Our Summer Day Camp Staff
A counselor is truly the most important person to a camper. And, for parents we understand that it's so important they feel comfortable with and confident in the people they are entrusting their children to during their stay at our summer day camps. That's why we place top priority on recruiting a team of highly qualified, caring, experienced Christian staff. They are passionate about helping children and teens become the best they can be – spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially. Many of them are pursuing degrees in education, youth ministry or psychology, and they come to us with a range of skills that enhance the quality of our electives programming and other special events. We recruit from around the region, the country and even the world! Check out the video to the left to hear directly from past staff about why they love being a counselor at DCS!
Camp is an ideal environment for building relationships in which these dedicated adults can build into the lives of campers with the love of Jesus. They are dedicated to be a lasting influence of positive growth and change for each and every camper that they interact with.
Check out our parent perspectives video to hear what camp parents think about our staff, or contact us and we'll put you in touch with some more parents that are willing to share their experiences with you!
Screening & Training
We require our summer day camp staff and counselor applicants to complete and extensive application and we conduct three reference checks for each applicant. We also conduct a thorough background check and a personal interview to ensure the applicant is both qualified, and a good fit for our particular program and campers.
Counselors must be 18 or older. They will serve in teams of two, or at a minimum with a CIT, depending on the size of the group in accordance with ratio regulations. A CIT (Counselor in Training) is a 15 - 17 year old high school student. Typically, they attended DCS as a camper and because they loved camp they want to give back by working as a CIT. Beginning in 2014, all new CITs will have to apply for and complete our CIT Leadership Academy, a 4 week volunteer program designed to give CITs an introduction and training for the requirements and responsbilities of transitioning from camper to staff member.
Todd Haraldsen has been the Director of Day Camp Sunshine since March 2009. Todd is passionate about helping children and youth understand the love of Jesus and the life-changing message of the gospel through the dynamic experience of camp. He specializes in creating high-energy environments that intentionally integrate fun and learning to promote the spiritual, physical and emotional growth of campers.
Originally from Wheaton, Illinois, he has over 30 years experience serving children and youth through a range of Christian ministry. Todd began with AWANA, a weekly ministry to over 1.5 million children worldwide. After serving at the AWANA headquarters, he moved into the Christian camping field, serving at camps in Wisconsin and Arizona from 1982 – 2000. Todd served as a youth pastor in Wisconsin for five years before accepting the position of house father for at risk teens in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. In 2009, God opened the door for Todd to return to his passion of Christian camping ministry by accepting the position of Director at Day Camp Sunshine.
Jessica Post joined the DCS Team in July 2014 with a strong background in administrative, customer service, and project coordination skills in a variety of industries including medical, pharmaceutical, education, and retail. Her experience in dealing with government regulations, sensitive medical information, financial transactions, and even physical therapy office operations, gives her the diversity needed to handle the myriad of responsibilities within the Registrar role. Parents often speak with Jessica first when they are just getting to know DCS, or when they’re enrolling for a new summer. And, she is typically their first point of contact for most questions throughout the summer. Jessica enjoys this opportunity to serve parents and provide them with the same great experience that the counselors and program staff provide to the campers.
Not only are her professional skills a great asset for DCS, but her personal experience in working with children and youth in church settings speaks to her commitment to be a positive influence for the next generation. Jessica has a passion to see people – young and old alike – understand God’s love for them and all that He has done for them. It amazes her to see the campers grow so much in just a matter of weeks at camp. "Being part of something that builds into the lives of kids, and helps them learn to love the Lord – is amazing to me.” In addition to the campers and families, she has come to love being part of the entire camp staff team. Connecting with counselors who come from around the country and the world, and hearing what God is doing in their lives, has become one of her favorite things about working at DCS.
Chris Hendrickson became the Co-Director of Day Camp Sunshine in June 2015. Chris brings leadership development experience, wilderness savvy, and creativity to the table. His past roles as an executive director at a camp, program manager, and teacher lend well to overseeing the operations and logistics of camp, as well as investing in the lives of campers and staff.
He has a passion for putting smiles on people’s faces – young and old alike. So, if you want to learn anything about making kids laugh by using puppet, he’s your guy. Chris also loves to delve deep into God’s word with anyone who wants to learn more about the transforming love of the gospel. He is wholeheartedly committed to seeing campers and staff understand the importance of spiritual, physical, and emotional growth, while helping foster that through exciting and challenging activities. He is excited to be part of the DCS family and cannot wait to see what God has in store.