Three Oaks Recreation Area hiring summer employees
The Three Oaks Recreation Area in Crystal Lake is currently accepting applications for the 2016 summer season.
The 600-acre facility is on the site of an old gravel quarry, and offers amenities such as boating, swimming, fishing, paddle boarding and scuba diving. There are also pavilions available for family or corporate gatherings, graduation parties, birthdays, weddings, and other social events.
The park attracted an estimated 90,000 visitors last year and employs approximately 90 people during the peak season, which runs from May through October. Three Oaks’ central attraction is a 330-acre lake with a marina and beautiful crystal clear waters.
“The most important thing to know about the park is there are no gas-powered engines allowed on the lake, so when you’re in this quarry facility, you’re taken down a level below the road noise and the life around us”, Terry Clarke, recreation manager and events coordinator, recently told The McHenry Times. “The minute you get down there, it is so peaceful and quiet, without any power boats, without any jet skis, without any noise. It’s such a relaxing viewscape that embraces you when you get down there.”
Other features of the park include a smaller 30-acre lake that features a 330-square-foot, buoyed off scuba diving area designed for visitors to better enjoy the clear blue water. In order to gain access, divers must be certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), they must always dive with a partner and they must wear dive flags in order for staff to know where they are at all times. The scuba area is equipped with aboveground changing and rinsing facilities.
Opening soon on the smaller lake will be the Quarry Cable Park and Grill. Here visitors will be able to water board around the lake while being towed with a cable suspended from a large tower. Boarders will be able to go around obstacles, go over jumps and ski safely around the lake.
The staff at Three Oaks breaks down roughly into two categories. About half of the employees are referred to as "attendants." This group is responsible for the marina operations, the scuba diving facility and the parking area, along with basic duties including maintenance and keeping the park clean. The other half makes up a team that is responsible for the oversight of the swimming area, and includes beach managers and lifeguards.
“We’re very lucky to have an incredible group of kids that have jumped on and joined us in the previous few years," Clarke said. "If they worked really hard, did a great job and we liked their performance, we always invite them back the following year. This year we are only hiring about 10 attendants to augment the almost 35 that we have returning from last year.”
Clarke said Three Oaks still needs to hire approximately 20 to 25 new lifeguards, and interviews for those positions are ongoing.
Applicants for summer positions are asked to be available to work for at least 20 to 25 hours a week. There are no age restrictions for marina attendant positions; and the group is a mix of high school students, college students and even some retirees. The lifeguards are mostly high school and college age, according to Clarke. They must be certified by the American Red Cross. Three Oaks will be offering a lifeguard training certification class at the end of March. Anyone in the area who is interested in obtaining lifeguard certification is encouraged to come in for an interview.
Residents of Crystal Lake are allowed to enter the Three Oaks Area, park their car, access the swimming beach and walk the park for free. Boat rental rates for residents vary from $6 an hour to $35 depending on the type of craft. Non-residents pay a $5 parking fee, and admission to the swimming beach is $10 for adults and $6 for children. Boat rentals for non-residents are slightly higher than the resident rates. Pavilion rentals vary, so groups should contact Three Oaks with their specific needs.
Organizations in this Story
5517 Northwest Highway
Crystal Lake, IL - 60014