What is a Junior Counselor?

Junior Counselors are students who are currently 9th or 10th graders in High School at the time of application submission.

Being a Junior Counselor (JC) at camp is a wonderful way to spend the summer – developing many invaluable life skills! The Tom Sawyer Junior Counselor Program is a leadership program for 9th and 10th graders. There is no cost for this program and many Junior Counselors use their experience at camp to fulfill any school-required community service hours as this is an unpaid position. Students do go through a formal application and interview process to become a Junior Counselor and participation as a Junior Counselor is not guaranteed.

Before applying, students must be able to commit to participating in a whole session (3-4 weeks) and be able to attend mandatory training dates before the start of camp (see below).

Junior Counselors spend their time at camp learning how to become well rounded and skillful camp counselors. Junior Counselors are placed at a specific activity such as Pool, Horses, Archery, Activities, or sometimes with a Pre Camp group. Here, they are supervised by Senior Counselors to help lead campers through a variety of activities. Many former Junior Counselors have said that their time at summer camp prepared them for future jobs, college, and other leadership opportunities.

Junior Counselor ProgramJunior Counselor StaffJunior Counselor Employment
What are the Details?

Junior Counselors Applications Open Jan. 15th!

Junior Counselors can either be placed in a Specialist Program or with a Pre Camp Group. At a Specialist Program, Junior Counselors are interacting, engaging, and working alongside senior staff to provide specialized programming for for campers ages 3 –10 years old. Junior Counselors with our Pre Camp Program will be working alongside Assistant and Senior Counselors to provide a group of campers aged 3-5/6 a fun-filled camp experience.

  • Activities
  • Archery
  • Horses
  • Pool
  • Pre Camp Group

Junior Counselors must commit to participating for at least one full session. Session dates are as follows:

  • Session 1: June 10th - July 5th (4 weeks)
  • Session 2: July 8th - August 2nd (4 weeks)
  • Session 3: July 22nd - August 9th (3 Weeks)
  • It is strongly recommended that applicants are fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19
  • No Camp on July 4th

TSC has mandatory training dates for all Summer Counselors. Junior Counselors must be able to attend BOTH of the Saturday Training dates below.

  • Saturday June 1st
  • Saturday June 8th
  • The inability to attend BOTH training dates may impact an applicant's eligibility to be a Junior Counselor.

There will be other optional training dates specific to each position (Horses, Pool, Archery, etc) prior to the first day of camp, where Junior Counselors can and are encouraged to participate.

How Do I Apply?

The Junior Counselor Application is now OPEN!

Step 1: Click HERE to read the Junior Counselor Information Guide before continuing. Now that you have read through the details above and confirmed your availability for the summer you are ready to apply!

Step 2: Click on the Apply Now button below. You will be taken to the Camper Registration side of our system as this is an unpaid position. If your family already has a log in, please use that to log in. If you are brand new to Tom Sawyer Camps, please have your grown-up/parent create an account. Once logged in to your account, first enter your age and grade which will allow the Junior Counselor Application to be visible. Prospective Junior Counselors please fill out the application and remember that this is a formal application, so we are looking for complete and thoughtful answers.

Step 3: Once your application is received, a TSC Director will review it and send an email inviting you to an interview. The main form of communication will be emails directly to the Junior Counselor so please make sure you check your emails often. Our interviews are a chance for you to learn more about Tom Sawyer Camps, what it would mean to be a Junior Counselor, and for the Tom Sawyer Staff to get to know you.

Step 4: If you are accepted to our Junior Counselor Program, your grown-up/parent must officially enroll you into our Summer Camp program. Details will be sent upon acceptance.

Note to Parents/Guardians: The main goal of the Junior Counselor Program is to allow young adults the opportunity to take on a leadership role in a safe environment. It is also our hope that we are able to help them learn the independence and responsibility of applying for a position, going through an interview process, and hopefully gaining a leadership role with us. While there are parts of the process that will require your involvement and we are happy to answer your questions, we strongly recommend you encourage your Junior Counselor applicant to not only complete their applications themselves, but to also contact Tom Sawyer with any questions they (or you) might have as part of this program is for us to help them navigate this process from start to finish.

For any questions please call our office at (626) 794-1156 or email kate@tsc.camp


Protecting children and youth is core to TSC’s mission. We have a zero tolerance policy for any form of abuse or harassment. TSC carefully screens applicants and requires all staff to be Live Scanned (DOJ fingerprinting) and complete child abuse prevention and reporting requirements.

When we were looking at her camp group photo, I asked my daughter who her friends were. She said: "All of them!"

TSC Family

Felicity woke up each day looking forward to camp! She still sings the songs, talks about the horses, and mentions what she learned on a daily basis. It was a wonderful experience and we are so thankful to have had this opportunity.

TSC Parent

My campers often look at the TSC photo and still name their friends. Thank you and the TSC family for creating such a gift for families.

TSC Parent

Our Campers want to be Counselors someday, because of the examples that your Counselors set for them. Tom Sawyer is encouraging them to be leaders.

TSC Family

Camp has given our child confidence to try many new things like archery, horses, swimming, climbing, high ropes, and taking the initiative to make new friends.

TSC Family

I was impressed by the high level of communication between the camp leadership and parents. If something came up at camp, they helped my child grow skills to handle things and always updated me about it.

TSC Family

My daughter had the absolute best time! She learned new skills, made friends, and came home, every day, covered in mud! It was exactly what summer should be.

TSC Parent

Our son Oliver adores TSC. Loves the counselors, all the activities, and the fellow campers.  TSC has become a summer family tradition.  He hopes to one day be a counselor!

TSC Parent

Our daughter stepped outside her comfort zone on the rock wall and high ropes and is so proud of herself! The well-trained staff made it a great and safe experience for her.

TSC Parent

My son had a wonderful time. All his needs were met including his fear of swimming. The counselors were fantastic with him.

TSC Parent