In order to talk about the benefits of working at a summer camp, we must start by debunking some myths people believe about the job.
Myth #1: It’s not a “real” job.
Truth: Working at a summer camp is mentally and physically demanding. Camp counselors are no longer only responsible for the well-being of themselves, but the well-being of students ranging from 6 years old - 18 years old. Many summer staff work 16 hour days, six days a week, not to mention the middle of the night responsibilities. If this isn’t a real job, I am not sure what is.
Myth #2: It doesn’t add anything valuable to my resume.
Truth: Working at camp is a resume builder. The following, can often be added to a resume after working at summer camp:
- Works well with a diverse group of people
- Able to lead and follow and know when each are appropriate
- Positive in the face of difficulty
- Holds the attention of an antsy audience
- Ability to think and problem solve “outside-the-box”
- Guide other people through tough situations
- Able to manage personal needs and the needs of others simultaneously
This is just a start, there are so many more things that could be added. Any employer who looks at these kills will be impressed. More than ever before, employers are valuing “camp counselor” on resumes.
Myth #3: I have to do an internship for school and camp won’t fulfill that requirement.
Truth: There are a wide range of opportunities available at camp. Many internships requiring management of staff, interpersonal relationships, supervision of groups, and curriculum/program planning, can be accommodated at camp. All you have to do is ask for what you need, and many camps and educational institution will support and help you fulfill your requirements.
Myth #4: I won’t make enough money.
Truth: You’re right. You could be making more money, but because of the skills and certifications you can receive working at camp, this job is worthwhile. Many camps provide housing and meals so all the money you make in the summer can be saved.
Myth #5: I could be doing something worthwhile.
Truth: Being a positive influence in the lives of hundreds of kids for a summer is an incredibly purposeful and worthwhile job.
Camp is a beneficial place to grow personally and professionally as a future employee in the workplace whether you are going into the non-profit sector, education, or the corporate world. Take the risk! It is worth it and will continue to benefit you for the rest of your life.
Youth Program Manager
Warm Beach Camp