Signs of post-pandemic life are beginning to sprout as communities begin the long process of reopening. But if your employer or career is still on a pandemic-induced hold, you might want to check out seasonal jobs. These jobs are short-term positions that can involve being a camp counselor or providing support services, such as reception, cleaning and cooking. 

Seasonal jobs are notoriously poorly paid. However, many of them include subsidized or free housing and meals. Activities ranging from horseback riding to sailing are often also provided for free to the staff. And, even when the jobs are not particularly fun, the locations can be.

By and large, the jobs are located in ocean-front or lakeside resorts, dude ranches and scenic mountain camps. In other words, they’re located in places where you might want to spend your summer. And, since the jobs only last a few months, they may be able to keep you busy while you wait for something better. 

Late season

Of course, like everything else, most seasonal jobs were put on hold during the pandemic and are likely to come back slowly. Yellowstone Jobs, for example, normally starts ramping up in early spring. The site typically hires some 3,500 seasonal workers to staff resorts in the Yellowstone National Park. This year, park facilities will remain closed until June 14th. So the site has “paused” all hiring.

Finding seasonal jobs

Officials at seasonal job platform, CoolWorks, say that even the places that are actively hiring are likely to hire fewer workers this year. That’s simply because travel and entertainment venues are expecting light crowds because of continuing consumer worries about Coronavirus.

That said, more than 93 employers have posted job openings on CoolWorks since the beginning of May.

Intriguing locations

Some of the top employers posting jobs on CoolWorks this summer include summer camps in Maine, dude ranches in Colorado and salmon hatcheries in Alaska. A half dozen worth considering:

Robin Hood Camp near Bar Harbor, Maine, which is looking for 175 staffers, ranging from cooks to camp counselors. Staff are housed in bunk houses, 15 to a room. The average age of staff is 22. Pay varies based on position.

Polebridge Mercantile and Bakery in Montana’s Glacier National Park, has a variety of openings. Yurt-style shared housing and some meals are provided for $8 a day.

The French Country Inn near the Wisconsin Dells and Door Country has multiple cooking and baking positions open. Compensation depends on position; housing assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

C Lazy U dude ranch in Granby, Colorado, is looking for cooks, reservations agents and a concierge. Shared housing costs are maxed out at $150 a month. All meals are provided as is some horseback riding. 

YMCA Camps in Northern Utah are hiring for multiple positions, including kitchen staff, camp counselors and horse “wranglers.” Near Deer Valley, the camp provides housing and meals. 

The Smiley Creek Lodge in Idaho is looking to fill several positions. The lodge, at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains, provides housing and some meals, plus discounts on others. 

Seasonal jobs overseas

SeasonWorker, which finds overseas work for seasonal workers, is currently posting jobs for fruit-pickers in Scotland and people to lead bike tours. The site lists a variety of other options, as well. However, beware. Some of the opportunities on this site are not really jobs. They’re volunteer opportunities and classes that require you to pay for tuition and travel. 

Another site to search

If seasonal work appeals to you, also be sure to search the traditional job site Indeed. A quick search for seasonal work on Indeed landed dozens of leads, including one for a summer camp counselor based at Pepperdine University in Malibu, and a surf camp instructor in Santa Monica, California. Indeed’s search engine allows you to narrow your search by both job category and geography.