Staff training is the most important part of the year for CHMK. You were chosen based on your knowledge, skills, background, and all around magic that we feel you could bring to camp. We have several weeks worth of learning that will be shoved into a few packed days. To make the most of the experience and walk away feeling as confident as possible, you need to bring your best self to training. Below you will find information on how to make this happen. Please feel free to reach out to Ian Roberts ( with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Start Here!

Staff training is our favorite week of the Camp Ho Mita Koda year! It’s where the magic of camp begins, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks for reading the following information carefully and completely.

General Info: Staff training is mandatory for ALL staff. It’s also really fun! Our goal is to introduce and reconnect staff to CHMK programs firsthand. Your training period is designed to mimic a week of camp and will involve plenty of hands-on training, role plays, and practical information. Our goal to equip you with the knowledge and excitement you need to become a successful and thriving Camp Ho Mita Koda Staff Member!

Thank you for your commitment to inspiring kids in the outdoors this summer.  We can’t wait to meet you at staff training!

So, What's My Job?

An Important Piece About How We Hire: An in-depth answer to the following questions

  • “What am I hired for?”
  • “I don’t really know what I’ll be doing this summer”
  • “Wait, why am I attending this training?

We want to clarify and re-iterate as much as possible about your job before we meet for staff training. To that end, please read on!

How We Hire at Camp Ho Mita Koda:
Camp Ho Mita Koda hires with flexibility in mind. You are all on board because you’re talented, have experiences that lend to summer camp, and because we believe that you are versatile individuals. Almost all staff are hired with the title of “Counselor.” In this job, you will have the opportunity to work with most, if not all, of our age groups. That means that even if your previous work experiences have been with 10-12-year-olds, you still may have the opportunity to work with 5-6-year-olds this summer. This summer you will receive training in all of our activities, understand the mission behind Camp Ho Mita Koda, and challenge yourself to adapt your knowledge to different age groups.

The Roles:

General Counselors are the bulk of our staff and are all “Counselors”. Most of you, during the interview process, learned about our multi-sport camps that introduce campers to a wide variety of programming options. Our camp groups are divided by age/grade as follows:

Junior Camp: Kindergarten – 6th Grade
Senior Camp: 7th Grade- 11th Grade
Leadership Program: 16-17 years old 

We will talk more about all of this at CHMK101!!! As instructors you can expect to work with most of these age groups, for at least 1 week of the summer. You might spend most weeks working with k-6th graders, and have just one week with 7-11th graders. Or you might work 3 weeks with K-6th graders, 2 weeks with 7th-11th graders, and 2 weeks with LIT campers. It will be a mixed bag.

The intention: To provide counselors with diverse work weeks during the summer. Repetition can lead to burn out.  Just when you start to get burnt out on teaching 8-year-olds how to paddle, you get to challenge yourself to teach 5-year-olds how to climb. It might be uncomfortable, it might feel brand new, and it will encourage you to grow and develop your skill sets. Offering our instructors the opportunity to grow professionally is a goal at Camp Ho Mita Koda.

Specialized trainings and ‘Lead’ Positions
If you are attending a ‘specialized training’, you will obtain additional knowledge on a particular topic. These include: Challenge Course and Aquatics. After completing these trainings, you can expect to work more weeks under that particular title (and therefore with those groups) than a traditional instructor would. Your employment letter should indicate which specialized training(s) you are meant to attend (if any). You might wear multiple hats throughout the summer.

Job Descriptions:
You can find an updated list of position descriptions, for all field and medical, on our website:

Clear as mud? Good. Our intention is to develop a staff team that has yogi-style flexibility. The hope is that we can provide you with an amazing summer job that allows you to grow, learn, and have fun each week of your time with CHMK.

Training Overview & Schedule

We are incredibly excited to welcome all of our returning staff back to CHMK, greet all of the new staff joining us this season, and for the first time, welcome our international staff community as well!

We are constantly looking to improve the training experience at CHMK and the format of this year’s staff training is based on years of feedback. It becomes your task to transfer your new skills and experiences, and harness your sense of adventure, to lead incredible experiences at any & every location you visit this summer at camp!

Now that you’ve seen the overview of the Staff Training, below is some further detail for each training track.  The dates below are the arrival dates for each training specific to your position.  Once you arrive, you will be part of training from this point going forward!

  • Please double-check your offer letter for the right day to report to training!
  • If you are unsure when you arrive, please be sure to reach out.

Leadership Orientation
May 28, 2024
Start Time: 9:00am
Location: Camp Ho Mita Koda
Positions: Managers & Assistant Directors (Parent, Staff, Camper, Operations, Healthcare)

Supervisor Training
May 28, 2024
Start Time: 9:00am
Location: Camp Ho Mita Koda
Positions: Activity Supervisors (Challenge Course, Aquatics, Adventure)

All Staff Training Week
May 29 – June 7, 2024
Start Time: 10:00am
Location: Camp Ho Mita Koda
Positions: All Field Staff, Leadership, Supervisors, Custodial, Lifeguards, Dining Service

Medical/ Healthcare Training
June 1 & June 8 
Start Time: 8:00am (please arrive no later than 7:45am)
Location: Camp Ho Mita Koda
Positions: All Medical (RN, NP, Students, Doctors, etc)

PLEASE use your resources to look up directions to training locations in advance using tools such as Google Maps or your smartphone. All locations have addresses listed on your training group schedule. Leave early and allow plenty of time for parking to ensure you arrive early or on time.

Being late to training days is super lame! Please arrive early and allow yourself plenty of time to arrive, find parking, and prepare for your training day.  If you cannot be on time to training, we cannot assume you will be on time for work.  Let us know how we can help!

Thank you for your commitment to inspiring kids in the outdoors this summer.  We can’t wait to meet you at staff training!

Travel & Lodging

We have staff coming from all over the world to join us here at CHMK!  Below is some helpful information regarding lodging and travel for training and the summer.  

Travel to Training
By Air – Fly into Cleveland Hopkings Airport and grab an Uber or let us know your arrival to arrange pickup. 

By Land – There is limited parking available on-site at camp.  If possible, please carpool as much as possible to save space and the environment. 

By Sea – Good for you!  If you’re this good, you don’t need our help!

Early Arrival
If you are planning on arriving prior to the start of staff training, this must be communicated to and approved by the Camp Director. 

Depending on your position and when/where your training is, we have different accommodations for each location. Lodging is assigned at the discretion of the Camp Director. 

The Night Before –
 Currently, we do offer lodging for staff the night before training begins.  If you choose not to come to camp, please connect with friends, family, and fellow staff to find an arrangement that best works for you!

On-Site – 
At camp, we will move into our homes for the summer into cabins that have beds, bathrooms, and full facilities at our disposal.

What to Bring

CHMK will provide all gear needed for training days (including boats, harnesses, helmets, pfds, etc.) If you prefer to wear your own personal safety gear (helmet, harness, pfd) you are welcome to use it as long as it meets CHMK standards for safety and fit.

Please read below to the items that you’ll need for each of the days while we are at training/during the summer.

  • A backpack that can fit the items listed below.
  • Clothing that adheres to the CHMK Dress code:
    • All clothing should be appropriate for outdoor activity and be clean & presentable.
    • Closed-toe shoes (even on water days)
    • Shirts must have at least short sleeves to model good sun protection.
    • Pants or shorts must be appropriate for outdoor activity and look professional.
    • If in doubt, ask yourself: “do I look like a professional outdoor educator?”
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat and/or sunglasses
  • Clothing for any weather.  We will be running around, sitting on the ground & spending all day outside. Dress to be active & comfortable.  Check the weather to be prepared for anything!
  • An extra warm layer
  • Rain gear (appropriate for hiking/outdoor activity)
  • Camp chair or crazy creek (optional, but nice for sitting sessions)
  • Staff Handbook (you are responsible for printing this off)
  • Note-taking materials
  • 2 full water bottles
  • Anything else that keeps you happy & comfortable during a day outside

Whether we are staying at camp or cooking out during hammock camping, we want to be able to best serve you the fuel you need to keep you going!   We will have our stellar Dining Service crew take on all of our meal needs with an all-inclusive breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks will be available throughout the day! 

Please note that while our Dining Service team is fantastic, cooking for over 100 people to meet everyone’s individual tastes is hard.  There is always plenty of food for everyone and we’ve done our best to have incredible food for us to enjoy.  Gratitude goes a long way for the crew so please be sure to let them have it!

If you have any dietary needs/restrictions that we should be aware of, please contact your director to inform them. 

Additional questions about meals? Please email our Medical Team at 


What if I don’t have all the gear that I’ll need for camping? While we don’t have a lot of adult gear to share (we are a kids camp after all), we do have some that we can lend to staff.  Please check with us ahead of arrival so that we can meet your needs.  We want you to be comfortable while camping and the best way is to bring your own gear that you know fits you well.

Can I camp for only some nights? Once you arrive, we require all front-line field staff assigned to a cabin to spend the full amount of time with the group, as this is what makes our team as strong as it is.  If you are unable or unwilling, this may not be the job for you. The Medical Team has a bit more flexibility. 

Are showers available at camp? Yes! You can always take a dip in the lake to rinse off too!

Can you accommodate my dietary restriction or allergy?  Our Dining Service team is able to meet a lot of needs, so please advise your supervisor of any dietary needs/restrictions. While we can and do a lot, we can’t guarantee your requests so please check with us ahead of time!

What if the weather is cold/rainy/etc.? The show must go on! We will continue to have an awesome time camping, eating and training together, no matter the weather. Please practice Leave No Trace rule #1 by planning ahead and being prepared with proper gear, clothing and plenty of extra layers. 

Can I bring my dog/pet to training or to camp? Sadly, you can’t.  We love dogs, but we do not allow pets beyond the FT team’s pets, respectively.  Please make alternate plans for the care of your pet for the summer. The exception to this rule is for trained and licensed 

Where can I learn about the programs? Check out our website (the one you are already on) for more information on a specific location or program.

Basic First Aid/CPR Courses

Below is a list of some organizations offering CPR/Basic First Aid Courses in the NEO area: 

  • American Red Cross
  • American Heart Association

It is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED (though not required) that all staff show up to camp with a current Adult/Child CPR/AED certification and highly encouraged that all staff take a first aid course.

100% online courses for CPR are not accepted.

Stay Connected

Facebook Page – A great place to meet and connect with folks from pre-season to years after to stay in touch with your CHMK family.

Email & Phone – Be sure to stay in touch with any questions or comments.

Main Phone: (440) 739-4095
Ian Roberts, Executive Director:
Alex Richardson, Camp Director: 
Sara Serafine, Healthcare Director:
Mitch Meyers, Facilities Manager:
Elizabeth Johnson, Development Director: 

 *We utilize WhatsApp for group communications throughout the season. You will be invited to the most current chat during staff training. 

Pre-Season Emails