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

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Reference checks, interviews

We are in the busy time of the year for interviews of staff applicants. Along with the interviews, and very important, are the reference checks. I was just on the phone with a couple of references for a guy that we interviewed on Thursday. The interview went well. He was personable, caring, thoughtful and probably will become a good teacher upon graduating college. The first reference I talked to was an important one as the applicant had worked for two weeks last summer at a day camp. One thing the camp director said was that the applicant took directions well and doesn't take those directions personally. I asked her about this and she has had staff in the past who takes directions, constructive criticism and more personally. Haven't we all seen this at camp? It is almost human nature to take things personally to some extent. Although we have questions during the interview which address constructive criticism, it is always better to hear from an employer how an applicant actually reacts to constructive criticism. Hiring strong camp staff takes a good set of questions, strong listening skills during the interview and in talking to references, and a bit of luck. Parents often ask whether we do background checks, which we do, but such checks don't tell us anything about most applicants since 90% of the checks come up with completely clean records. Good luck to everyone with camper enrollment and staffing!

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

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