Cabin Counselor/Lifeguard

JOB TITLE: Cabin Counselor/Lifeguard
DEPARTMENT: Recreation Therapy
REPORTS TO: Cabin Head/Waterfront Director

Description of Position

The Cabin Counselor/Lifeguard position involves working hands-on with children and adults with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. Cabin Counselor/Lifeguards will live in the cabins with participants and will be responsible for assisting participants, to whatever degree necessary, with their activities of daily living (showering, dressing, bathing, eating, and so forth). Cabin counselor/Lifeguards will also assist participants, on an as needed basis, in program areas (recreation, creative arts, camp outs, etc). Cabin counselor / Lifeguards will be responsible for sharing in the documentation of the above camper activities as observed. During activities at the waterfront or pool, cabin counselor/lifeguards assist the Waterfront Director and Waterfront Assistant Director in supervising and leading aquatic programs at the waterfront and at the pool. Carry out activity plans for each activity including, but not limited to, swimming at pool and lake, fishing, pontoon boating, and canoeing. Help conduct and document pre and post inventories of all waterfront equipment. Assist with on-going equipment checks to insure optimal safety of staff and participants and report any equipment repairs or needs to the Waterfront Director. Follow all policies and procedures regarding the use of elements and equipment as developed by Bradford Woods.

All counselors must be 18 years of age by the first day of camp.

Essential Functions

  • Physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities to pass lifeguard certification class as mentioned in section entitled: "Knowledge and Skills Required."
  • Ability and desire to work with individuals with disabilities in an outdoor setting where "campers come first."
  • Ability and desire to work with persons of all ages, ability levels, and backgrounds in a dynamic outdoor environment which values growth and change of self and others.
  • Ability and desire to perform, and teach, all aspects of personal care. This includes, but is not limited to, transferring, showering, dressing, feeding, and other activities of daily living.
  • Previous experience, knowledge, and/or interest in leading programs for a variety of populations.
  • Ability and desire to assume leadership and provide direct guidance and supervision to program participants and volunteers.
  • Willingness to learn, understand, and model the mission, vision, and values of Bradford Woods.
  • Excellent communication, time management, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to interact with and work as a team player with other staff, participants, volunteers, and participant’s families/care-givers.
  • Ability to serve as a positive role model to program participants.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment, which can be both physically and emotionally demanding.
  • Ability to learn and grow in the position by receiving and accepting constructive feedback from supervisors and parents.
  • Ability to complete accurate documentation forms on participants as required on a regular basis.
  • Ability to assume responsibility for the order, cleanliness, and safety of cabins, program areas, and Bradford Woods grounds.
  • Ability to perform additional duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills Required

  • College experience in the Human Service and/or Recreation field preferred but not required.
  • Must have at least one of the following qualifications: American Red Cross Lifeguard Training or Advanced Lifesaving, YMCA Lifeguard, Lifeguard BSA, or equivalent. Must include Waterfront Module training (conducted as part of training).
  • Current CPR and First Aid certification.
  • Willingness to learn.
  • Flexibility.
  • Patience.

Cognitive Requirements

  • Ability to assess needs of participants and staff.
  • Ability to solve problems in a fast paced, dynamic setting.
  • Ability to make judgment decisions in a setting where variables can change quickly, and often without notice (such as weather conditions).
  • Ability to easily, effectively, and proficiently communicate needs, feedback, and questions.
  • Ability to demonstrate responsibility, maturity, and self accountability (i.e. professionalism).
  • Ability to fill out detailed camper documentation.
  • Ability to follow directions.

Physical Requirements

  • This is a physically active position requiring mobility.
  • Lifting and pushing as needed (i.e. transfers, equipment).
  • Stamina to endure long hours in a position that is both physically and emotionally demanding. Again, nights will be part of the duties and responsibilities due to our residential capacity.
  • Ability to make judgment decisions in a setting where variables can change quickly, and often without notice (such as weather conditions).
  • Ability to easily, effectively, and proficiently communicate needs, feedback, and questions throughout the program.
  • Because all positions involve assisting with personal care, fluency and proficiency of the English language is essential – both written as well as oral.
  • Ability to provide a safe, fun environment for all.


  • Attend mandatory training sessions prior to, and/or during camp including lifeguard training and All Staff Training.
  • Acquire CPR and First Aid certification before at camp.

Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status. Indiana University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities, including employment and admission, as required by Title IX. Questions or complaints regarding Title IX may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights or the university Title IX Coordinator. See Indiana University’s Notice of Non-Discrimination Policy, which includes contact information.