Staff

Your Summer Home

Summer camp is a place to grow, learn, and discover. Being a Camp Modin staff member is a tradition of caring, educating, guiding, and nurturing children that dates back over a century.

Welcome Staff

Your summer home – your family

Modin is truly a magnificent place to spend the summer. You will live in the pristine wilderness of Maine’s Belgrade Lakes region. You will have the opportunity to try all sorts of exciting and adventurous things. More importantly, you will meet people from around the world. You will make some of the best friends of your life — people you will think of as “family.”

You will grow as a person and make a tremendous impact on the lives of children from around the world—helping to provide them with a safe, fun and nurturing environment. In short, you will have the most profound and exciting experience of your life. We look forward to welcoming you in to the Modin family and providing you with the experience of a lifetime.

Counselor and specialty positions are residential, meaning you are required to live on site at camp for the entire season.

Positions include kitchen work, housekeeping, grounds keeping and maintenance. They are available only to local Maine residents. Housing on camp is not provided.

“This was the best summer of my life. The experiences were awesome, the kids were awesome, the co-counselors were awesome, and it was 8 weeks of the happiest times and most fun I’ve ever had. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It was brilliant.”

– Matt, Manchester, UK

Why Staff Choose Modin

Being part of the Modin community

Modin is more than beautiful facilities and exciting programs. Modin is a community, and its people make the experience truly rewarding. When you work at Modin, you are more than just a staff member. You are a part of the Modin Team, a dedicated group of people from around the world whose main objective is to have fun, meet new people and make a difference in the lives of children. You will undergo an extensive training program prior to the start of the summer to hone your skills, learn about the campers, develop strong bonds with your peers, and to help you feel welcome in our community.

At Modin, we are not just your employers, we are your friends and family. The lines of communication are always open and there are so many people available to assist and support you throughout the summer. Not only do we want you to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of children, but we want you to have fun! At camp, you will go waterskiing and climb mountains. You will go to the beach and watch movies under the stars. You will sing songs around a roaring campfire and you will eat tons of ice cream and pizza! In short, you will have an opportunity to do everything your campers do and more.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly asked questions by prospective staff

Where is Modin located?
Camp Modin is located on the shores of Salmon Lake, in the pristine wilderness of central Maine’s Belgrade Lakes region, about one hour from Portland, Maine’s largest city, and twenty minutes from Augusta, the state capitol. Modin is approximately three hours north of Boston and six hours north of New York City.
How do I get to Camp Modin?
 

Air Service

Staff can fly into either Portland International Jetport (75 minutes away) or Boston’s Logan Airport (3 hours away). Both are serviced by major airlines. Modin provides pickup service from the Portland Jetport.  Concord Coach Lines provides bus service directly from Boston’s Logan Airport to their bus terminal in Augusta, Maine, where we will pick you up for the 20 minute drive to camp.

Bus

Greyhound Bus Lines offers service from New York City to Boston and Concord Couch Lines provides services from Boston to their bus terminal in Augusta, Maine, where we will pick you up for the 20 minute drive to camp.

Driving

Many staff members choose to drive their own vehicles to camp for use on days off. There is no public transportation in the area, nor does Camp Modin provide vehicles for days off. If you have the opportunity to bring a car, it is a good idea. All vehicles must be in good working order and have a valid registration and proof of insurance. Car rental companies are available in town, but generally limit rentals to staff aged 21 and above.

Who Are The Directors?
Howard Salzberg and his wife Lisa Salzberg are the full-time owners and executive directors of Camp Modin. Ultimately, all responsibilities relating to Camp Modin fall to them. Howard first began his camping “career” at age nine when he first came to Modin and joined the “Beavers bunk.” He was a camper for seven years. After that he joined the Modin staff as a counselor, and then Head Counselor. Working closely with the owners on a full-time basis, Howard was promoted to the position of Assistant Director. In 1991, Howard became the full time Director of Camp Modin and eventually purchased the camp in November of 1992. Howard’s combined camping experience, both as a camper and staff member add up to over thirty years. His family was part of the first Modin enrollment class dating back to 1922.

Lisa joined Modin in 1991, where she first met, and later married Howard. She began her Modin “career” first as a Counselor, then as a Head Counselor, Assistant Director and finally, Director. Her background is in elementary education and she has taught first, fourth and fifth graders. Lisa and Howard are the proud parents of a son named Jack, now enjoying his own Modin experience.

Samara Lender is the full-time co-director of Camp Modin. She began her Modin career as a camper in 1999. Samara’s journey at Modin included two years as a counselor followed by three years as the girls’ head counselor. Upon graduating from university Samara was promoted to assistant director, and eventually to her current position of director. Samara is a native of Rockland County, New York and comes from a large family of Modinites, including four of her siblings.

Together, they are responsible for all administrative functions, staff development and the well being of the entire community. They know each and every camper personally and spend the bulk of their time with the kids – at meals, on the waterfront, at campfires, everywhere. They like to operate “out in the field” and not behind closed doors. Their mission is to provide children with a healthy, safe and memorable summer experience.

Where Do The Campers Come From?
Our campers come from all over the world and our numbers are equally divided between girls and boys, ages 7-16. Over the years we have welcomed campers from over half the States in America, as well as Israel, Canada, Mexico, South America, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. The bulk of our American campers come from the Eastern United States, including the greater New York City area, Boston, Miami, and Washington D.C. communities. We are proud to say that more than ninety percent of our children return each year.
Where Do The Staff Come From?
There are numerous counselors, specialists and administrative staff at Camp Modin. Many are former campers who have advanced through the ranks and whom we have selected to join us. Quite a few staff members are referred to us by current and former counselors. General counselors at Modin come predominantly from Jewish backgrounds in the United States, the UK and Israel. Specialists and support staff come from all over the world, including the USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. More than half of our staff return each year.
How Long Is The Camp Season?
Campers attend Modin for either 3.5 or 7 weeks, though approximately two-thirds attend for the full season. Modin is considered a traditional full-season camp in that our program differs each week and does not repeat itself in the second half of the summer.
What Do You Mean By "Jewish Camp?"
Camp Modin was founded in 1922 by a group of prominent Jewish educators as “The camp with a Jewish Ideal.” Their goal in founding Modin was to establish a community where children from around the world could come together in a breathtaking natural setting, help them pursue their individual and collective Jewish identities, and forge lifelong friendships. Today Modin is the oldest continuously operating Jewish camp in the United States. Modin takes its name from the biblical town of Modi’in, where the story of Chanukah took place.
Do I Have To Be Jewish To Work At Modin
Absolutely not! Many of our staff, including a vast majority of our international and specialty staff, are not Jewish. While it is important for our campers to have Jewish role models, it is equally important that we find the most qualified, professional and caring individuals and teachers to nurture and guide our young people. Over the years, we have recruited hundreds of amazing individuals from such places as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. These individuals bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to our program and their religious background is completely irrelevant to their success as a Modin counselor. At Modin, we work hard to ensure that every member of our community feels comfortable. Many current and former Modin staff members are available to speak with you and will be happy to allay any questions or concerns you may have.
What Is Staff Orientation Like?
Pre-Camp Staff Training begins approximately one week prior to the campers’ arrival (except for Waterfront and Pioneering staff, who arrive approximately five days earlier for specialized training). Pre-Camp begins with dinner and informal introductions. The ice breaks really quickly. Within forty-eight hours of everyone’s arrival in Camp, what was a diverse group of people is now a cohesive, functioning collective of Modin counselors. Indeed, the night before the children arrive, the feeling of “I cannot believe I have known these people for only a week” comes right along with it. What results is that, when our campers arrive they are greeted by a Camp Staff that is primed, unified and giving off an excitement that makes the campers feel that we have been eagerly waiting for their arrival.
What Is The Difference Between A General Counselors And A Specialist?
Bunk Counselors living in cabins with campers include both general counselors and specialists. Each bunk has 1-2 general counselors and 2-3 specialists. General counselors tend to be former campers or individuals with comparable camping experience at camps like Modin.  Specialists are individuals who have been hired because of a particular skill they can teach.

Within the cabin their roles of general counselors and specialists are identical, and they share equal responsibilities.  The main difference in their roles pertains to their activity assignments during the day.  In the morning, the specialists go off and teach at their assigned activities. The general counselors travel with the entire bunk of campers to each activity, assisting the specialists as needed. In the afternoon, campers travel individually to their elective activities, which they sign up for daily. Specialists teach their assigned activities and general counselors are assigned to assist the instructors.

Many times, we rotate specialists so they have the opportunity to travel to activities with their own bunk. Additionally, specialists participate in all special activities, such as overnight camping trips, amusement park trips, birthday parties, evening activities, and so much more.

What Age Children Will I Be Working With?
We do not pre-assign staff to certain cabins or age groups prior to their arrival. The only exception to this rule is for returning staff who often return to work with their same group of children, though not necessarily. The first few days of pre-camp orientation affords us the opportunity to meet you and determine which group of children you will work best with. In addition, it gives you a chance to meet your fellow colleagues to determine if there is anyone you don’t connect with. We take all of these factors into consideration in making our final placements. Rarely do we make mistakes. Sometimes staff members who believe they will only work best with younger children are surprised by how well they do with teen campers. Other times, individuals who want to work with older children find an assignment in the younger cabins to be an amazing experience. Keep in mind that we have limited spaces in our older groups, many of which are filled by returning staff. In addition, specialty staff have less flexibility in selections as certain bunks have specialty slots and others do not. Relax. Everyone ends up forming a strong connection with his or her campers, regardless of age.
What Is A Cabin Like?
All of our cabins are spacious and modern, many having been built or restored in the past few years. All cabins have electricity and in-cabin bathroom facilities. Cabins are furnished with solid, wooden bunk beds with mattresses fitting twin-size sheets, as well as ample storage space for your personal effects.

On average, each bunk is made up of 4 counselors and 12 campers who are generally grouped by grade. All staff except administrative, medical, and support staff live in the cabins with the children.

Do Staff Have Time Off?

While we’re all here to spend quality time with the campers, we recognize that everyone needs time off to rest and recuperate. During the seven weeks that the campers are in attendance, all staff members receive 4-5 days off (depending on your start date) that are about 24 hours in length.

Staff are also provided with a number of evenings off, generally beginning at the end of evening activities and running until curfew. If not on-duty, staff are free to go off camp, work out in our fitness center, enjoy our game room, grab a bite to eat in our camp canteen, or catch a movie in our magnificent lodge.

What Is The Salary?
The salaries at Modin are very competitive. American salaries vary depending on age and experience.  International staff are required to apply for work visas and sponsorship through Camp America, who are responsible for setting first-time applicant salaries.

Staff members have no expenses during the summer except, perhaps, for items purchased on days off. The benefit of working at camp is that most staff members depart at the end of the summer with their entire paycheck, having spent very little. Modin provides staff shirts free of charge. In addition to salary, Modin provides free room and board, as well as linen and laundry service.

How Is The Camp Organized?
At Modin, we organize our camper body into the following units:

UNIT AGES  GRADES FINISHED
Lower 7-10 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Middle 10-12 5th & 6th
Junior 12-14 7th & 8th
Senior 14-16 9th & 10th

TYPICAL DAY

7:30 am       Wake Up
7:45 am       Line Up
8:00 am       Breakfast (three shifts)
8:30 am       Clean Up
9:25 am       1st Period – Bunk Activities
10:25 am     2nd Period – Bunk Activities
11:25 am     3rd Period – Bunk Activities
12:30 pm     Lunch (three shifts)
1:00 pm       Rest Hour/Free Time
2:00 pm       1st Period – Electives
3:00 pm       2nd Period – Electives
4:00 pm       3rd Period – Electives
4:50 pm       General Swim/Free Time
5:30 pm       Dinner (three shifts)
7:00 pm       Evening Activities
8:30 pm       Curfew Begins (varies by age)

What Is The Food Like?
The kitchen at Modin offers carefully prepared menus with a variety of selections. From our fresh salad bar to hearty soups and homemade breads, it’s no wonder that campers and counselors alike rave about the Modin cuisine. With standard fare such as pasta and pizza to a full salad bar, as well as vegetarian & gluten free options, even the pickiest eater finds plenty of items to choose from. Healthy snacks are served each afternoon and again before bedtime. Camp Modin observes the laws of Kashrut.
Is The A Dress Code?
Camp Modin requires that all staff members maintain an appropriate level of personal hygiene and at all times be conscious of their personal appearance. Camp Modin reserves the right to require staff to wear camp uniforms and to enforce any dress or grooming codes as it sees fit. Earrings shall be small and modest and worn only in the ears. All other body piercings are unacceptable. In addition, Camp Modin reserves the right to ask any and all staff members to remove apparel deemed inappropriate. All staff members shall wear their hair in a neat and tidy fashion. All staff members are expected to wear proper attire, including shirts, when teaching activities and/or supervising campers. Camp Modin reserves the right to ask any and all staff members to adjust their hairstyle, facial hair, or dress to conform to such camp standards as it may deem appropriate. We provide all staff with Modin staff shirts free of charge.
How's The Weather, Are There Bugs, How Warm Is The Lake?
Maine summers are warm and inviting, with daytime temperatures peaking at about 85°F/29°C and evening temperatures cooling to a comfortable 65°F/18°C. Maine is usually spared the sometimes oppressive heat and humidity that affects communities south of us in the summer.

While insects such as black flies are a problem for those of us here in Maine’s early springtime, by the time you arrive at camp the black flies have gone for the season. Mosquitoes can be a minor nuisance, but nothing that a little bug-spray can’t cure!

Salmon Lake, on which Modin is located, is the jewel of the beautiful Belgrade Lakes chain in Central Maine, some 70 miles north of Portland, Maine. More than two miles long, Salmon Lake offers a crystal clear, sand bottom, spring fed lake, with water temperatures averaging about 75°-80°F/24°-26°C. -80°F/24°-26°C.

Is Being A Counselor For Me?
Ask yourself one simple question: “Do I love children and want to make a difference in their lives?” Camp is a hard job. We are responsible for these children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We need to supervise them, nurture them, teach them and guide them. If you come to camp for the right reasons, this will be the most memorable experience of your life. You will develop a life-long bond with your campers and leave a better person. If all of this sounds great, why not apply online right now?
“I have really enjoyed my Modin summer. The facilities, programs, and level of excellence is truly outstanding. However what stands out in my mind is the incredible people and the warm, welcoming environment. I knew I would be part of a camp, but what I did not realize was that I would be joining a family. I will go home with beautiful memories and friends for life. I really believe I have gained so much and that I have grown as a person.”

– Lee, Sydney, Australia

Important Dates

For current Staff

Event Date
Specialty Training Begins
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Pre-Camp Orientation
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Full/First Session Campers Arrive Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Camper Family Visiting Day Sunday, July 24, 2022
First Session Campers Depart Sunday, July 24, 2022
Second Session Campers Arrive Sunday, July 24, 2022
All Campers Depart Sunday, August 14, 2022
Staff Depart Monday, August 15, 2022