Illinois – The Country Experience hiring Camp Ch

Galena, Illinois

Camp Chef

Camp Description

The Country Experience is a week-long sleepaway camp for 7-12 year olds on a working family farm near Galena, Illinois. Our environment has been prepared so campers can be “inside the fences” and participate in hands-on experiences with real-world tools to contribute to the farm, build life skills, and develop their character.  

Job Description

The Country Experience is seeking to hire dynamic camp staff who are passionate about farm life, fresh air, working with youth, self-discovery, and growth. The camp chef will be a full-time resident on the farm and guide small groups of campers through knife skills training, meal preparations, clean up, baking/canning. As chef, you will be an integral part of camp whether it be collecting eggs, playing games, incorporating freshly harvested vegetables into the menu, eating meals family-style, telling campfire stories.  Become a key member on our farm this summer and help kids learn something about themselves, and learn a great deal about yourself along the way. The ideal candidate is a fierce worker and fun to be around, has the ability to improvise, able to pick up cues and jump in to guide or help, can engage with campers and families appropriately, and thrives on overwhelming sense of accomplishment after each day.

Schedule & Timeframe

Season runs May 30th – August 25th. Staff is expected to stay on the farm as a resident for the duration of the summer. Camp is in session Monday-Friday. Some Sunday preparation and Saturday farm work will be needed. The chef will stay in the lower level of the farmhouse with private access, bedroom, and full bathroom. Adjacent to your quarters, there is a separate staff area with wi-fi, tv and storage.  All groceries and meals are provided.  The nearby town of Galena has attractions and shops for all your farm life needs.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Preparing a weekly, balanced, healthy menu and grocery list that utilizes farm produce
  • Maintaining the kitchen for both safety and function
  • Cooks appropriate amount and variety of food for each meal
  • Prepping all produce and meats prior to meal preparation time as needed
  • Preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner alongside campers and other staff
  • Serving meals on time- 8am, 12pm, 6pm
  • Communicating with other staff the needs for each meal-time
  • Teaching knife safety and other related demos to campers in small groups on the first day of camp
  • Guiding the transfer of meal items to and from the gathering barn dining area
  • Facilitating kitchen clean-up with the group- leftovers, compost, dishes/sanitation
  • Guiding kitchen projects in a way that allows for an active and confident camper role
  • Lead or assist with additional food-related projects such as canning and baking
  • Leading by example
  • Work with other staff during non-camp days to prepare group meals
  • Being capable of and interested in stepping in as a camp counselor when needed, engaging in camp when not needed in kitchen
  • Pitching in on non-kitchen related farm projects as needed

Desired Qualifications

Applicant must be in school for culinary arts or have equivalent work experience. Interest in farm to table cooking a must. Experience in farmstead living, baking, canning, organic gardening, Montessori, and character development a plus. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Ideal applicants should be able to think on their feet, enjoy farmlife, work well with children, be able to juggle many hats, have good time management skills, and see the glass as half full.

How to Apply

Please message and include a letter expressing your personal interest, skills, and experience.  We would like to know about your character and why you would not only be an excellent camp chef but also great for camp and with campers.  


Starts at $250 a week plus lodging and meals with an end of season bonus.