Health Care Positions

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp...
Founded in 1966, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is a summer community of the fine arts serving more than 5,400 elementary, junior high, and high school students each season through its varied programs. Blue Lake annually employs more than 700 faculty and staff, who work together to provide a diverse and enriching learning experience for campers. Although Blue Lake is a fine arts training center, it strives to maintain a "camp" atmosphere in as many ways as possible through the natural environment, rustic facilities, and camper activities.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is situated on Little Blue Lake in West Michigan's Manistee National Forest. The camp consists of 275 rustic cabins, structures, and shelters spread throughout 1,600 acres of wilderness. Located 12 miles north of Muskegon and an hour northwest of Grand Rapids, Blue Lake is within minutes of Lake Michigan beaches and parks.

Camp Philosophy
Blue Lake's primary goal is to motivate campers with two weeks of intensive instruction, sending them home with an incentive to pursue their art with new enthusiasm. A well balanced set of values -- maturity, citizenship, and appreciation of formal study -- are encouraged by all faculty and staff. Members of the Blue Lake staff strive to make the campers' stay meaningful by teaching them how to become good artists and citizens. Enthusiasm is contagious at Blue Lake as campers discover, learn, experience, progress, and succeed.

Musical & Other Artistic Opportunities
Staff members are encouraged to audition for positions in Blue Lake's Festival Band, Festival Orchestra, Staff Symphonic Band, Staff Choir, Staff Vocal Ensemble, and Jazz Ensembles. These groups rehearse and perform regularly scheduled concerts in Blue Lake's Summer Arts Festival. With a recorded audition, staff members may be eligible participate in faculty-coached ensembles, such as string quartets, brass quintets, woodwind quintets, euphonium-tuba ensemble, and other chamber groups. Those who qualify may also teach sectionals and technique classes with Blue Lake's junior campers. Blue Lake also offers a solo competition to staff during the summer.

Those with backgrounds in art, drama, and dance have opportunities to assist faculty and students in those areas, as well as explore their own artistic growth through individual studio time and/or participation in staff groups (such as theater improv, etc). Those who qualify may also teach minor classes in art, drama, jazz studies, history of music, nature studies, or beginning instruments with Blue Lake's junior or central camp students.

Health Staff
Applicants for health staff positions must meet the following criteria: 1) at least 18 years of age, 2) at least one year of college after completing high school, 3) interest and aptitude in working with young people.

2018 Work Dates:
Applicants must be available for the full work season listed below. Extended work dates for some positions are available to cover pre- and post-camp duties. Please inquire on application.
Health Staff: June 17 - August 19. This includes 9 days of paid orientation.

Salary for Blue Lake Counseling Staff:
$1,825 - $2,750 plus room and board. Salary is based on years of college study and/or degree(s) earned.

Proof of Certification
Those applying for jobs which require proof of certification (Recreation Director, Camp Nurse, etc.) must have a photocopy of the certificate on file with the personnel department before an applicant will be considered for the position. The date of expiration must be visible.

Employee Health History
All employees of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp are required to have a health history form on file with Health Services before arriving on camp. All information is required and kept confidential, and a blank form is sent with your contract.

Employee Background Checks
All employees of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp are required to complete two background checks during the employment process: a criminal records clearance and a central registry clearance (both through home state). Any fees associated with clearances are the responsibility of the applicant. More information will be presented during the interview.

Blue Lake’s Health Services consists of a team of 20, including the Health Lodge Directors, Camp Nurses, and 15 certified Health Assistants. The Health Staff is supervised by the Director of Health Services, and work with other staff to provide medical care to a camp population of over 6,000 youth, college-aged staff, and university/secondary teachers and their families.

The Health Staff are specifically responsible for maintaining and operating all aspects of the Health Lodge. Shift duties rotate equally through the health staff to supply consistent 24-hour care. In addition to giving basic first aid, supporting campers with special needs, transporting campers for off-camp medical care, and assisting campers with the management of their medication, the staff will share cleaning, laundry, inventory, and other duties as assigned. Health Staff can expect a demanding but rewarding work opportunity that will provide invaluable experience for those continuing their education in medical fields.

For those who are interested, Health Staff members may also have the opportunity to broaden their artistic appreciation by participating in one staff musical ensemble, requesting private lesson instruction from faculty, and attending Blue Lake evening concerts (please see enclosed or inquire for more information).

Health Positions Available

Room and board is included with all positions. Salary is based upon the position and applicant experience. Please inquire directly with the Personnel Department at 800-221-3796 for more details on these positions or the application procedure. Camp health care providers must have a minimum certification of American Red Cross First Aid and Safety (incl. CPR), or American Heart Association equivalent, and attend additional camp-specific medical training prior to the general staff orientation period. Health Staff will also receive more extensive detailed training on providing health care, documentation, camp communication, addressing emergency situations, team building, and developing creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Health Lodge Director (1 Position Available): Work together with the Director of Health Services and Asst. Health Lodge Director to train and supervise health staff, maintain work schedule, communicate with camper parents, monitor medical supplies, support camper needs, serve on the summer camp leadership team, and serve as the primary Camp Health Officer. Extensive experience at Blue Lake and minimum certification of American Red Cross Emergency Medical Responder required. Previous experience with Blue Lake Leadership preferred.

Assistant Health Lodge Director (1 Position Available): Work together with the Director of Health Services and Health Lodge Director to train and supervise health staff, maintain work schedule, communicate with camper parents, monitor medical supplies, support camper needs, serve on the summer camp leadership team, and be a Camp Health Officer. Experience at Blue Lake and minimum certification of American Red Cross Emergency Medical Responder required. Previous experience in the Health Lodge preferred.

Health Lodge Staff (15 Positions Available): Work with the Health Lodge Directors and Camp Nurses to provide a variety of health care services including basic first aid, medication management/distribution, transportation of campers off camp for evaluation when necessary, and emergency medical care. Team members receive practical hands-on experience with short-term patient care, documentation, triage, and basic diagnostics. Minimum Certification required: American Red Cross Standard First Aid and CPR, or American Heart Association equivalent, and valid U.S. driver’s license. Preferred Certifications: Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), EMT, or Paramedic.

Camp Nurses (8 2-Week Positions Available): Work with the Director of Health Services and Health Lodge Directors to provide a variety of health care services including basic first aid, medication management/ distribution, and evaluation and referral of camper’s for off-camp medical care. Nurses serve office hours daily and remain on-call (w/ cell phone) or emergencies. Commuter and residential positions available. Minimum Certification: Valid Registered Nurse License and Current BLS certification (or equivalent).

Conduct Policies
In an effort to provide our campers with a safe, pleasant, professional, and nurturing environment, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp has developed extensive regulations regarding proper and professional conduct. Counseling Staff and Faculty members serve as role models and mentors for our campers, and are therefore expected to support and follow these Blue Lake policies. All Blue Lake employees must sign a Code of Conduct upon receipt of their contract. Failure to comply with conduct policies is grounds for dismissal.

Uniform and Appearance Standards
Employees at Blue Lake are expected to demonstrate professionalism and good judgment at all times related to personal appearance. No matter where you work or what your title is, anytime you are in a public area at camp, you are “in the classroom” and around our campers. Your attitude, performance, and appearance are direct reflections on the quality of our program. Please review the following Uniform and Appearance Standards before submitting your application.

Staff and Faculty members are required to wear the Blue Lake uniform at all times except when within the housing area. (The official uniform shirt and sweater are available at a discounted price. The remainder of the uniform is supplied by the employee). Staff and Faculty members are also expected to maintain a professional, neat, and clean personal appearance. Extreme piercings, hair styles, or hair colorings that are considered distracting, or contrary to serving as a role model for youth, are not permitted. Additionally, all tattoos must be discreetly and completely covered at all times.

Intentional body alteration or modification for the purpose of achieving a visible, physical effect that disfigures, deforms or similarly detracts from a professional image is prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to: tattoos, brands, body piercing (other than traditional ear piercing), tongue piercing or splitting, tooth filing, earlobe expansion and disfiguring skin implants. Jewelry, spacers, retainers, or plugs are not permitted in body piercings while working.

If you are ever in doubt about the appropriateness of your appearance, please keep in mind that anything that could be considered distracting or not in the best interest of serving as a role model will not be permitted.

Festival Band or Orchestra - comprised of professional musicians, music educators, and select staff, these ensembles perform regularly throughout the Summer Arts Festival and rehearse on a daily basis during performance weeks.

Staff Symphonic Band - comprised of graduate and undergraduate music majors, minors, and other staff members who qualify, this ensemble performs four times during the summer season and rehearses five times per two-week session.

Faculty Jazz Ensemble - comprised primarily of professional jazz musicians and educators, this ensemble performs several times throughout Blue Lake's Jazz Festival. Staff positions are based on instrumentation needs and are extremely limited.

Staff Jazz Ensemble - comprised of graduate and undergraduate music majors, minors, and other staff who qualify, this ensemble will rehearse regularly throughout the summer and will perform as a part of Blue Lake's jazz festival, as well as other performances.

Staff Choir - comprised of music majors, minors, and other staff with interest, this ensemble will rehearse regularly throughout the summer and will perform regularly in chapel services and staff recitals.

Staff Chamber Ensembles (vocal ensemble, brass quintet, string quartet, woodwind quintet, etc.) - comprised of staff members who qualify, these groups receive regular coaching from faculty.  They rehearse regularly throughout the summer and may audition to perform in the Staff Recital and/or Showcase.  Select ensembles may also be requested to perform for junior campers, throughout Blue Lake's Summer Arts Festival, and during chapel services.

Staff Solo Competition - Instrumentalists and vocalists are given the opportunity to audition for Blue Lake's staff solo competition during the beginning of the summer.  The selected winner will solo during a staff recital for the camp community, and will receive a professional recording session at Blue Lake Public Radio.

Sectional and Technique Teacher at Junior Camp (Camp Bernstein) -  Teach daily sectional/technique classes to Junior Camp students, working with conducting staff to emphasize basic techniques, repertoire, and motivation.  Candidates for these limited positions are typically instrumental music education majors in their later, more advanced years of study.  Teaching or student teaching experience, and/or music degree preferred. 

Camp Bernstein Cabin Counselors are involved with students' instruction as well as recreation and basic camp supervision in order to advocate a close relationship of student to teacher. Counselors and conductors both help to promote a friendly and fun atmosphere for learning about music and the other fine arts.

Recorded Audition Preparation

A recorded audition is required for Blue Lake staff candidates who wish to audition to perform in ensembles or teach at the Junior Camp.  It is in your interest as an applicant to submit a recorded audition along with your completed staff application.  If it is necessary to submit a recording separately, we strongly recommend that it arrive in our office as soon as possible. While we can speak in general terms about employment and performance/teaching opportunities without your audition, applicants cannot be considered for specific positions until materials are complete, including the recorded audition and three recommendations.  Audition recordings may be submitted electronically or through the mail via audio CD.  For details on audition requirements and audition recordings submissions, visit



“I had a wonderful experience this summer. It was so nice to be in such a positive atmosphere surrounded by people who are fully invested in their work and the campers. I was impressed by the support network that exists, and it helped reassure me to know that there was always someone to turn to when I had a question or concern about a situation at camp. Having never been to Blue Lake previously, I enjoyed seeing the variety of opportunities that campers have during the course of just one session. I also appreciate the emphasis that Blue Lake places on the character development of both campers and staff; it is a great learning experience.”

“I had a wonderful time.  I learned a lot about myself, and communicating with others.”

“It was amazing and lifechanging. I learned so much about myself and others.”

“The people who work at this place make it everything that is so great. Having that constant support system mixed with people who are genuinely your friends creates an atmosphere that I personally thrived upon.”

“I do appreciate all that I have learned and experienced over the summer. I highly value the relationships and lessons that I have gained in working at Blue Lake. I do intend to reapply for next summer, and am considering the International Program as well. I love working with others, teaching children, performing music, and challenging myself- Blue Lake was a good fit.”

“Overall my experience at Blue Lake was wonderful and even more than I had hoped for. The people I met were wonderful and the experience I gained working with children will be incredibly valuable as I continue working towards a degree in education. I really hope to come back again next summer.”

“This was probably the most beneficial experience of any that I've had for my chosen career of music education. The other staff and campers were great to work with, and the performing ensembles allowed me to keep playing and improving on my instrument. It was wonderful to be around so many like-minded people.”

“At Blue Lake I felt an incredible feeling of support from the administration, my fellow counselors, and especially my unit director. The philosophy of the camp was so deeply embedded in every rule and procedure that things just made sense. This allowed the campers to thrive and staff to celebrate the growth of the kids. I am extremely appreciative of my time at Blue Lake and the wonderful memories I made at camp.”

“This was an incredible experience for me as a future music educator- being able to lead sectionals, work as a rehearsal assistant, and perform in staff/faculty ensembles in addition to counseling duties/being with the campers was incredible. I feel I've taken so much from my work with Blue Lake that will be relevant in my career. I felt the staff had an excellent support network and that if I needed help, advice, etc. I would get it. THANK YOU!”

“Wonderful! I did not want to leave. I've never had such a hard time tearing myself away from a place.”

“I loved it here. It was never a job for me. This is the perfect place for the person that I am and I absolutely loved the feeling of gratification I got from making a difference in the lives of those campers.”

“I felt I learned so much about myself and how to work with children a lot better. I was unsure if I could really be a teacher and after this I feel more confident with my career path. Being able to share my art and help children grow in theirs was extremely rewarding.”

“Absolutely life changing. I have never been in an environment as enriching and encouraging as this one was. Everything that I did during my time at Blue Lake was able to teach me something.”

“The sense of community and safety that is really encouraged to all the campers is a strong point, as well as the chain of command for the counselors and staff. I also believe that the campers are learning a lot from the environment and schedule that we set up, so that they are more independent and prepared for life.”

“There is always a support system if something happens and a counselor isn't sure exactly how to deal with it. The warm atmosphere among the staff and administration makes cooperation very easy. Blue Lake as a whole is very philosophically consistent in its message and daily operation.”

“I have been working towards becoming a music teacher for a few years, and over the past year I was experiencing doubts about it. Getting to experience Blue Lake and be immersed in music and the arts and working with the campers gave me more than I ever expected. Of the MANY rewarding aspects, the most rewarding was fitting in. It was realizing that I'm in the right place, doing the right thing with my life, and that I can do it well (and if I can't, that I will figure out how to do it better). I was terrified that I would burn out, shut down, not make it through the summer, and although there were many days that felt like a slap in the face, I always felt like it was worth it to keep going. I've always known I am capable of working hard and doing things well, but I had never felt the inspiration that I found working with the campers, counselors, associates, directors, and everyone else at Blue Lake. There is nothing like being told you gave someone an amazing experience, inspired them, or taught them something they'll never forget. I experienced all of this over the summer, and it's given me direction and purpose for the upcoming years of my life.”

“I love seeing the joy that my campers have in camp. Getting letters throughout the summer from past campers and seeing the smiles my girls have when they return after their final concerts on Final Sunday to give me one last hug justify everything I do on a daily basis. Closing Activities on Saturday night always help me to realize how much camp is not MAINLY about growing as an artist or a musician but rather it is greatly about how these campers grow as humans. It always struck me when I was a camper here how much I came not just to grow as a musician but to meet others who are passionate in their arts in the same way I always have been. I love to see a cohesive cabin that I have created finish off a session and all talk about how they will keep in touch. I also find unclogging toilets to be rewarding. I just find my job to rewarding in general.”

  1. Complete the health staff application or nurse application and return it to the Director of Student Services.

  2. Request that all recommendation forms be mailed directly* to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp as soon as possible. *Forms will not be accepted unless they come directly from the evaluator.

    General Recomendation Form
    Music Recommendation Form

  3. Include with your application a photocopy of necessary certification, if applicable.

  4. Include with your application an audition recording, if applicable.

  5. Only applicants with all required information on file will be considered for an interview.

  6. Selected applicants with completed files will be contacted by a Blue Lake for an initial telephone interview.

For questions on the application procedure, please call 800-221-3796!