Thinking of becoming a camp counselor this summer? Working as a camp counselor is a great way to meet new people, gain experience in the outdoors and spend time with kids. Whether you sign on for the summer or part-time work at a day camp, you are guaranteed a rewarding experience and a fun-filled summer.
As a camp counselor, your job is among the most important responsibilities anywhere. Parents have entrusted their children to you. You have the charge of not only making sure they are safe, but of nurturing their development. Your attention should be positive, encouraging, friendly, individualized, fair, understanding, and accepting.
Camp counseling is a position which promotes many professional skills you will use later in life, such as responsibility, patience, and flexibility. In the professional world, employers are looking for characteristics that a hard-working camp counselor has gained through summertime experience. Here are tips to help you find that perfect camp counselor job:
- Step One - Go online and research all of your options. You’ll wan to check job boards for any camp job listings in local area or perhaps throughout the United States, if you are looking to travel. Try to review their required qualifications.
- Step Two – Get as much information and opinions from as many people as possible. Talk to people at your church about church camps, check the school job boards, and look for opportunities at your local parks or at the recreation department.
- Step Three – Assess and make a list of your skills. Any special qualifications you may possess, such as lifeguard, first aid, or CPR certification, will be important and work in your favor. Other useful skills include horseback experience, guitar playing, and anything else that might relate to camping.
- Step Four - Aim for any camps that will utilize your strengths. If you play baseball or coach a tee ball team, apply at a baseball camp. If you're a cheerleader, apply at a spirit or cheer camp. If you're a talented musician, apply at a band or music camp. There is a camp for almost anything if you look hard enough.
- Step Five – You may also want to try a local day camp if you are interested in staying close to home. You'll need to provide your own transportation to and from camp, but it is worth it since you'll be getting paid but gaining important experience that you can build your résumé with.
- Step Six – Try to apply to camps that interest you. There are some camps that will require you to supply a résumé, letters of recommendation and even high school or college transcripts.
Helpful Tips & Warnings
- Often times, camps will have different age and experience requirements. Make sure you check carefully to find those camps that meet your needs.
- If you're not old enough to be a camp counselor, consider spending the summer as a counselor-in-training. Although you won't get paid, you’ll earn important experience to use later on in life.
- Competition for summer jobs is fierce with schools being out. Be sure to apply as early as possible.
- Always make sure you get a listing of what is and isn't provided at the camp. Room and board are usually provided for full-time counselors, but there are some camps where you might have to pay for everything else.
- If you're going to work at a local camp, you'll probably have to pay for your own transportation to and from the camp.
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