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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Summer camp jobs & team players

We are always looking for staff who will be good team players at camp. If you have ever worked at a camp, you know what the expression "wearing many hats" means. Staff could be needed to help in the office, help with an emergency with a camper, fill in at an activity which is somewhat new to them, move from one cabin/dorm to another, etc. During staff training one summer, we had one of our boys' counselors come in with a big sign that said "Ego". We were trying to get across to new staff (and returning ones) to check their ego at the door. Invariably, when we have staff who think they deserve special treatment, even if they're very talented in a variety of areas, they can cause more problems than they're worth. Working at a summer camp job takes staff who want to be part of a team and help each other out. I would rather have a new staff who needs training than one who comes in with pre-conceived notions about how our camp should be run.

Although we run an arts camp, I am a big sports fan, especially of the New England Patriots. They currently look like the best team in the NFL and the key word once again is "team". No one player more important than the other (even their leader Tom Brady seems like a great team guy). The coach, Bill Belichick, looks for players who fit his system and who he can "coach up". This is no different than hiring and training staff for summer camp jobs. The Pats motto is "Do your job". Ours at camp is "Ready, willing and able". At camp, doing your job means that you're ready for anything that comes your way. I admire Belichick in that he doesn't get to up or down with each win or loss (not too many lately) and the players try to learn from their mistakes. We hope for the same for staff who take camp jobs. We all make mistakes, but the staff and administrators who learn from them, accept responsibility and grow are "keepers".

So, if you're looking for a summer camp job, or running a camp, don't be afraid to collaborate, ask for help, listen and learn each summer. Since being a camp counselor is a 24/7 job, staff taking summer camp jobs have an incredible opportunity to grow and gain valuable skills that can be used in all different walks of life.

Have a great Holiday and go Pats!

Rick Mades
Camp Director, Maine Arts Camp
Owner, Camp Finders (a free service) & MySummers (the best resource for camp jobs)

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