At our retreat centers, we see an influx of staff each summer to help compensate for the flood of guests flowing through our doors. Most of these workers are high school and college kids looking for a little spending cash or something constructive to do during the summer months. For those looking to be a camp counselor this summer, it is important to know that this isn’t just hanging out for a couple of weeks playing gaga ball and swimming in the lake. It is an experience that will make a lasting impact!
Camp is a place for personal growth, where skills are learned that will stretch far beyond the property. This isn’t just a summer job before finding a “real job”. It is a real job! And the benefits and experiences are nothing short of those provided at other “real jobs”.
To put it into perspective, let’s look at some of the top skills employers are looking for in today’s workforce:
Communication – With the abundance of people at camp (from campers to counselors to cooks to nurses to worship leaders and speakers) communication is a must. That really is the only way things run smoothly.
Teamwork – There is a whole staff of counselors that you will be working with to keep camp (and the kids) running all summer. If that doesn’t facilitate strong teamwork skills, nothing will.
BONUS: The camp you are working at may just have team building activities that you can participate in.
Problem-solving – Anyone that has any experience with kids knows that things never run as planned. That being said, counselors must be able to think on their feet and adapt to changing situations.
POP QUIZ: What do you do when it starts storming and you are scheduled to be at the beach flying off the blob into the lake?
ANSWER: You solve the problem and come up with an alternative activity that can be played indoors, like reverse charades or potholder assault.
Responsibility – Not only are counselors in charge of the well-being of others during their time at camp, they also have to be responsible for their own things. After all, counselors have to live at camp.
Leadership – Camp counselors are the true leaders of every camp. They are usually in charge of a small horde of campers for a week. They must make decisions, guide, and teach, because they have some very important people looking up to them.
But the biggest takeaway from being a camp counselor is the impact made on young lives. Few other jobs offer the opportunity to shape a child’s attitude and faith. So, if you are looking for a real job this summer, camp may be the perfect spot for you!