How Much To Tip Camp Counselors 2024?

Summer camps allow kids to make memories and build confidence trying new activities outdoors. Behind every thrilled camper is a caring camp counselor working hard to make it happen. Counselors guide groups of children, plan activities, teach various skills, and ensure everyone is safe and happy at camp.

It’s a big responsibility! Since counselors have such an important role in giving our kids an amazing camp experience, it’s nice to show appreciation through a tip. But how much should you tip? Tipping camp counselors is completely optional but a great way to say thanks. This 2024 guide outlines tips on appropriate tip amounts, who besides counselors to tip, when to give tips, and why it means a lot to these dedicated camp staff members.

What Should You Tip Camp Counselors?

Deciding how much to tip your child’s camp counselor can be tricky. tipping camp staff is completely optional but a nice way to show your gratitude for a job well done. The amount you tip a camp counselor can vary based on a few factors:

First, consider what kind of camp it is. An overnight camp where counselors spend all day and night caring for kids warrants a bigger tip than a day camp that runs just 6 hours per day. Also consider specialty camps focused on things like sports, arts, or adventure. Those counselors use specific expertise to teach campers new skills which could merit higher tips.

The duration of the camp matters too. For short 3-day camps, $15-$40 is a thoughtful tip. But for longer 7 day or 2 week overnight camps, tips from $50-$150 per camper are common. That better matches the increased guidance over an extended 24 hour camp period.

Of course the quality of care the counselor showed makes a difference. A stellar counselor who went above and beyond to make your child feel comfortable, safe and engaged in new activities deserves richer appreciation.

With overnight camps especially, multiple counselors may share supervision of a bunk or cabin. Make sure to split your tip fairly between counselors based on their level of interaction with your child.

Whichever approach you choose for tipping, recognize that genuine appreciation and commendation are just as valuable as the monetary gesture to camp counselors dedicating their summers to crafting unforgettable memories. Consider these tips for Camp Counselors 2022.

Who Should You Tip at Camp?

Besides camp counselors, tipping some other camp staff is thoughtful:

Camp Director: The camp director oversees the whole camp operation. So while you may not interact with them much, a small tip as gratitude for their leadership is nice.

Specialist Instructors: Many camps have specialist instructors for specific activities like horseriding, sports, arts etc. Usually they only work at camp part-time but still deserve appreciation.

Healthcare Staff Tip: Healthcare staff like camp nurses for attending to your child if they became sick or got injured during camp. Recognize their special care.

How Much Do You Tip For Sleepaway Camp?

How Much Do You Tip For Sleepaway Camp?

Sleepaway camps, where kids stay overnight instead of going home each day, require an extra level of care from counselors. These camp staff supervise children 24/7, taking on a sort of parental role managing their schedules, activities, meals, bedtimes and ensuring their full-time safety and wellbeing.

With so much responsibility, sleepaway camp counselors absolutely deserve appreciation in the form of a nice tip for their hard work and commitment all summer long. But deciding exactly how much to tip can be confusing.

A good benchmark to aim for when tipping sleepaway camp counselors is $50-$150 per camper for a standard 2 week session. For single week sessions, around $25-$100 is common. Of course every camp differs in size, amenities and activities so factor those in when determining your tip. Know that any heartfelt amount shows gratitude.

For specialty camps focused intensely on just one thing like computer coding or jazz band, the tip may trend a little lower since supervision is focused around one activity. But for camps jam-packed with color war, singalongs, canoe trips and adventures galore, tip generously within the standard summer camp range.

Remember to factor in your child’s experience too. Did they thrive trying new things and return brimming with confidence and tales of the best summer ever? Credit an awesome counselor who made that possible!

Do You Give Gifts To Camp Counselors?

Camp counselors make summer magical for kids away from home. While tipping in cash is the norm for showing thanks, you may also wish to give small gifts to camp counselors. Some options to consider are:

Camp T-Shirts: Find out if the camp prints special shirts annually with the camp name and year. Having an official shirt reminds counselors of happy campers they impacted when they return next summer.

Handwritten Cards: Heartfelt handwritten cards mean a lot with specific examples of how counselors cared for your child and made their experience special. These become treasured mementos.

Gift Cards: Small gift cards to coffee shops, restaurants or stores are certainly not expected but make counselors feel additionally appreciated if within your budget. Even $5 is thoughtful.

Camp Photos: Many camps have photographers capturing memories throughout sessions. Order a couple fun printed photos of your child with their group or counselor as keepsakes for them.

S’mores Supplies: Counselors often teach campfire songs and lead nighttime s’mores. Give them graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in thanks for those bonding times.

Favorite Treats: If you happen to notice candy, gum or snack favorites they enjoy, surprise them with some when your child returns from camp.

While by no means mandatory, these $5-$15 gifts reinforce to beloved counselors that they are valued beyond just the tipped amount for profoundly impacting kids’ lives. The consumables also remind them while eating or wearing them year-round.

How Much Do You Tip A Lifeguard?

Lifeguards perform a critical role keeping swimmers safe at pools and beaches. Focusing sharply to spot potential dangers while creating a fun community atmosphere deserves appreciation.

Many summer camps feature water activities like swimming, boating and water skiing under watch of lifeguards. These skilled staff keep hundreds of kids safe at busy camp waterfronts or pools. Beyond just tipping camp counselors, should parents also tip the lifeguards?

Lifeguards have an different role from counselors as specialized safety personnel. But they still ensure kids happily enjoy all aquatic activities. Generally tipping a lifeguard $15-$50 per camper they protect is a great way to say thanks if you feel they went above their duties.

For lifeguards stationed at busy camp swim docks managing high energy kids for hours, tip toward the higher end. For those occasionally overseeing more chilled out paddle-boarding groups, slightly less is fine.Gauge based on their level of interaction and responsibility over your child.

If multiple lifeguards took turns covering water activities, divide the tip reasonably. Simply ask your camper which lifeguard connected with them most or appeared most attentive. Do your best to split evenly.

While not mandatory, tipping lifeguards brings extra appreciation to those ensuring one of summer’s greatest joys – splashing safely in water – happens seamlessly for kids.

Beach Settings Camp Counselors

Beach Settings Camp Counselors

Many summer camps take kids on beach outings for surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking and playing in waves. Beach camp counselors provide all the usual guidance plus additional safety reminders about rip currents, checking in frequently, and keeping campers reapplying sunscreen. Recognize their extra diligence in an unfamiliar ocean environment with a tip of $20-$50 per camper.

Private Pools and Waterparks Camp Counselors

Some camps feature elaborate on-site waterpark facilities with slides and features requiring attendants. Or they may take trips to affiliated waterparks. These counselors continue actively engaging kids while lifeguards handle safety. Tip $15-$40 per camper for making time splashing and sliding enjoyable if attendants interacted meaningfully with your child.

Exceptional Service Camp Counselors

When a camp counselor goes above and beyond their duty – whether learning sign language to include a deaf camper or pushing a homesick child outside their comfort zone – that remarkable effort deserves higher appreciation. While a standard tip is certainly adequate for average service, consider increasing exceptional counselors’ tips by 50% or more. Nothing underscores a lasting impact better than putting a memorable number behind unforgettable service.

General Tips On Tipping From PSP Members

The Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors are nonprofit organizations that offer training and certification for ski and snowboard instructors across the country. Here are some of their general recommendations when it comes to tipping:

Carry Small Bills: Have plenty of $5 and $10 bills on hand to tip. Instructors often rely on cash tips as a key part of their income. Making change for a $20 bill can be tricky on the slopes.

Customize Based on Service: There’s no set percentage for tips. Tailor to your experience. Did your instructor individualize teaching, role model safety, and make progress fun? Show gratitude accordingly!

Prioritize Instructors Over Assistants: If you had a private lesson with one main instructor and an assistant, tip the lead instructor who coordinated most of the teaching at a higher amount.

Tip at the End: Hand tip discreetly to your instructor after your last session outside the earshot of others. This avoids awkwardness and focuses on your personalized progress, not money.

While tipping is appreciated, most instructors simply want to know they made skiing and riding more enjoyable to foster lifelong passion.

Tipping Practices at Day Camps vs Overnight Camps

Tipping Practices at Day Camps vs Overnight Camps

Day camps generally warrant smaller tips than overnight camps since staff are not providing 24/7 supervision. For day camps, tip each counselor $20-$75 per camper they supervised depending on group size and the camp’s duration. For weeklong overnight camps, tip $50-$150 per counselor since they coordinate more involved schedules and activities in addition to daily guidance.

Differences in Tips Between Private Camps vs Community Camps

Private camps may have higher tuition and amenities, but tipping practices can follow similar guidelines. Community camps led by non-profit organizations on tighter budgets depend more on community goodwill. If your child attended a community camp scholarship, consider tipping toward the higher end of the standard ranges as an extra show of appreciation.

How Tips Impact Camp Counselor Wages and Retention?

Camp counselor wages are quite modest, especially given huge responsibilities. While most counselors intrinsically love their roles, tips can supplement limited incomes. Good tip amounts boost morale and make the dedication worthwhile, especially for college students earning money over summer. For camps seeking to retain talented staff, tips make achieving that goal more feasible.

Factors Determining Camp Counselor Tips

Factors Determining Camp Counselor Tips

How much you tip camp counselors can vary depending on certain factors:

Type of Camp

Overnight camps warrant higher tips since counselors are essentially providing 24/7 care. Day camps that run from 9am-4pm deserve decent tips too but not necessarily as much as overnight ones. Also consider specialty camps like sports, adventure or arts camps where counselors instruct in special skills. Their expertise may call for higher gratitude.

Your Child’s Enjoyment

If your child had an amazing camp experience largely thanks to his/her counselor going above and beyond, then express that in your tip amount. A counselor who truly engages with your child deserves richer acknowledgement.

Camp Duration

The longer the camp, the higher you tip since counselors are working more extended hours and days. So for a 2 week+ overnight camp, tipping should be more generous than a 3 day day camp.

Camp Size & Ratio

Consider camp size and ratios too – a counselor handling 20 campers may stretch themselves thinner than one managing just 8. Bigger ratios make providing quality guidance for each child tougher.

Frequntly Asked Questions

What is a good tip for a camp counselor?

A small cash gift of $10-20 is a nice tip for camp counselors.

Do you give camp counselors gifts?

It is common to give camp counselors small gifts like cards, pictures or treats at the end of the session to thank them.

How much do you tip for sleepaway camp?

For sleepaway camp, most parents tip $20-50 per child at the end of the session.

How much do most camp counselors make?

The average pay for camp counselors is around $200-400 per week during the summer season.


Camp counselors work hard all summer taking care of children and ensuring they have a fun and safe experience. As the summer comes to an end, many parents want to show appreciation for the counselors. Tipping is a nice way to do this.

In general, for day camp the standard tip is $10-20 per child. For overnight or sleepaway camp, where counselors are with the children 24/7, most people tip $20-50 per child. This shows gratitude for their dedication.

Counselors generally make a moderate salary for the season, so tips provide an extra thank you. No matter the amount, any tip is appreciated and helps counselors feel valued for their efforts in shaping children’s summers. A small gift or note can also bring a smile to their faces after long weeks of camp. In conclusion, tips ranging from $10-50 per child are standard and customary ways for parents to express gratitude to camp counselors at the end of summer.

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