Welcome to Ghostlight 

Welcome to Ghostlight Theater Camp!

We are thrilled to have you on our staff for the summer of 2023 - our 21st season. And, if you’re new to Ghostlight, we welcome you wholeheartedly into our camp family! We all come to camp to grow, challenge ourselves, and learn from one another while making great theater in Maine. Being a staff member at Ghostlight Theater Camp is far more than a summer job - it’s an unforgettable experience in an incredible, inclusive environment; it’s hard work alongside amazing and talented theater artists who are supportive and community-minded; and it’s a rare opportunity to reach your full potential as you help others reach theirs!

Families have entrusted you with their most precious possession - their child. They are allowing us to be their partners in the development of their child. Realizing that their child is looking up to you, they expect you to not only provide a safe and enjoyable experience but to help them develop the skills necessary to become a caring, competent, and successful adult. You exert tremendous influence on campers through your close contact with them. Your example reflects your values, expectations, background, and experiences. Your actions and example are also a reflection of Ghostlight Theater Camp and its Owners/Camp Directors. With your camp position comes a great deal of responsibility, and we are confident that we hired the right staff for the job. Trust yourself because we have put our greatest trust in you!

Welcome to Ghostlight!

Signature

Lesley Levy & Chris Murrah

Summer Contact Information

Main Office - (207) 358-0641

Lesley Levy - lesley@ghostlighttheatercamp.com

Chris Murrah - chris@ghostlighttheatercamp.com

Spencer Lutvak - spencer@ghostlighttheatercamp.com

Address: 7 Camp Eastwood Cir., Oakland, ME 04963

Your Staff Dashboard

Your Staff Dashboard is your one-stop shop for everything from forms to your contact information. 

To access your Staff Dashboard, visit: http://ghostlight.campmanagement.com/staff

Take a moment before and after each summer to ensure all your information is current, including your mailing address and email, as we will use these to stay in touch with you after camp and will mail your tax paperwork to the address on file in January.

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About Ghostlight

Our History
What began in 2003 as Acting Manitou has grown into an exceptional theater camp that pairs high-caliber theater training with a traditional summer camp experience. Each session, campers collaborate on a complete theater festival from the ground up. Our culminating Festival Day is a mixture of new work, established plays and musicals that are cast, rehearsed, designed, and produced to highlight our campers and the stories of our community. Our classes allow campers the opportunity to gain basic and advanced skills in the theater arts, as well as explore new interests and adventures in the way you can only do at camp. Activities outside of theater spark the creative spirit and invite campers to embrace the beautiful world of nature that Maine provides.
Our Values
Our philosophy focuses on ensemble theater-making along with the values of a traditional camp experience. We know that we are joining families in preparing our campers to be leaders and empathetic, kindhearted citizens of their communities in and outside of camp. We are dedicated to fostering a community of young artists that will support each other year-round and throughout their lives. This mission is realized through our summer programs and by continuing to support and inspire our campers, staff, alumni, and families throughout the year. Our mission each summer is to send campers home more independent, confident, and self-expressive.
Our Program

The Ghostlight summer comprises Staff Training, our Emerging Artists Program for campers ages 9-11, and two Half Summer 3-week sessions for campers ages 9-17. Campers may also attend camp for a Full Summer of six weeks. After camp, there is a short period of Post-Camp and Strike.

Each camper session comprises three main elements: Education, Production, and Activities.

Education is comprised of Core Classes, Electives, and Production Classes.

  • Core classes challenge campers to focus on Acting, Voice, or Dance in a concentrated curriculum that allows for variety and growth over the years a camper is at Ghostlight. Tech campers participate in Tech Core.

  • Electives allow campers to train in these areas in a more relaxed environment. While Core Classes are focused on developing skills, Theater Electives are focused on the opportunity to experience different facets of theater making. General Electives offer traditional camp activities like Arts & Crafts and Nature, along with one-off theater classes.

  • Every camper takes a Production Class at camp. These classes share the foundational skills and elements of scenic, costume, props, and lighting design. Campers may also take Stage Management or Publicity as a production class.

Production at Ghostlight centers around the show festival at the end of each session. Each camper works onstage or backstage to make this collaborative effort a success. We strive to produce a diverse season of shows that reflect our community, tell stories that align with our core values, and allow for ensemble theater-making.

Activities are for those times when simply having fun is the focus of our summer. From pool time to frisbee to reading in a hammock, we encourage our campers to take joy in all they do. On top of that, our evening and daytime activities are designed to keep each camper engaged, inspired, and always growing.

Ghostlight Culture

The Best of Theater, The Best of Camp
Like theater, our camp experience is ephemeral. For eight weeks a summer, we come together to create and grow together with our campers. Though we have standard procedures and policies that we carry forward from summer to summer, each year brings a unique group of staff and campers together. Each year’s culture is different, formed by our communal experience. We do, however, have some reflections to share that we have gathered from our previous years.
A Culture of Respect
Every person at camp (and everyone with whom we interact while attending or working at camp) is to be treated with respect at all times. Behavior such as theft (of camp property or personal property brought to camp), bullying (including cyber-bullying), repeated profanity, disrespect, bigotry, homophobic or transphobic comments, inappropriate use of electronic devices (before or after camp), or any other unsafe conduct detrimentally compromises the safety of our community.
Celebrating Growth
Ghostlight is a community that values our diversity. We hire passionate and committed staff in an effort to model positive behavior for our campers. To that end, it is important to us that we celebrate moments throughout camp where growth and success happen. These moments may be large or small and likewise our ways of celebrating them vary from acknowledgment in staff meetings to a simple shout across the lawn. Know that the Directors see and celebrate the work you do all summer and we want you to join us in acknowledging when you see moments to celebrate!
Encouragement & Growing Edges

In the same way we celebrate our successes, we want to turn a keen eye to ways that we can all improve throughout the summer. We want to approach these moments with openness and understanding while moving towards providing the best summer possible for our campers. Remember, no matter how much fun we are all having, our mission is to provide a space where our campers can flourish!

To that end, growing edges-or places where growth is needed and encouraged-will be addressed in a couple of ways. Where there is a growing edge community-wide, these will be addressed at staff meetings. The goal of these moments is for everyone to look inward to evaluate how they might be able to improve in a certain area, even 1%. It is also an opportunity to talk about ways we can support each other in our community.

Where an individual has a growing edge it will be addressed in the following manner:
  • Verbal communication with a Camp Director.
  • Clarification of the need for change or growth in a certain behavior or area as it pertains to camp life.
  • Meeting with two or more Camp Directors to discuss ways of supporting the staff member in making changes to behavior.
  • Meeting with Camp Directors to discuss continued employment and its merits and possibility.

Some areas that can sometimes slip, but are very important for the betterment of camp include:

  • Returning by curfew.
  • Respecting Ghostlight’s cell phone policies.
  • Being on time to and participating in activities and meals.
  • Keeping conversations appropriate when with and around campers
  • Using proper channels for negative comments or feedback.
Camper and Program Outcomes

Summer camp is a unique opportunity for campers to explore, learn, and grow in an environment that is free from the traditional matrix of school. Experience trumps perfection at Ghostlight and we set the tone for celebrating those experiences in all we do. However, we do hope families see growth in their campers at the end of the summer.

Program Outcomes

At Ghostlight, campers will grow as artists. They will be introduced to types of work and ways of working they have not seen before. They will develop tools as theater makers they can take with them to rehearsals, classes, and other areas of life. Some of these are:

  • Patience
  • Collaboration
  • Listening
  • Asking questions to clarify, challenge, or better understand

Mental and Emotional Health Outcomes

We also understand and accept the immense responsibility of caring for campers’ mental and emotional well-being. We work to minimize negative impact in these areas and send campers home better able to:

  • Confidently interact with peers and adults like teachers and directors
  • Appropriately self-advocate
  • Utilize trusted peers and adults in decision-making and emotional processing
  • Seek assistance from a trusted adult when necessary

Staff Training

Ghostlight’s staff is the camp’s most valuable asset. We have joked that camp could happen anywhere as long as we have the right staff. Truly, the summer of 2020 showed us that this is more than an anecdote; it’s 100% true. While our campers love being in shows, playing in the pool, and looking at the stars, it’s the connections they make with their peers, counselors, teachers, and creative teams that they carry with them at the end of the summer.

The entire staff reports to camp for a week or more of intentional Staff Training. This time provides an opportunity for each staff group (e.g., Cabin Staff, Leadership, Theater Staff, Creative Teams) to have focused training in their area of camp. Staff receives instruction on various topics such as age group characteristics, first aid, safety protocols, addressing homesickness, creative game-leading, and more. Of course, we have a lot of FUN together as well, trying out a number of the camp activities and even making theater of our own before the campers’ arrival! Each night of staff training concludes with an evening reflection to help us re-center ourselves on our mission and our Ghostlights.

Our approach to Staff Training is about the development of the whole person. We encourage staff members to be self-reflective throughout their time at camp, to notice which aspects of community life are challenging and which are replenishing, to develop emotional self-awareness, and to be responsible for their well-being. We work to cultivate an environment of honest self-evaluation and support of others. This on-the-job personal learning, combined with the continuing education we provide throughout the summer, ensures that staff is steadily growing and approaching their work energized and with fresh ideas.

A Typical Day at Camp

 

The notion of a “typical day” at camp initially seems funny. After all, nothing is typical about dinosaurs running across a field or a bouncy castle appearing out of nowhere. But at Ghostlight, these things are everyday occurrences. Our day is flexible but provides a sense of daily ritual and structure that can help even the most seasoned camper or staff member feel secure in their time away from home.

Above all, the days at camp are meant to keep campers and staff in “the flow.” Outside of camp, we often find ourselves in the default setting of rushing to the next thing or switching gears over and over. At camp, we take the pressure off by building in time to transition into each activity, and we train our staff to begin and end each event with a sense of purpose and forward motion that keeps the energy flowing.

For staff, we also make sure that their energy is recharged, scheduling time for each person to relax, check in with the outside world, and find inspiration in the beauty surrounding us at camp!

A Typical Daily Schedule
7:30 AMEarly risers can enjoy a quiet morning for meditation or a walk.
8:00 AMMorning Reflection at The Flagpole
8:05 AMBreakfast and Morning Announcements
8:30 AMNon-Cabin Staff Meeting; Cabin Cleanup
9:15 AMCabin Staff Meeting
9:30 AMMorning Classes Period 1
11:00 AMMorning Classes Period 2
12:15 PMLunch and Afternoon Announcements
12:45 PMDowntime
1:30 PMRehearsal and Tech Program
4:45 PMPool Time
5:30 PMBack to Cabins
6:00 PMDinner and Evening Announcements
6:30 PMDowntime
7:00 PMEvening Activity
8:30 PMHill Time
9:00 PMCabin Time
9:30 PMRolling Lights Out
11:00 PMFinal Lights Out (CITs)
12:30 PMStaff Curfew

General Staff Policies

Gratuities

As stated in your contract, staff members are not permitted to accept any tips or gratuities. If you are offered a gratuity, we ask that you direct families to a Camp Director to discuss making a donation to our scholarship fund.

Liability for Personal Items at Camp

Ghostlight Theater Camp is not responsible for your personal property including, but not limited to, personal theater equipment, clothes, electronic devices, etc. Staff Members must obtain their own insurance for their personal property. (We recommend renter’s insurance which can be quite inexpensive and offers plenty of coverage.)

Meals at Camp

Mealtimes at Ghostlight are very important as they are times when our entire community comes together to share in time, stories, and friendship. Meals are mandatory for staff unless you are on a day off (which begins after breakfast). We invite staff to model community-building behavior at meals in the following ways:

  • No cellphone use is permitted in the Pavilion during mealtimes.
  • Take the opportunity of being together to sit and speak with campers and staff you may not be spending time with your department or show.
  • Respect the counselors and staff leading reflections and announcements by giving them your attention.
  • Breakfast and Dinner begin at the flagpole with a moment of reflection. Lunch is a rolling meal with no moment of reflection beforehand.
Office Computer and Printer Use

Our computers and printers in the office are for camp business. You may use the camp’s printer for small personal printing needs with permission from the Assistant to the Directors before printing. For the personal use of more than ten double-sided pages, please use a local printing service (i.e. Staples) or consult with a Camp Director.

Pets

Staff pets are only permitted at camp with the permission of the Camp Directors and all camp animals will be introduced during staff and camper orientation. Guidelines given by the owner of the camp animal must be followed.

Occasionally animals from our neighbors at Camp Manitou (primarily dogs) wander over to Ghostlight. If you suspect that is the case, please inform the Ghostlight Office who will contact the Camp Manitou Office.

Campers should be reminded not to pet or touch any animals without the owner present.

Staff Attire

Staff are expected to dress comfortably and appropriately throughout camp. We ask that clothing with swear words, incendiary messaging, or political messaging not be worn by staff. Camp shirts are encouraged and are required when leaving camp with a group of campers (i.e. Trip Day). You will be provided with a Ghostlight t-shirt. Additional t-shirts and other Ghostlight gear are available for purchase at www.amerasport.com. Shirts and shoes are required in the Pavilion at all times. Shoes are required in the Theater when working onstage or backstage. Bathing suits must be worn when swimming in the pool.

Staff Housing

Counselors live in cabins with campers (two counselors per cabin of ten campers). Counselors primarily sleep on bunk beds and can choose a top or bottom bunk (standard twin mattress). Support staff are housed in dormitory-style housing (twin beds). Leadership and artistic staff live throughout camp in a combination of dormitory-style housing (full-size beds), staff-only cabins (twin beds), and private residences (full-size beds).

You may not enter another cabin or staff housing without prior consent from a building resident. It’s important to note that much of our housing is shared space, including single occupancy bunks with adjoining walls. Please be respectful of your neighbors. We are committed to ensuring the rest and well-being of all our staff and ask that you join us in this commitment by being mindful of noise after lights out, late nights in common spaces, and noise outside cabins at night.

We respect the facilities we call home during the summer. To that end, all staff housing will be subject to the same standards as our camper bunks concerning cleanliness and living conditions. Weekly informal inspections of public spaces in staff living quarters will be conducted by a director of the camp. Neither campers nor counselors are allowed behind our cabins where cabin plumbing is located, as pipes are easily broken when walked on.

Staff Laundry

Staff are welcome to use the washing machines and dryers located in the basement of the office building free of charge during their off-time. While these machines are usually available for staff, camp laundry sometimes takes priority over personal laundry. Please be aware of your laundry and promptly switch or remove your laundry from the machine. Ghostlight is not responsible for lost or damaged items.

Technology

Each summer, we strive to help our campers make lifelong, authentic friendships with peers and adults, appreciate nature, and extend the boundaries of their comfort zones. To do so, we ask that our campers’ time in Maine is “unplugged” and that they instead tune in to the environment around them.

With this in mind, we ask our staff to model similar “unplugged” behavior to the greatest extent possible and resist using phones and computers when we are with our campers:

  • No cell phone use during mealtimes inside the Pavilion.
  • No cell phone or laptop use in the bunks by staff during cabin clean-up, inspection, downtime, or after evening activities.
  • Laptops are not to be used for personal business any other time the campers are under your direct supervision in the cabins.
  • Cell phones and laptops may be used to play music inside the bunks. A good general rule is to have the screen closed or facing out and not towards yourself with Do Not Disturb on to protect privacy.
  • Personal calls, emails, and other activities requiring a cell phone or laptop may be handled when campers are not under your direct supervision. If campers are in the bunk during these times and have supervision from another counselor, we ask that you use the office porch or staff parking lot to place your calls.
Time Off

For counselors, days off begin after cabin clean-up, and counselors are expected to return to their bunks by the 12:30 a.m. curfew.

Nights off for counselors begin at the start of evening activities. In addition to the days and nights off, counselors will be given multiple “On/Off Nights” each session. These times off begin after all campers are in bed and settled in and are times taken away from the bunk but still on camp. Counselors must be back in their bunks by 12:30 a.m. for nights and days off (including “On/Off Nights”).

At no point should the campers feel like our focus is on our time off. Please use discretion when discussing plans with other counselors and when leaving and returning to camp, particularly if you are in the middle of a day off.

Time off for non-cabin staff is outlined in their contracts.

Leaving Camp/Signing-Out and Signing-In

Staff may only leave camp during designated periods (days/nights off) or on official camp business. Our schedule is flexible, and the weather may require last-minute adjustments. Therefore, we need all staff to be in camp and available. Regardless of the reason, all staff leaving camp must sign out in the office and sign in upon their return. This is for everyone’s safety should an emergency occur on camp, and we need to assess the whereabouts of each camper and staff member.

Behavior While Off Camp

We are proud to consider ourselves members of the Maine and Waterville communities. We expect staff to treat our neighbors with respect. Whenever possible, we encourage you to patronize locally owned businesses. When going into town, we represent Ghostlight Theater Camp and, therefore, we ask all staff members to behave respectfully, obeying the laws of the city.

 

Visitors

Your friends and family members can visit you on your days and nights off. All visitors must check in at the Office to receive a visitor pass. You may show your guests around the public areas of camp and invite them to join us for a meal. Guests may not be invited into camp activities or cabins/residences without permission from a Camp Director. Typically, overnight guests are not permitted at camp.

Vehicles
Staff are welcome to bring a personal vehicle to camp. Parking is provided at the top of the hill. As with other personal property, camp is not responsible for your vehicle and you must carry personal auto insurance to have a vehicle at camp.

The speed limit on camp property is 5mph. At no point while campers are on-site should personal vehicles be driven through the main camp property.

Use of personal vehicles for camp business must be cleared by a director. At no point should you ever drive a camper in your personal vehicle.

Camper/Staff Interactions

Abuse

Our number one priority is the safety of our campers. This begins with our hiring process and extends to our policies regarding off-season interactions between campers and staff. 

Abuse

The highest priority of Ghostlight Theater Camp is to provide a safe environment for campers and staff. Ghostlight staff members must take special care to use sound judgment and to avoid even the appearance of improper conduct. Activities, stories, and language that may make others feel uncomfortable – physically, emotionally, sexually – are strictly prohibited. Since children, teens, and adults have different sensitivity levels and cultural norms, staff members should err on the side of caution. Actions will be judged by how they are perceived, not just how they were intended.

Abusive behavior will result in severe consequences including dismissal from camp and the possibility of legal action.

Abusive conduct at camp falls under five main categories:

  • PHYSICAL ABUSE – NEVER, under any circumstances, should a staff member use physical force with a camper – either as a behavioral consequence or even as an overly playful gesture. Such gestures can be subject to many interpretations.

    If you feel yourself getting angry, find another staff member to supervise and walk away, count to 10, etc., but NEVER touch a camper out of anger or use any physical force. Please seek guidance and help if you feel this way; asking for help is a sign of strength.

  • PSYCHOLOGICAL/EMOTIONAL ABUSE – Emotional abuse refers to interactions with campers that cause them emotional or psychological distress. Staff members are in a position of authority over campers, and when power is used inappropriately or abusively, it can cause great distress, as fear and distrust replace the comfort and trust we try to build.

    Examples of emotional abuse include acts of rejection, isolation, and exploitation, scaring, and taking advantage of campers. Calling campers demeaning names, withholding food or treats as punishment, threatening, blaming or humiliating campers, giving unreasonable punishments, and ignoring campers who are in need of your support can all cause psychological harm. Avoid mean jokes and sarcasm.

  • VERBAL ABUSE – Never threaten a camper. Never yell, curse, or scream at a camper. Yelling and cursing might help you let off steam, but only communicates a message of being out of control. It can scare the campers, even if they don’t tell you they are scared and pretend they are okay with it. Similarly, stories and language that are inappropriate can be abusive. As with psychological/emotional abuse, the scars are not always visible but are often irreparable.

  • NEGLECT – Neglect is often an unintentional form of abuse, but can be just as damaging as the above. Examples of neglect include poor supervision, withholding attention, withholding food, and disregard for basic physical safety, emotional safety, and comfort of campers.

  • SEXUAL ABUSE – Any sexual behavior between a staff member and camper is by definition abusive. Sexual behavior may include, but is not limited to:
      • Unwanted sexual touching, such as sexual touching that lacks mutual consent, or any sexual behavior by one person that is undesired by the other person.
      • Sexual touching with the use of force, which is sexual assault.
      • A staff member touching a camper for their own sexual stimulation or that of the camper.
      • Sexual behavior that takes place in front of a camper.

        We reiterate that any sexual behavior between a staff member and camper is by definition abusive and explicitly note that a camper is incapable of giving consent to sexual behavior under any circumstances whatsoever.
Alcohol and Drugs

Providing any camper with drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense, and is prohibited at camp and at all Ghostlight events. Similarly, it is prohibited for staff members to interact with or be around campers while under the influence or in possession of drugs or alcohol.

Appropriate Touch

Healthy and nurturing physical contact is an important aspect of our value system and our camp’s culture.

Appropriate contact with campers is defined as physical contact for the sole purpose of nurturing or reassuring the person touched, and should be restricted to shoulders, upper back, arms, and hands. It is given with no expectations of anything in return to convey approval, reassurance, or trust. It always accounts for the comfort level of the person being touched. If a camper demonstrates any discomfort, this form of reassurance should stop.

Ghostlight Theater Camp should be a place where nurturing touch can occur and discussion about feelings can occur. Again, staff should restrict these instances of touch to times when they are in public view. Examples may include:

  • Pats on the back or touch on the shoulder
  • Hugs of welcome/hello/goodbye
  • Handshakes, high fives, etc.
  • The appropriateness of physical contact will vary with different ages, the context of the interaction, and the stages of childhood development.
Camper Behavior and Discipline

Ghostlight Theater Camp’s discipline policy is designed to create a safe camp environment and help children develop self-control and assume responsibility for their actions.

Clear and consistent, age-appropriate rules and limits are established at camp. Ghostlight provides campers with clear expectations and works to balance structure with freedom, both in an effort to set campers up for success. When campers fall short of these expectations, it may be necessary to provide corrective discipline. Any disciplinary measure will relate proportionately to the camper’s actions and be handled promptly. Some ideas for correcting campers’ behaviors include:

  • Make it clear that their behavior goes against our community agreements. Ex: “Hey, Zelda, that’s a put down and we don’t do put downs at Ghostlight.”
  • Give your camper a chance to explain; they may have a good reason. Ex: “Hey, Plato, can you tell me why you weren’t back in the cabin with the rest of the group?”
  • Be consistent and impartially curious.
  • Stay cool and calm; keep strong emotions in check. If your emotions are becoming heightened, tag out.
  • Avoid lecturing or embarrassing the camper.
  • Stress that the behavior is the problem, not the camper’s personality. Help the camper to identify acceptable alternatives to the problem behavior.
  • Once the disciplinary time is over, accept the camper as a part of the group again.
  • If problems persist, call in the Head Counselor or a camp director.
  • Some guidelines for discipline at camp include:

    • No physical or corporal punishment or hitting of any kind is allowed.
    • No cruel punishment, verbal abuse or humiliation, scare tactics, or other controlling measures are allowed.
    • No methods associated with the deprivation of food, water, shelter, or extended isolation are allowed.
    • No punishment of any kind for wetting the bed is allowed.

    Suppose a child’s behavior is chronically disruptive, even after reasonable measures have been made to assist the child in adjusting to the camp setting. In that case, parents will be contacted by camp staff to determine if the child can continue at camp. Staff will always work toward developing a cooperative plan of action to maximize a camper’s chances of success at summer camp. If disruptive behavior continues, the camper may be dismissed from the camp program.

    Ghostlight Theater Camp reserves the right to immediately dismiss a camper from the summer camp program without prior warning.

    The following actions may result in immediate dismissal from camp:

    • Physical, sexual, or verbal abuse
    • Leaving the camp grounds without permission
    • Smoking (including e-cigarettes) or vaping
    • Possessing or using marijuana (or marijuana equipment)
    • Possessing weapons or firearms
    • Vandalism (including graffiti) or pranks or activities that destroy camp property
    • Invading someone’s privacy while they are in the bathroom or shower
    • Self-harmful behaviors
    • Sexual activity (including intercourse, oral sex, or other behavior for which the camp cannot take responsibility)
    • Homophobic, Transphobic or Racist language

    It is not possible to list all forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable.

Favoritism

Ghostlight staff members and volunteers should refrain from showing favoritism to campers for whom they are responsible (e.g., gift giving that is specific to an individual camper or spending a disproportionate amount of time individually with one camper).

Language and Communication

Words, what we say, and how we communicate with others can be nurturing and supportive. Language and communication can also be destructive and hurtful. All members of the Ghostlight community should be careful and cognizant of the language used at all times, and especially when we speak to and/or are in the presence of campers.

Ghostlight staff members and campers may not make any sexually suggestive comments, jokes, innuendos, or behavior, or use inappropriate language to or in the presence of campers. In addition:

  • Communications with campers should include language that is encouraging, respectful, and confidence-boosting.
  • Staff members may not use language that teases, belittles, or shames a camper.

Inappropriate language/conversation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Cursing
  • Using lewd or sexually suggestive language
  • Comments about the way a person looks, is dressed, or about a person's body
  • Questions about a person's sexuality/orientation
  • Information about a staff member’s intimate behaviors, relationships, desires, or body.
  • A staff member should never ask a camper to keep a secret.
Photos and Videos

Ghostlight actively promotes photographic recording of our community for archival and promotional purposes. We also acknowledge that images of campers may be used inappropriately or illegally. Therefore, the following rules apply to photography (including video) of campers at Ghostlight:

  • Staff members are not permitted to email, text, or post on their personal social media accounts any photos or videos of campers.
  • No photography may be conducted inside bunks, changing areas, bathrooms, or whenever a camper is undressed or has an expectation of privacy.
  • The camp may not post images of campers that include identifying personal information such as full name, address, or phone number.
  • All photographers/videographers seeking permission to photograph at Ghostlight must agree to and adhere to the guidelines set forth by this statement
  • Any image (digital or other) of a camper, taken with permission, but which reveals private body parts, even if unintentional, violates these rules, is not suitable for public display, and must be destroyed or deleted.
  • Prohibited Physical Contact

    Any physical contact that violates the person's comfort level is prohibited. Examples of prohibited touch include:

    • Sexual contact of any kind with a camper
    • Physical force (hitting, arm twisting, pinching, towel whipping, etc.)
    • “Hazing” activities which can be physically and/or sexually abusive and cause psychological harm, e.g., touching and/or in any way playing with a camper while they are sleeping.

    Fundamental principle: No person should ever be touched in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. When in doubt, even about seemingly innocent touching (e.g., hug, pat on the back, lifting, etc.), ask the camper or don’t do it.

    Caution: Staff members must never be alone with an individual camper in a closed, private place. Any situation can be misinterpreted, so keeping doors open, avoiding private spaces, and staying in groups is important.

    Staff members should block and redirect a camper who attempts to touch the staff member inappropriately or sexually. They should discourage campers from inappropriate expectations of touch in a gentle manner, being mindful not to embarrass the camper.

    Staff members should set limits when campers seek excessive, inappropriate, or sexual attention and obtain support services for campers who continually struggle with these limits.

    Additionally, all staff members should be mindful of the camper’s behavior and actions, taking notice of behaviors that may be suggestive of past abuse, as communicated during training. Such behaviors should be communicated to camp leadership as soon as possible.

    Reporting Abuse at Camp

    Behavior by a staff member that is cause for concern and should be reported to your supervisor:

    • Pays too much attention to an individual camper
    • Too much touching of campers, even touching that is seemingly innocent
    • Invites campers to their housing
    • Allows campers to shower or change in their private space
    • Gives gifts to a specific camper
    Social Media and Email

    Staff members should not communicate with individual campers on the internet during or after the camp season other than in ways expressly permitted by the camp.

    In the event that a staff member is required, for Ghostlight business purposes, to communicate with a camper via email, text message, or social media, an additional staff member or parent/guardian must be copied on the communication.

    Staff members who have Ghostlight email accounts must communicate with campers using these accounts (not from personal email accounts) or Ghostlight social networking profiles (e.g., not personal Facebook or other social media accounts).

    Staff members should not send social media “friend” requests to a camper utilizing a personal social media account.

    One-to-One Interactions

    All interactions with campers are to take place in spaces that are both observable and interruptible. This includes but is not limited to spaces with observable windows and unlocked doors and is reported as being used for programming purposes (is taking place at a time and in a space known and designated for programming use). Ideally, one-to-one interactions should occur when additional staff and/or adults are in the same or adjoining space.

    During one-to-one interactions, the room door should be open or with an unobstructed window view with clear visibility into the room.

    The door should be unlocked and the staff member should not physically be between the camper and the room exit.

    When transporting campers out of camp (doctor’s appointments, shopping needs, meeting a group, etc.), at least two staff members should accompany the campers. In the unavoidable situation when a Ghostlight staff member must transport a camper alone, this arrangement must be approved by a supervisor.

    Health and Safety at Camp

    Alcohol and Drug Use
    Our camp policy unequivocally prohibits the use of non-medical drugs and underage drinking on the property. Violation may result in termination. Staff members over 21 years of age may drink responsibly in private cabins. Providing alcohol to a minor (anyone under 21), or allowing them to consume alcohol while under your supervision, is against State Law and will also result in termination.

    According to Maine law, a person can be charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) if a person is “impaired to the slightest.” The legal BAC limit in Maine is 0.08%. Drivers under 21 may have no alcohol in their system. Maine also has an implied consent law, interpreting the refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test at the request of a police officer as failing such a test. Drinking alcohol (driver or passengers) in a motor vehicle is prohibited. Open containers of alcohol are generally prohibited.

    Driving campers, other staff members, or oneself while impaired is grounds for immediate termination.
    Confidentiality
    During the course of your employment, you may have access to certain camp information, including camper information, marketing/business practices and/or mailing lists that are considered confidential and property of camp. We require our staff to hold such information in confidence and not disclose any such information to persons outside of camp. Any such information should only be used for the purpose of carrying out your employment for the camp and should not be used or exploited for your own benefit. These obligations continue after your period of employment.
    Departmental Health and Safety
    Our Theater houses costume and scenic shops, as well as a grid above the house and stage. At times, campers will be volunteering, learning, and working in these areas that have specific safety rules and guidelines. All campers and staff working in these areas must be given an orientation and overview of safety rules and guidelines before participating in any activities.

    Some general guidelines for working in the theater include:
    • Wear solid, closed-toe shoes at all times.
    • Refrain from wearing flowy clothing in the scene shop or grid.
    • All tools being used on a ladder must be attached to you via safety cord.
    • Machinery is only to be used by campers who have been trained to use such tools and when under direct supervision of a trained staff member.
    Firearms
    Employees are prohibited from possessing or using firearms or any weapons at camp.
    General HealthPractices
    Ghostlight promotes health education and prevention of illness. We rely on all staff members to help with this, and to act as positive health role models.

    Staff can help in the following areas:
    • Make sure nobody shares hairbrushes, hair accessories, hats, etc., as this can spread head lice.
    • Make sure that campers change their clothes regularly.
    • Model body-positive attitudes.
    • Bring any area of concern (e.g., a camper with excessive bug bites; a camper who is repeatedly scratching their head or skin; scrapes that do not appear to be healing, etc.) to the nursing staff’s attention.
    • Encourage campers to drink fluids often and encourage good eating habits by setting a good example themselves, e.g., not skipping meals or discussing “dieting.”
    • Remind your campers to check for ticks everyday.
    Hydration
    Staying hydrated is critical to your heart health and body function. As a camp staff member, you know that a long day of activities can easily lead to dehydration and a sick camper — which nobody wants!

    Here are some tips to keep our campers hydrated:
    • Make sure campers have their water bottle. Camp encourages families to pack a re-usable water bottle and has them for purchase in the office. Check to make sure campers leave, arrive, and depart with their bottle.
    • Have scheduled water breaks. Classes, rehearsals, and other activities should schedule breaks no less than every 90 minutes.
    • Locate water sources. Be sure that if kids are thirsty or need to refill their water bottles that you know where a place is nearby. When on a trip, make a plan and be aware of where the nearest place is to get water.
    • Model proper hydration practices. Campers often see “powering through” as an adult behavior to be emulated. We can show campers that self-care is a practice that we value by staying healthy throughout the summer!
    Health Center
    Ghostlight maintains a well-equipped Health Center. Two or three registered nurses work at camp, one of whom is always on site and on-duty (24 hours a day). There are two hospitals in nearby Waterville and a number of Urgent Care centers. Camper medications are generally distributed after breakfast, after dinner, and before bed. Those needing emergency treatment can, of course, go to the Health Center any time, day or night. Counselors should always accompany a camper who has an emergency, especially after lights out. Ghostlight requires all campers and staff members to be vaccinated for measles and COVID-19.
    Medical Advice
    We ask, out of respect, that non-medical staff do not give medical advice to campers or fellow staff members or comment to them about the care they are receiving. If you are concerned about the health or apparent treatment an individual is receiving, please speak directly to the Camp Nurses.
    Medications
    Staff may not keep any medication—prescription or over-the-counter—in camper cabins or in any area of camp that is accessible to campers. Cabin counselors are provided with locked lockers in the Pit, where it is appropriate to store medication.Non-Cabin staff members may keep their medication in their cabins.

    The Health Center is fully stocked with many common over-the-counter medications, which are given free of charge during normal operating hours. The nursing staff are the only staff allowed to administer medications of any kind. Under no circumstance may any other staff members give campers any medication, including over-the-counter medications.
    Ticks and Tick-Borne Illness
    Tick-born illnesses are a reality of life in New England and they can carry disease (the most concerning of which is Lyme disease). It is important to know the symptoms of Lyme disease and see a doctor right away if you suspect you may have had a tick bite. Symptoms of Lyme disease include muscle aches, fever, headaches, rash (sometimes ring-shaped), and fatigue.

    While we do our best to prevent tick bites, it is also important to know the symptoms of Lyme disease and see a doctor right away if you suspect a camper may have had a tick bite. Symptoms of Lyme disease include muscle aches, fever, headaches, rash (sometimes ring-shaped), and fatigue.
    Ways to Prevent Tick Bites and Lyme Disease
    • Cover up. When in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a long shirt if possible.
    • Use insect repellents.
    • Check your clothing. Be especially vigilant after spending time in wooded or grassy areas.
    • It’s helpful to shower after a day outdoors. Ticks often remain on your skin for hours before attaching themselves. Showering and using a washcloth might remove unattached ticks.
    • If you find a tick on your skin or clothes, go see the nurse. If a tick needs to be removed, our nurses are well equipped and experienced.
    • Above all, don’t panic. Ticks are very common and by being aware you are doing your part to stay safe.
    Tobacco Use
    Smoking and vaping tobacco or any substance is not allowed anywhere on camp property at any time. Staff members may smoke tobacco in their off-time but must do so off campus (and must sign out in the office). Disposal of cigarette butts must be done in a safe and sanitary manner. Please do not litter!

    Emergency Procedures

    Camp Security
    Awareness is the cornerstone of our security protocols. Unfamiliar persons on the camp property may range from someone lost and looking for directions to a person with intent to do harm to persons or property. Some judgment must be made on the part of staff.

    Some key ways to be aware of our surroundings are:
    • Teach campers to come and tell you if they see an unfamiliar person on the property, rather than announce it loudly.
    • All visitors must check in at the office to be given a visitor badge.
    • If the appearance of the unfamiliar person makes you uncomfortable, either approach them with another staff member or alert a director.
    • If the person seems threatening in any way, do not approach them or take any chances. Remove yourself and campers from the area, notify the Office, and observe the whereabouts of the person.
    • If a child encounters an unfamiliar person, real or imagined, never tell the child “it really wasn’t anything,” “there is no need to be afraid,” or “it was just your imagination.” Frightened children need to be allowed to experience their fear, to know that it is okay to be afraid, and to talk about their experience.

    More detailed information and protocols will be covered at camp during training. Above all, know that your safety, and the safety of our campers, will always be our number one priority.
    Electricity and Power Outages
    In the event that the electrical power should go off, be sure to turn off all electrical switches and all water faucets. Toilets will only flush once during an outage. If a failure occurs, candles or any open flames are not allowed. Staff are asked to remain with campers in their care during a power outage until a camp director provides further instruction.
    Fire Safety
    In the event of a fire, buildings are equipped with smoke detectors and fire alarms. Should an alarm go off in a building on camp a bullhorn will be sounded from the deck of the office or the bottom of the hill in a succession of three long blasts. Upon hearing this signal all campers and staff are to make their way quietly and orderly to the far side of the Great Lawn by the Gazebo. Leadership Staff and non-cabin staff are assigned to sweep the buildings of camp to ensure all members of our community are out of the buildings.
    Medical Emergencies
    When a camper or staff member has a minor injury, staff members or cabin counselors may provide initial care and then refer the camper to the Health Center. First Aid Kits are located in the Theater (Shops), Office, Health Center, Rehearsal Studios, Pool and Pavilion as well as in the Camp Van. An AED is kept in the Health Center.

    Any person requiring more care should be brought to the Health Center, unless they are unable to move or be assisted to a golf cart. In those circumstances, a staff member or CIT should contact or go to the Health Center and ask one of the nurses to come to the location of the injured person.

    Campers or staff who are stung are to be brought to the Health Center to clean the sting and for observation. Should a camper or staff member who has a prescription for Epinephrine experience an allergic reaction to a known allergen (e.g. bees, food allergen) and exhibit signs of difficulty breathing, one of the nurses (or a staff member training in CPR/First Aid) will administer the EpiPen.

    In any emergency situation, our TRIANGLE will be activated. (See Triangle Procedures.) 911 will be called anytime there is an obstruction of an injured party’s airway, an allergic reaction requiring Epi-Pen, or an injured party is unconscious or bleeding excessively. If there is a non-life threatening injury the nurse will assess further and determine what additional medical attention, if any, is needed.

    During training, we will practice multiple scenarios that engage this procedure so that all staff are familiar and comfortable with enacting it.
    Severe Weather
    In case of sudden severe weather, take cover with your group in a bunk or nearby building and wait for further instructions. The following locations are designated meeting places during inclement weather for groups scheduled in outdoor locations:
    • The Pavilion: The Great Lawn, The Gazebo, The Amphitheater
    • The Studios: The Pool, The Mini-Amphitheater, The Good Lawn
    • The Office: The Small Gazebo, Off-Campus Groups Returning Via Van

    During thunder and lightning storms the following protocol is standard:
    • Upon hearing thunder or seeing lightning in the distance all groups move to their indoor locations and send a message to Directors and Office that a storm is near.
    • The Office and Directors will instruct all others to stay or move indoors.
    • All campers and staff must stay indoors until an all clear is given.
    Stray and Wild Animals
    Animals that are not an approved camp animal should be considered wild. Beavers, otters, woodchucks, frogs, and birds are all part of the ecosystem at Ghostlight and care should be taken to respect their home that we occupy. Rock throwing, disturbing, or moving these animals is prohibited.

    Should a stray dog or other type of animal wander into camp, staff should assess the situation and move all campers in the area to a safe location. One staff member should keep an eye on the animal while another staff member alerts the Office. In no instance should any staff member attempt to pet, move, or remove a stray animal.

    While we have never seen a bear at Ghostlight, Maine is home to the black bear, the smallest of the three varieties of bears in the US. Here’s what to do should a black bear find its way into camp:
    • Avoid the bear.
    • If it is in the distance, remind campers and other staff that we must respect that distance and not approach the bear.
    • If you are outside, move campers inside a building.
    • Alert a Camp Director either by phone or by sending one staff member to the office. The office will call the Department of Animal Services.
    Triangle Procedure
    The Triangle is our primary response protocol for emergencies on camp. We will review these procedures during staff training, but please take a moment to review the Triangle and watch this training video (coming soon) before you arrive.

    Staff Personnel Policies

    Confidentiality
    During the course of your employment, you may have access to certain camp information, including camper information, marketing/business practices and/or mailing lists that are considered confidential and property of camp. We require our staff to hold such information in confidence and not disclose any such information to persons outside of camp. Any such information should only be used for the purpose of carrying out your employment for the camp and should not be used or exploited for your own benefit. These obligations continue after your period of employment.
    Equal-Opportunity Employment
    Ghostlight Theater Camp is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We actively seek to create a more diverse and inclusive staff and community each summer and encourage applicants who bring life experiences and points of view that will expand our community’s ability to tell stories and reflect a diverse world to our campers.
    Feedback for Camp
    Each staff member has the opportunity to give input and feedback about the camp program, policies, and the regulations. The regular channels for this are staff meetings (held daily) and weekly check-ins with supervisors. We value your input and we are open to new ideas and suggestions.

    Should there be a disagreement over the interpretation of camp policies, or a grievance related to one’s duties or relationships with fellow staff members, it should be reported to your supervisor (Head Counselor or Assistant Head Counselor, Artistic Associate, or Production Manager). Should a staff member not feel comfortable reporting the problem to one of these people, the staff member may report the grievance to Lesley or Chris.
    Feedback for You
    Every staff member will have a chance to reflect on their job performance with a leadership team member weekly and at the end of the session. Weekly evaluations allow staff members to reflect on their performance and experience at Ghostlight and are conducted in person. End-of-Session evaluations, which are written, are an opportunity for leadership to provide feedback on job performance. A final reflection from staff members on their summer at Ghostlight will also be completed at the end of the summer and camp directors will connect to review those evaluations.
    Harassment and Discrimination
    No harassment or discrimination of any kind will be tolerated at Ghostlight. This policy applies to all protected groups, including age, race, religion, national origin, color, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.

    We are committed to a workplace free from all types of harassment, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and state discrimination laws. The Camp administration will not tolerate such misconduct. Reprisals against those who file complaints under this policy will not be tolerated. Violators of this policy will be subject to discipline up to, and including, dismissal. Any Camp official who receives a complaint and does not act on it under the procedures of this policy also will be subject to discipline, including dismissal.

    Ghostlight takes allegations of harassment and discimination very seriously and will respond promptly to complaints. When it is determined that such inappropriate behavior has occurred, Camp will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary including, but not limited to, disciplinary action or dismissal.

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or verbal/physical contact of a sexual nature when:
    • Submission to such conduct is either implied or stated to be a term or condition of employment or a factor in the evaluation of the employee’s performance, promotability or any other component of employment.
    • Such conduct interferes, either directly or indirectly, with an employee’s work performance by creating a hostile, offensive or intimidating environment
    • Visual harassment, such as staring or ogling, is offensive behavior. It also includes visual materials that may be offensive, such as posters, pictures, pin-ups, computer graphics and games, etc.
    • Verbal harassment is sexually vulgar language, remarks about an individual’s physical anatomy, derogatory comments about gender, distribution of written or graphic sexual material, sexually oriented magazines, posters, display of nude pictures, or other words or depictions of a sexual nature.
    • Physical harassment is touching in a sexual manner or invading personal privacy, especially the intentional touching of breasts and genital areas or buttocks, or threats to take such actions.
    Hiring Procedures
    All Ghostlight staff must complete an application form and pass a criminal background check each year they are employed. New employees must also complete an interview and have references and employment history verified. International staff may be hired through a contracted agency which does reference and background-checking.
    Outside Media
    Staff may not give any information or statements to the media under any circumstances. All inquiries should be directed to Lesley Levy, Chris Murrah or their designee.
    Payroll
    Payroll information is included in your contract prior to camp. Staff is paid by direct deposit unless otherwise requested, and all applicable taxes will be withheld. Reach out to our Associate Director, Spencer Lutvak (spencer@ghostlighttheatercamp.com), if you have any questions regarding payment.
    Reporting Harassment
    If any staff member perceives harassment, they should follow this procedure:
    • If the undesired behavior continues, keep a written record of the behavior, including dates, times, details, and witnesses.
    • If at any time during your employment at Ghostlight you feel that you have been discriminated against or been harassed, speak to a Camp Director (or member of Leadership if the discrimination/harassment has been perpetrated by a Camp Director), who will promptly conduct an investigation of the charges, exerting their best efforts to maintain the complainant’s confidentiality. Depending on the evidence, a Camp Director will discuss the complaint with the staff member(s). If a pattern of frequent offensive behavior is verified, offenders will be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, immediate termination.
    • All staff are responsible for reporting harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, to the directors.
    • There will be no retaliatory action taken against an employee who, in good faith, makes a report of harassment or discrimination.


    Self-Care
    Working at camp is amazing, but it can also be exhausting. It is a 24/7 job. We strive to work as a community, encourage staff members to ask for help when they need it, and at times expect “all hands on deck” when the need arises. We make no apologies for it but we absolutely appreciate the responsibility and demand placed upon you. Homesickness isn’t just for campers; it strikes all of us at one point or other, and burnout can creep up on you when you least expect it. Our leadership staff is here to help whenever the need arises. Please use our experience to help you to handle any pressures. Always ask for help; we are here to help you!
    Termination of Contract
    Employment is at-will, which means a staff member has the right to terminate employment at any time and for any reason and the camp has the same right. The contract is valid only as long as the employee complies with its terms. If either the employee (staff member) or employer (camp) decide that for their own best interests employment shall be terminated, the camp will pay a prorated salary. If the camp period is shortened by fire, epidemic, accident, etc., employee salaries are prorated. Non-compliance with the terms of the contract shall become terms for dismissal. In case of dismissal due to employee misconduct, the employee will be relieved of their duties immediately and must leave camp’s property at their own expense.
    Worker's Compensation
    Medical costs associated with job-related injuries will be covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance. You may lose your right to compensation unless Ghostlight is notified of the injury within 30 days. Your claim is also subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Please report all injuries to a supervisor as soon as possible.

    Arrival and Departure

    Arrival

    • Air
      • Travel by air can be booked to Portland (PWM) or Boston (BOS). If you are traveling to PWM, please schedule your arrival no later than 3 PM on the start date listed on your contract. If you are traveling to BOS, please schedule your plane arrival before 12:00 p.m. and then connect to Portland, ME, via the nonstop Concord Coach bus. There are numerous departure times from Logan Airport each day, and the bus cost is approximately $32.
    • Train or Bus
      • Traveling by train via Amtrak’s Downeaster (to Portland) or bus via Concord Coach Lines or Greyhound (to Portland, Augusta, or Waterville) are also options for those from the northeast. If you are arriving by train or bus, we ask you to schedule your arrival no later than 3 PM on the start date listed on your contract.
    • Car
      • For staff arriving by car, we ask that you arrive at camp by 5 PM on the start date listed on your contract. 

    Departure

    Departure from camp is after 10 AM on the stated end date on your contract. For staff leaving by air, train, or bus, please make arrangements to schedule your flight or other departure no earlier than 12:30 PM on your contract end date. 

    Important Dates

    Important Dates for 2024
    Event Date(s)
    Kitchen and Dining Staff Arrivals June 13th
    Leadership Arrivals June 15th
    Creative Staff Arrivals June 20th
    Lifeguard Arrivals June 19th*
    Full Staff Arrival June 22nd
    Post Camp/Strike August 11th-13th


    *Lifeguards should plan to arrive the evening of the 19th to allow for training to begin the following morning.