Junior Counselor

Overnight Camp Junior Counselor Program

Junior Counselors (JCs) are an integral part of the success of our overnight camp programs. The JC program is designed to give our more experienced students hands on leadership experience in mentoring younger campers. Junior Counselors will get a behind the scenes perspective on what it takes to run a summer camp, will support the activities being taught, and will have the opportunity to advance their own awareness and bushcraft skills.

How it Works


JCs will receive training in leadership and Coyote Mentoring skills directly from Whole Earth Nature School staff. The training will help JCs to understand what it means to be a leader and mentor. We will practice conflict resolution and ways that JCs can contribute to a positive camp experience for all campers. Throughout camp the JC team will have regular mentoring meetings with the Assistant Camp Director in order to support their immediately growth as mentors themselves.


Being a JC is different than being a camper. JCs have specific responsibilities to support the camp running smoothly. You will be in a position of leadership for younger campers, thus this position will require a willingness and desire to be demonstrate responsibility in all interactions. This invaluable leadership experience can only be gained through practical application of mentoring skills. The leadership skills you cultivate as a JC with Whole Earth Nature School will serve you in work, school, and social relationships for the rest of your life!

CoMFORTABLE & Awe-inspiring Location

Big Bear Camp

Big Bear Camp is one of our favorite places in Oregon. This 40 acre property sits in the heart of the Coast Range. Miller Creek passes through the property and during the winter serves as spawning ground for native Coho Salmon. The surrounding area is entirely forested and provides an enormous buffer of natural area on all sides of the property. Big Bear camp features a beautiful, custom built, lodge with an indoor and outdoor kitchen. There are also several yurts on the property that are used to house kids during camp. You can learn more about Big Bear Camp by visiting their website.

Don’t rely on Apple Maps or Google Maps totally as they have steered people incorrectly to Big Bear in the past. Please read these directions below and you won’t get lost.

Head West on W 11th Ave/Hwy 126 toward Walton, OR. Approximately 24 miles past Bailey Hill Rd turn right on Nelson Mountain Rd in the town of Walton. After 4.4 miles take a left onto Rd 17-7-19, there will be a sign there for Big Bear Camp (and usually another sign saying Whole Earth Nature School). Follow the road about a mile to the camp at the end of the road.

Program Details


Big Bear Village Session I (Youngers): Saturday, June 22th through Friday, June 28th. JCs must be ages 14-18.
Big Bear Village Session II (Olders): Saturday, July 6th through Friday July 12th. JCs must be ages 14-18.
Camp Artemis (Girls Only*): Saturday, June 29 through Friday, July 5th. JCs must be ages 14-18.

Tuition for Junior Counselor programs covers one week of lodging at Big Bear Camp, meals for the week, leadership training and experience, and personalized mentoring from Whole Earth Nature School staff. The cost for the week is $300

How To Apply

All students who wish to participate in the Big Bear/Camp Artemis Junior Counselor (JC) program must submit the following application. Please make your answers as complete as possible. Providing more information will help us to make a determination whether the JC program is a good fit for you. The deadline for applications is March 15th. If you are accepted into the program we will contact you after the deadline with instructions to enroll. Spaces are limited and not all qualified applicants will be accepted.

*Gender at Camp

Whole Earth Nature School is committed to providing gender-specific camps to help students learn about their gender in a mentored space, and our gender camps serve students based on their gender regardless of their assigned sex at birth, and those who are exploring their gender identity or expression. We encourage families to choose the camp appropriate to their child based on the child’s gender identity or gender expression. This position maintains our commitment to gender equality and justice and responds to modern advances in our understanding of gender identity and expression by welcoming cisgender, transgender, and non-binary kids into an environment welcoming to all.

Whole Earth Nature School staff respect a young person’s wishes to be called by a certain name and/or gender pronoun. That is why we invite all students to share their own name and preferred pronoun on the first day of the program. We recognize that youth who identify as LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) or who are exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity need to know that Whole Earth Nature School is a safe space where they can be themselves and not worry about experiencing hurtful treatment from others.