Jobs: Bruin Woods: FAQ
What is Bruin Woods?
Bruin Woods is the UCLA Alumni Association family resort. Alumni families stay for a week in comfortable, European-style cottages and guest units. Recreational facilities include sprawling lawns on Lake Arrowhead’s north shore; a swimming pool; tennis, sand volleyball, basketball and shuffleboard courts; an amphitheater, an archery range, a softball field, a ski boat, two pontoons, a fitness trail, Frontier Village, a huge tree house and a Jacuzzi. We have campfire programs, hiking, outdoor cookouts, field games, camp counselor shows, nature walks and overnight camp-outs.
What will I do there? What will you expect of me?
Most of each day is spent performing in your basic area of responsibility (Frontier Village, waterfront, arts & crafts, Bear & Grill or with children’s groups). Additional duties may include participating in program activities (leading a nature hike, performing in the music and dance review, camping out on parent or child overnights, leading Casino Night or calling Bingo).
Most important, we provide meaningful vacations for UCLA families and have fun while we’re at it. We hire individuals who are responsible, self-confident, willing to work as part of a team, and consider working at a summer family camp a worthwhile opportunity. To breathe life into Bruin Woods each summer, we fill the camp with warm, energetic staff who truly enjoy meeting lots of new people (both children and adults) and are quick to laugh
What qualities do you look for in Bruin Woods staff members?
We look for related work experience, a strong sense of responsibility, genuine interest in young people, performing arts talent, personality, enthusiasm and the ability to get along with others. Bruin Woods counselors love kids, possess personal lifestyles that makes it easy for them to be good role models, and enjoy experiencing a wholesome family environment. We also seek truly interesting and accomplished people who have diverse and unique backgrounds. A Bruin Woods staff member is also expected to be “on stage” 24/7.
How will I know what job to apply for?
A description of Bruin Woods staff positions and job qualifications can be found here. Special training, such as American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification, are especially valuable.
What odds do I have of being selected?
This year we expect to receive about 250 applications. Around 25-30 former staff members will return, leaving room for approximately 25 new staff hires. Don’t let the odds scare you away, however. We usually can find a place for a qualified person with a desire to be a great role model
What is the pay?
The staff is paid up to $3,500, plus room and board. Students returning for a second summer receive more than first-year students and students in leadership positions earn more as well. Additionally, staff members who want to spend time each week babysitting or teaching private tennis or swimming lessons may be able to earn $500-$600 extra. Although it is not required, guests often will leave a tip at the end of their stay (typically $500-$750). The tips are pooled and distributed among the staff at the end of the summer. You should be able to save quite a bit since housing and food are provided. If you honor your commitment to stay the entire summer, you’ll receive a $500 bonus, provided your job performance has been satisfactory and you have lived up to the terms of your contract.
Where exactly will I live?
All staff members live in the Cedar Lodge, a two-story guesthouse with a lounge on the first floor where you can hang out. You’ll share a room and private bath with one or more staff member. Bruin Woods will furnish clean bed linen and towels each week.
How’s the food?
Bruin Woods has great food! The meals are served buffet-style and family-style so you always have plenty to eat. A wide variety of healthy food serves the needs of all the staff – those who wish to eat light and those with big appetites. Best of all, there’ll be no grocery shopping, cooking or dishes for a whole summer.
Do I eat with the guests?
Yes! This is a requirement. We want you to get to know our guests and for them to know you. If you are not comfortable with the idea of eating with different families and making new friends, you probably won’t enjoy Bruin Woods.
How long is this Bruin Woods summer job, and will I have any free time?
You’ll be asked to agree to work for 12 weeks. The summer begins with a week of training and ends with a week to clean up. In between there are 10 weeks of family camp. You’ll work about 45-55 hours per week and have one day off in the middle of each week. On your day off you are free to do whatever you choose but, typically, staff members go on “road trips” to destinations of their choice. As a staff member, you will have full use of our recreational facilities during your free time and enjoy access to the many camp-wide events we offer.
What about staff training?
During the pre-camp staff training week, which starts in the late afternoon of June 16, we’ll teach you how to do your job and rehearse the opening and closing staff shows. We’ll also explain the rules and procedures and work out schedules. But most important, we’ll get acquainted, and begin to enjoy each other and work as a team.
Is everyone on staff in the staff shows?
Yes! The whole staff puts on our opening and closing shows, written by a member of the student staff. Everyone is required to be there. The shows are on Saturday and Friday nights and are the highlights of each week. All staff members have parts – singing, dancing, acting, making costumes and props, leading campfire songs or operating the sound equipment, lights and curtains. We also perform a student Music and Dance Revue, which is basically our staff talent show. Many staff members have discovered a remarkable talent on the Bruin Woods stage. Many love being on stage, and we provide plenty of opportunity.
Can my family come to see me?
It is our tradition to invite the families of all staff members to come for the first Friday night. We provide room and meals and give you a chance to show your folks what you’ll be doing for the summer. If they come later in the summer, they need to provide for their own housing at a nearby bed and breakfast or hotel, since guest families occupy our rooms then. You will be expected to register them as your guests and pay for their meals.
Can my friends visit me at Bruin Woods?
Yes, one or two can visit you at a time during your time off, as long as you follow some important rules. The number and duration of guest visits are limited. You are required to register and pay for each visitor per day, and your roommate must agree. It is also important that your visitors don’t distract you from your duties or disrupt the overall Bruin Woods program.
Can you give me an idea of the general behavior you expect from staff?
We expect you to conduct yourself appropriately for a family camp setting – to be happy and friendly to everyone, to participate enthusiastically in the camp program, to be diligent and responsible for your duties, to serve the needs of every guest and to go out of your way to do so. We expect you to set a good example and be mindful that you are a role model, one constantly being observed by younger people who look up to you and wish to emulate you.
Bruin Woods is a place where families gather to have a wonderful time together in a wholesome environment. Concern about ethics, character, mutual respect, self-control, healthy personal habits and “just growing up right” have an important and rightful place here. We hire staff members who will contribute positively in all of these areas.
Working at Bruin Woods requires a special kind of commitment. It is a total experience with high quality guest-to-staff interaction – a sharing of time and an investment in one another. Bruin Woods is neither a place to party all summer, nor just a job where you put in your hours and then disappear from the scene, nor a place where you can do pretty much whatever you want. Getting to know your fellow staff is an important byproduct, but it is not the primary focus here. To most applicants, all of this will seem natural and expected. If it doesn’t feel that way to you, you should probably not apply.
Who comes to Bruin Woods?
Bruin Woods began in 1985 as a special vacation place for UCLA alumni. We accommodate 800 families each year during a 10-week summer period. While here, you’ll meet alumni who are professionally successful, have fond memories of their college days and want to keep in touch with UCLA and their old friends.
Give me a nutshell version of the benefits of working at Bruin Woods.
- Working with children.
- Experience a great networking opportunity.
- Getting away from L.A. and spend a summer in the mountains.
- Meet and get acquainted with UCLA families, already successful in their careers.
- Enjoy an opportunity to showcase your talents during staff shows, concerts, dance review and campfires.
- Save money for school.
- Obtain leadership experience.
- Forget cooking, grocery shopping, paying rent, etc.
- Get a great tan.
- Better understand your strengths, talents and abilities.
- Water-ski, hike, and enjoy sports, barbecues, fishing and swimming.
- Make lifelong friends.