April 23: Summer Camp Counselor Training

This image reads "camp counselor training" and includes the image of an older counselor showing an ipad to 2 younger youth, as well as an image of many individuals canoeing a barge across the river.

It is that time of year again! Upham Woods will be offering an in-person camp counselor training. This training is $40 and will include a 2-hour online course plus a day at Upham Woods on April 23, 11 am-7 pm. Paddle to Blackhawk Island, eat pizza, and meet other counselors while learning the necessary skills to be a great counselor.

This training will cover the following required Wisconsin 4H topics:

  • Youth counselor responsibilities and expectations
  • Dealing with challenging situations/preventing behavioral problems
  • Health and safety
  • Expectations for each role (e.g., chaperone, youth counselor)
  • General behavior expectations
  • Youth protection guidelines (as outlined in Extension’s Handbook on the Protection of Vulnerable Populations from Abuse and Harassment) including, but not limited to:
  • Responding to situations of bullying, harassment, abuse, or other prohibited behaviors by a youth or adult

This training does not cover the following topics as they are specific to each individual camp. Upham Woods does cover this during our orientation on the first day of camp, but if you are camping somewhere else, make sure to check with them about these topics.

  • Camp rules
  • Review of risk management and emergency response procedures, including severe weather plan and use of/restrictions on use of hazardous materials.

How to register and complete camp counselor training:

  1. Complete our Qualtrics form to reserve your spot. Camp counselor training is limited to the first 30 registrants. Based on demand we may open up other dates: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8HT6fAkUW9Ry0mO
  2. After you submit the Qualtrics form we will work on getting you a NetID so you can enroll in our online course. The instructions to complete this step are found here: Canvas enrollment process for L3 (external) learners.
  3. Before you attend the in-person training on April 23, you will need to complete the following:
    1. Either pay online through a link that will be emailed to you, or by bringing a check on the day of the event.
    2. Complete the online course, which should take approximately 2 hours.
  4. Attend the in-person training.
  5. Congrats! You are officially a certified counselor.



  1. Hello Everyone! Thank you for your patience. We have released our information for camp counselor training!

  2. Hi Rachael,
    My daughter attended your camp back in the summer of 2019 and was looking forward to going back as a counselor in 2020. I see you are still not doing camp this year but was intrested in the counselor training. How do we go about signing up for this?
    Kristi Storz

  3. Hello Boni. We did use to offer this training to many different types of counselors from our open enrollment camps to counselors from local 4H groups. This year we are focusing on counselors from local 4H groups since we won’t have our own camps. Counselors are usually 14-18-year-olds. if you are 18+ you are eligible to be a naturalist at Upham which is a paid job that includes more responsibilities like lifeguarding and teaching classes.

    Also, Dane County is currently penciled in to come to Upham Woods for camp, and they have a counselor application on their website: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/dane4hyouth/camp/

  4. Thank you for the speedy reply Rachael! I’m confused. Is the 2022 Camp Counselor Training the same that was previously offered to 14-18 year olds who would then help staff Open Camps? Or is the 2022 training different, only for those 18 and over?What will those who attend this year’s training do to get Counselor experience?

    My daughter María is just 17. We live in Dane Co where there is not a 4H Camp. Last year, she waited for another 4H camp to need Counselors, but they never did. Thanks again. – Boni

  5. Hi! So excited Camp Counselor Training (& Camps!) will be happening this summer! Will you be reaching out to former Camp Counselor Trainees when training dates are available? Also, do you know dates of Open Camps when they may be able to schedule to work. (Just trying to plan summer trips, work, etc.) Thank you! 🙂 – Boni Westover, Mom to Counselor Trainee Maria Westover

  6. Hello Sara Thanks for your question and your patience! We are working on a new registration system that is taking longer to implement than expected. We are hoping that registration will open by the end of next week.

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