Now that we're at May 1, the homestretch for camp directors in hiring staff, I thought that I would recreate part of several blogs from the past year about summer camp jobs. Well, here we go...
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 have 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.
For college students, taking a summer camp job makes a lot of sense at this time. At sleepaway camps, staff get their room and board taken care of and most camps will offer some sort of travel allowance for staff who live a good distance from camp. Also, living and working with a team of staff helps to prepare young college students and graduates for the work force.
With the job market so weak, it makes sense for college students to look into internships. While many internships are unpaid positions, think outside the box and apply for a summer camp job. Most camp directors will be open to filling out the paperwork needed for an internship if they can get quality staff. Even better, camp jobs have a salary so college students get invaluable experience while still helping to cover their expenses for the rest of the year. At Maine Arts Camp, this summer we have two staff doing internships while still being paid the typical salary. To make the most of your summer camp job/internship, go to Quint Careers for some great advice.
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!