14 Days To A Better Summer Camp Experience
If you love dealing with kids, have a confident attitude and love of the outdoors, crafts and games; being a summer day camp counselor may be the perfect job for you personally. Flexibility is really a big plus in this type of job, as you won’t ever know what your day will throw at you, and you’ll need an upbeat, can-do attitude. Whether you’re supervising lakeside activities, wearing a wacky outfit and doing the chicken dance or mediating a squabble between campers, you will have to bring on your very best game. Here are some tips for obtaining the summer job of one’s dreams.
What Do Camp Counselors Do?
Typically, counselors are hired to do something as recreational leaders supervising overall camp operations or teaching various special activities. Swimming, archery, horse riding, crafts and nature education are simply a few of the myriad fun-filled outdoor activities you’ll enjoy right along with the kids at day camp. You’ll need plenty of patience, creativity, leadership skills and most importantly, a feeling of humor.
This is extremely important as camps often start looking for staff in the winter months. If you’re a little late, don’t worry; many programs still have openings in May and June. Have good references on hand and note that some sites will request you to make a YouTube video to accompany your application.
If you’re searching for a job near your geographical area, contact local day camps, YMCAs, town recreation departments along with other youth organizations to see if they’re looking for summer camp staff. You might know other people who work there and be able to use these connections.
There are a variety of websites listing summer camp jobs including Camp Channel, Camp Depot and Camp Page. Cool Works, a summer job site, also has some interesting opportunities.
Are There summer group leader ?
While there are not specific educational requirements for summer camp counselors, it can help to possess CPR and MEDICAL certification and it could even give you an edge over other applicants.
Be Creative with Previous Experience
OK, maybe you haven’t been a camp counselor, but maybe you have been a camper. On your application, emphasize your summer camp experiences and how you intend to carry the fun forward by becoming a counselor yourself. If you’ve spent a summer or two at a camp as a counselor-in-training, you have actual on-the-job experience coping with campers from a counselor role.
Use Your Camp Connections
Many counselors were once campers at the same camp to which they’re applying. Naturally, this might offer you a leg up in the hiring process as you already know the camp culture, traditions and songs, and best of all; you’ve got a real and infectious love of the camp itself.
Get Experience DEALING WITH Kids
Although you may not have specifically worked at a summer camp, you can accumulate other experience dealing with youngsters. Tutoring younger kids, volunteering at afterschool programs, assistant coaching on kids’ teams and babysitting are invaluable experience with children. Ask guidance counselors, coaches or teachers for suggestions.
Emphasize Your Positives
Even though you’ve never set foot in a summer camp, your personal characteristics may position you nicely for a job. Approachability, empathy, leadership ability, creativity and enthusiasm are traits that directors are looking for in their staff… and a little goofiness doesn’t hurt! If you’re responsible, caring and have the ability to put others before yourself, you’ll be a good candidate.
Do You Have a Special Talent?
If you have a specific talent or specialization that fits in with the camp’s programs, be sure you highlight this on your own resume. Camps that emphasize the arts, for instance, may be thrilled with your expertise on the violin or experience with musical theater production, while wilderness camps may zone right in on the fact that you spend years in Boy Scouts or spent summers camping with your family. Any certifications in camp-related areas may also be important.
So, get working on that resume! Remember to emphasize the positive, list all related experience volunteer or paid and put your enthusiasm and love of kids’ front and center.