Friendly, Well-trained Counselors — Staff Background Checks and References
Prospective Parent: Hi Jon, thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
Director Jon Deren: It’s my pleasure. We make every effort to talk to prospective camp parents and get their questions answered. We understand that sending your son to summer camp is a big decision. It’s very important to find a camp that is a good fit for him.
Parent: My first question is about the camp’s leadership. Who are the camp’s directors and how experienced are they?
Jon: Dave Schiff and I are the camp’s owners and directors. We’ve been around here since we were campers – in fact, we met each other at the camp’s bus stop when we were coming to Manitou for the first time. After camping together through our youth, we returned as counselors during college and then in 1998 we bought the camp.
Parent: What can you tell me about your staff?
Jon: Our staff is friendly, well-trained, and passionate about our campers. This past summer our staff included 20 teachers and 12 high school and college coaches. There were 22 staff members who had been at Manitou for more than 10 years, 8 more than 20 years, and 5 more than 30 years.
Parent: Who does the hiring and what do they look for?
Jon: I do nearly all the staff recruiting and hiring myself. Your son’s camp experience depends on the staff we hire, so our expectations are very high.
Our counselors are role models for the boys. I screen each staff candidate, interviewing them, contacting references and running background checks.