Sports Camp Director in Glenside, PA
    Recommends

    I have been working at ESF Camps (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Worked with highly motivated leadership team. Commitment to excellence. Great training program and clear objectives/policies.

    Cons

    Pay could be better, but my children got to enjoy a wonderful camp experience as part of my package so it was well worth it.

  8. "Swim Instructor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brookfield, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brookfield, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at ESF Camps (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great environment with very supportive and positive supervisors

    Cons

    Limited work hours if desiring more


  9. "Great Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Activity Specialist in Haverford, PA
    Former Employee - Activity Specialist in Haverford, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Top notch training.
    Experienced peer group to work with who really care about children and their development.

    Cons

    Some staff who don't by into ESF's continual improvement mission. Those who are complacent should remove themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to make children your central focus and keep doing what you are doing in adding cutting edge programming every year.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Worst Summer Job Ever"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


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