Counsellor Contract

This might seem like a mundane artifact to some but since many of us actually signed one of these during our tenure at Saginaw it seemed like a nostalgic period piece to me (note that they were using the Old English spelling of the word counselor at the time).

This one dates back to 1973 when the going wage rate for a first year counselor was $225 for the eight week stint at Saginaw.  Now this did not include the genrous cash tips we got from parents on visiting day, which I am sure we all dutifully reported on our tax returns in the day.

But our benefits did include free room and board, full access to the visiting day camper food trunk, all the fresh air and outdoor activity we could stand, and an unlimited supply of salt pills on the really hot and humid dog days “in the garden spot of Pennsylvania”.

The devil was in the details.  Clause #4 says “we will be responsible for escorting one of the regular camp parties to and from camp at the beginning and end of the season”.  We all remember those frenetic train/bus rides with wildly anticipating or wildly depressed campers.

Clause #6 mentions that “the camp may dismiss the said Counsellor should the Counsellor’s physical condition, service, conduct, or influence be deemed unsatisfactory or inimical to the best interests of the camp…”.  Hmmmmmm….that never happened at Saginaw did it?

My personal favorite is Clause #18 which is where they got to deduct a total of $13.50 from our wages to cover accident and health insurance, waiter tips, and staff shirts.  This was a net-net contract for sure.

Bottom line is we were working stiffs in our twenties having the time of our lives with few cares of the world weighing us down.  Where do I sign again!

(Click to see the original of the Official Counsellor Employment Contract)


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