The summer staff typically numbers 20-25, with 16-20 bunkhouse counselors. Counselors personally meet campers when they arrive, help them get settled in the bunkhouses, give them a tour of the facilities, and continue to offer encouragement and support throughout the session. With a capacity of 90 campers, Nature Camp achieves a ratio of four or five campers per counselor. In addition to bunkhouse counselors, the staff includes an assistant director, two cooks, a canteen operator, and an EMT/nurse.
Most staff members are college students or recent graduates, most attended Nature Camp as campers, and more than half usually return from one summer to the next. Yet it is also beneficial to bring new individuals in each year who have never experienced Camp before. Their fresh perspectives and new ideas interject innovation into the curriculum and help prevent complacency. Summer staff members are selected based on their passion for teaching, knowledge of natural history and environmental subjects, ability to engage and supervise campers, and integrity, self-discipline, and professionalism. The staff receives intensive training at the beginning of the summer, including certification in First Aid and CPR. Applicants must provide personal references, and new staff members must submit to a criminal background check.
The camp counselors also serve as class instructors. Campers learn from individuals who are younger than their parents and teachers, but who are not quite their peers, and they develop a rapport with them both in and out of class. The infectious enthusiasm the staff brings to teaching and other activities is one of the fundamental keys to the success of Nature Camp. Counselors also organize and supervise campers in recreational activities, which include hikes, informal nature walks, and games such as Frisbee and kickball on the playfield.