Camp Summer Staff

Looking for an excellent summer camp counselor experience next summer?

Many of our counselors have told us that Camp Cheerful is where they really connected with their career choice by working with our campers with disabilities and special needs. It is challenging work and requires patience, commitment and caring, but if you’re up for it, the rewards are immeasurable both for yourself and the campers’ lives you are impacting. We are proud of the outstanding counselors and other staff our program attracts, many of whom return summer after summer.

Our Summer Program

From June through August, we offer children and adults, ages 5 to 70+ with a physical, medical, developmental or neurological disabilities the opportunity to experience summer camp. Day camps are offered at our Camp Cheerful in Strongsville, as well as in Highland Hills. Camp Cheerful also offers an overnight camp where children and adults enjoy lengthier camp sessions and sleep in our cabins. Our Sensational Day camp, also at Camp Cheerful, is specially designed for campers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and offers fun activities based on the campers’ individual interests and IEP goals. In addition to traditional camp activities offered at our Highland Hills day camps, Camp Cheerful offers horsemanship activities, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and our high ropes challenge course – all fully accessible.

Here’s what our families told us in surveys last year:

“Watching the counselors interact with the campers was so heartwarming. They are truly a wonderful group of people.” – from a parent

“I just love it and cannot wait until I can get back to camp” – Sarah, a returning counselor

“I cry every time camp is over – I don’t want to leave.” – Jen, a returning camper

“Camp Cheerful has been a part of our lives for over 20 years! We would recommend it to anyone, and have many times!” – From Joe’s Family

“The staff are all very supportive, friendly and welcoming.” – from a parent

“Camp is a safe place to leave my child without concern” – from a parent

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

  • Age 18 and over
  • Respectful, patient, compassionate individuals
  • Experience working with individuals with disabilities or special needs preferred
  • Ideal for students and other individuals wanting to gain experience for careers such as social work, special education, intervention specialists, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreational management, aquatic therapy, music therapy, recreational therapy, and more
  • Individuals interested in working with campers with a wide range of disabilities and ages
  • A willingness to have fun and be a role model, setting an example for campers, staff and volunteers
  • No criminal conviction record related to the treatment of children
  • Must be able to provide personal care for others including toileting, changing diapers/Depends, dressing, brushing of teeth/hair, transferring campers out of their wheelchairs, showering, etc.

Are there paid internships available?

We work with potential summer staff interested in paid internships on an individual basis since colleges vary in their college credit requirements for internships. If you are interested in a paid internship or to earn college credits, check with your college to find out what is required and we will work with you on an individual basis.

What are the session dates for camp?

Please check back the beginning of January 2018 for exact dates.

  • Summer Camp Counselor Training: typically scheduled the first week in June. Counselors remain at Camp Cheerful for the training week.
  • Day Camp Sessions (Cheerful Day and Champ Camp): typically the second week of June through mid-August
  • Sensational Day (for children with autism spectrum disorder): typically the third week of June through the beginning of August
  • Overnight Camp: typically the last week of June through the second week of August.

What are the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications for the summer staff positions?

Our job description links below outline the details for each position. These may be updated for the 2018 camp season.

Ways to apply for a summer staff position for 2018:

  • Download and complete a Camp Cheerful Summer Staff Application (when available)

Send your resume and completed application to:

Tom McGraw, Manager of Camp Programs
Achievement Centers for Children Camp Cheerful
15000 Cheerful Lane
Strongsville, Ohio  44136

or email:

What is the hiring process?

Once your resume and application is submitted, it will be reviewed, and based on our review process, you will be scheduled for an interview with us. Interviews can be completed over the phone or in person at Camp Cheerful. We will contact you via email with the details of an interview if you are chosen based on our review.

Contact for more information

Tom McGraw

Manager Camp Programs
440-238-6200 ext. 224

Cuyahoga Board of Developmental Disabilities
Cleveland Metroparks
Path International
Celebrating 70 Years
American Camp Association