Summer camp jobs - a place to grow!

Welcome everyone to my blog. Running a residential camp (Maine Arts Camp), as well as MySummers (a staffing site) and Camp Finders (a summer camp referral service), I have gained a unique perspective about sleepaway camps. I first attended camp in 1970 in Maine; I'm still at camp and love it!

Rick Mades

Monday, October 12, 2009

Summer camp jobs & staffing

Working at a summer camp, especially at overnight camps, can help both campers and staff grow in so many positive ways. Staff learn how to resolve issues among campers and staff, how to balance their time, how to compromise and listen, and how to communicate better with their peers, campers and administrators. It is a learning experience for all! In looking for summer camp jobs, potential staff can talk with friends who have worked at camp. That is certainly a good start, but finding a camp on their own can be better in terms of risk taking and gaining independence. Some sites such as MySummers has a large number of camps that are looking for quality staff. By registering with such a site, staff will have many good choices and can start to narrow down their search for a camp that matches their personality and interests.

As much as can be learned at camp, staff new to overnight camps need to understand that the job is 24/7 and can be exhausting. Being a camp counselor may be the most meaningful job one ever has, but it is a lot of work. At the right camp, staff will be teaming with peers who are also passionate about working with children. It is a time for staff to be creative, thoughtful, and a place to put their egos aside and be part of a team. These life skills will translate into the work place in so many ways, many not easily defined. So, in looking at summer jobs, don't neglect what could be the best of all, a summer camp job!

Rick Mades
owner of Camp Finders and MySummers
owner/director of Maine Arts Camp


  1. As someone who has spent many summers working at an overnight camp, and is now working at one full-time, I agree completely with the benefits that working at a camp can offer. The skills I have gained through my summers as a camp counselor and on leadership staff have been so valuable to me through college, as a full-time camp employee, and just in life in general! It can be so hard to put the value of what you learn at camp into words though--unless the person reading your resume has also worked at camp, they most likely won't understand the full capacity of what you have experienced, learned, and are capable of!

  2. After years of going back to camp and my family thinking I was crazy, they finally get it! Just look at staff who work their jobs around camp; they can live without the camaraderie, connections and growth that occur at camp. Thanks for your comment Laura!