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Summer Counselor Overview

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Working on Mayhew Island is not a typical summer camp job!

For ten weeks, from June 8th to August 13th, eighty-four boys and twenty-five staff will build a uniquely challenging and supportive community on beautiful Mayhew Island. The demands of the job are tremendous, but the rewards of the experience inevitably make the effort worthwhile.

The boys will learn a great deal about how successful they can be when challenged to be their best. So will the staff.

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Some Details

The nature of the job—working with 84 hard-working and appreciative boys in a challenging island setting—requires maturity, patience, dedication, a love of the outdoors, a willingness to learn, a good sense of humor, and the ability to work well with others.


Spending a summer on Mayhew Island requires an absolute commitment to the boys of the program.  There is very limited free time away from the boys and even less time for socializing outside of the program; there are very high expectations for personal behavior and conduct; and the work is fatiguing and emotionally draining. Yet the remarkable efforts of the boys, the camaraderie of the whole community, the sharply focused sense of purpose, and the overwhelmingly good feeling of contributing to a very positive and meaningful experience for the boys is rich beyond measure.


Salaries—with new staff earning $5000 for the season plus the opportunity to earn an additional $1000 summer completion/performance bonus —include room and board on a beautiful island and lots of great home cooking served family style.  Work/study and for-credit options are negotiable.

PLEASE NOTE: Summer staff must be 18 prior to the first day of work. All employees and volunteers must consent to a police background check.


  • Who is eligible for Mayhew?
    Candidates for Mayhew are 10- or 11- year old New Hampshire boys from single parent, low-income families. In addition, candidates must live in a town that Mayhew serves to be considered for enrollment. See the list of Towns Served below for more information. (If you’re considering referring a boy who does not match these criteria, please first consult with Grayson Richey, Mayhew’s Program Director, at 603-254-3909.)
  • Why are boys typically referred to Mayhew?
    Boys are referred to Mayhew for many different reasons. Some boys have demonstrated questionable behaviors at home and at school that make them at-risk for more serious problems in the future and could benefit from some redirection. Other boys simply lack opportunities to participate in the sorts of activities that Mayhew offers. Still other boys are referred to Mayhew simply because they can benefit from the boost in self-esteem that Mayhew often provides. Mayhew accepts referrals from principals, teachers, counselors, social workers, and other youth officials from many areas throughout New Hampshire from mid-January to mid-March each year.
  • As a referring official, what information should I share with a prospective candidate and with his family?
    First, it is important that you speak with the family of any candidate you’re considering referring to obtain permission to submit an application. On the other hand, we encourage you (and by extension, the family) not to disclose anything to the boy himself initially. Mayhew receives many referrals each spring and we inevitably have to turn away some very appropriate and deserving candidates due to limited openings. We don’t want a boy to get excited about the opportunity to participate before there’s a clear signal from Mayhew that there’s a good chance he might be enrolled. In terms of information about the program, please refer any prospective families to this website. In addition, you may download and print our Prospective Family FAQ.
  • What is the selection process like?
    The selection process for choosing which boys to invite to Mayhew begins in April. We review all of the referrals, weighing both objective factors like family income, family make-up, candidate age as well as subjective factors like apparent need and ability to benefit from the program. We then meet with the best prospects and their families to explain the program and to make a final assessment of each boy’s appropriateness and readiness for the challenge. Invariably, boys and families see Mayhew as a chance that may seem too good to be true. We try hard to undersell the program and emphasize at each step the serious commitment the boy and family must make. During this meeting, the boy is asked to sign a contract agreeing to participate fully in everything at Mayhew, to work hard, to always strive to be respectful, and to abide by a high standard of behavior should he be invited to participate. Final selections for the program are made by early June. We like to think that everyone could benefit from involvement in the Mayhew Program. The tough task for us as a Program is deciding which boys—among the many referred—might benefit most from their involvement with the program.
  • Are there criteria that might make a boy ineligible for the program?
    Yes. Unfortunately Mayhew does not have the resources to work with boys who have a history of acting-out sexually or with boys who have a history of extremely aggressive or dangerous behaviors. In addition, certain health or medical conditions may preclude a boy from participating. (If you have any doubts about the appropriateness of a potential candidate, please first call and speak with Grayson Richey, Mayhew’s Program Director, at 603-254-3909 before completing a referral application.)
  • What if I have other questions?
    For more information, please call Grayson Richey, Mayhew’s Program Director, at (603) 254-3909.
  • How do I submit a referral?
    Please click here to access our Referral Application Page.
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