House In The Wood's programs and their lasting impact are made possible by your generous support. Your donations pay for life changing experiences in the outdoors for children who need them most.
If you prefer to give by check, please make it payable to Northwestern Settlement with House In The Wood in the memo, and mail it to the address below:
Attn: Katie Taylor
1400 West Augusta Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60642
For those who would like to support House In The Wood with an in-kind donation, we have put together a list of some of the items we need most. Large or small, your contribution is greatly appreciated and helps make possible the great experiences offered in our programs. Thank you!
- Small Outboard Motor or Small Motor Boat (for rescuing sailboats across the lake)
- Utility Vehicles (John Deere Gators) — We are a four season facility so we need a four season work vehicle.
- New Swimming Dock Boards (Our current dock is over 30 years old.)
- Vest Life Jackets - Large and X-Large
- Canoe Paddles
- Row Boat Oars (8ft)
Rummage Sale Treasures
- Sports Equipment
- Children’s Books
- Children’s Magazines
- Art/Crafts Supplies
- Cooking/Baking Basics-measuring, pans, pots
- Yoga Mats
- Exercise Mats
House In The Wood is part of Northwestern Settlement, a 501(c)(3) legal, designated charity that serves needy children and families of Chicago’s west side. 100% of your donation is tax-deductible.
Join the Team; Summer Jobs at House In The Wood
House In The Wood welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and walks of life to join our summer camp staff. Working at House In The Wood is a very rewarding experience, and many of our counselors and support staff return for summer camp year after year. We strive to have the best staff possible, and creating positive outcomes for campers and staff alike is a top priority. To meet this goal, we try to ensure that the people we hire are not only capable of doing the work, but are also eager to have the experience. You can help us determine this by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you care deeply about creating positive experiences for children who need them? Why?
- Have you worked in a position in which you were responsible for groups of children for extended periods of time? How did that go?
- Can you commit a whole summer to this job and these children?
- How do you do with sharing a small living space? Do you require a lot of time to get yourself ready for the day?
- What are the things you need in your life to be happy and to relax on your free time? Are they things that you can bring into a place for children?
- Are you accustomed to working long hours? Do you work well in a group?
- How do you feel about being in a leadership role? Can you get up and talk in front of a group of children? Can you lead them in a song or a game?
- Are you hoping to get rich this summer or are you more intersted in having and creating a great experience for yourself and others?
- Are you a US citizen or eligible to work in the US? If not, click here.
Maybe you don't know the answers to all of these questions - that's okay! But this should give you some idea of what is expected of our staff members. If you think you're up for it, have a look at the positions available, and begin your application. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
Steps to Apply
- Read the information on this page.
- Decide which position(s) you're interested in.
- Complete an online application.
- Contact us to follow up on your application. (Applicants may not be contacted until hiring period of designated season.)
What Camp is About
House In the Wood is an overnight camp for Chicago children ages 7-17. Co-ed groups of about 70 children come for one or two weeks at a time. They are divided by age and gender into cabin groups of about ten. Campers sleep in their cabins and have full days of outdoor activities with special events throughout each session. Counselors lead these activities while role modeling community, responsibility and leadership.
Who Our campers Are
House In The Wood hosts a unique population of campers every summer. There is a great diversity of personalities represented, but taken as a whole our campers are:
- low income, some living in extreme poverty
- mostly minority - majority are black and/or Hispanic
- coming from poor and often dangerous neighborhoods
- in need of positive opportunities like camp
Who Works at House In The Wood?
All kinds of people! Our counselors staff is often made up of college students or recent graduates. They usually come from all around the country. Our support staff are typically from the local area. We also usually have a handful of international staff from around the world.
Program staff earn a weekly salary that starts at around $200/week and varies by position and experience. Support staff are paid an hourly wage that also varies by position and experience. Housing is included for staff living onsite. Meals are included for all staff.
Not Looking for a Job? Volunteer!
If you aren't able to work in one of these positions for a full session or would like to try it out for a day before applying, please check out our exciting volunteer opportunities.
Counselors are the people who get to spend most of their summer in the company of children. Counselors live in the cabins with campers. (Each cabin has at least two counselors and around ten campers living in it.) All counselors are responsible for supervising their cabin group during various periods throughout the day. Most counselors also have a specific activity that they lead in the morning or afternoon. You can see what activities we offer here. If you have an interest, talent or hobby that we don't offer as an activity, we encourage you to make an activity out of it. In addition, we sometimes will have "floating" counselors who are available to fill in wherever they're needed.
Cook - Prepare meals for groups of 40-100 with the assistance of two or more kitchen aids. Follow strict guidelines for health and safety in kitchen and dining areas. Lead cleanup after meals. Meals included. .
Kitchen aid - Assist in preparation of meals. Set up tables for meals and assist in cleanup after meals. Meals included.
Health assistant - Help in providing basic care for campers. Supervise children in the health center and escort them to/from their groups as needed. Follow strict protocols to ensure health and safety as well as appropriate record keeping. Work during the day or overnight. Meals included. Residency is required for overnight shifts.
Office Intern - Assist with routine office work such as organizing and sending mailings, taking and uploading photos, answering phonecalls, etc. Meals are included. Residency is optional.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept direct applications submitted by international candidates because of the intricacies of the USA visa system. However, we do love to have staff members from around the world and you can contact one of the following organizations to get started on the process of working at an American summer camp.
There are always projects that need doing at House In The Wood. Our small full-time staff do amazing work putting on all of our youth and adult programs, but the help of our wonderful volunteers makes our campus really shine. If you have a talent you'd like to share (or just a desire to help), there are many ways to get involved at House In The Wood.
What Volunteers Do
Here are just some of the ways our volunteers lend a hand.
Teaching trail lessons
Caring for live animals
Building a split rail fence
Building aquatic study areas
Adding to the marsh boardwalk
Chipping brush piles
Putting in rain gardens Maintaining five gardens
Building a natural fence for gardens
Clearing invasive plant species
Cutting back growth on the road
Dog show for campers
Clearing the trails
Building a raised garden bed
Tuning the pianos
Repairing the staff bicycles
Making curtains for cabins
Building the Bird's Nest
Cutting up fallen trees
Decorating for holidays