The Simple Summer Camp Experience That Wins Customers
If you love working with kids, have a confident attitude and love of the outdoors, crafts and games; being truly a summer day camp counselor may be the perfect job for you personally. Flexibility is really a big plus in this type of job, as you never know what the day will throw at you, and you’ll need an upbeat, can-do attitude. Whether you’re supervising lakeside activities, wearing a wacky outfit and doing the chicken dance or mediating a squabble between campers, you will have to bring on your very best game. Here are a few tips for obtaining the summer job of one’s dreams.
What Do Camp Counselors Do?
Typically, counselors are hired to do something as recreational leaders supervising overall camp operations or teaching various special activities. Swimming, archery, horseback riding, crafts and nature education are simply a few of the myriad fun-filled outdoor activities you’ll enjoy right together with the kids at day camp. You’ll need plenty of patience, creativity, leadership skills and most importantly, a feeling of humor.
This is vitally important as camps often start looking for staff in the wintertime months. If you’re a bit late, don’t worry; many programs still have openings in-may and June. Have good references on hand and note that some sites will request you to make a YouTube video to accompany the application.
If you’re looking for a job near your geographical area, contact local day camps, YMCAs, town recreation departments along with other youth organizations to see if they’re searching for summer camp staff. You may know other people who work there and also use these connections.
There are a number of websites listing summer camp jobs including Camp Channel, Camp Depot and Camp Page. Cool Works, a summer job site, also offers some interesting opportunities.
Are There Educational Requirements?
While you can find not specific educational requirements for summer camp counselors, it can help to possess CPR and First Aid certification and it could even give you an edge over other applicants.
Be Creative with Previous Experience
OK, perhaps you haven’t been a camp counselor, but perhaps you have been a camper. On your own application, emphasize your summer camp experience s and how you intend to carry the fun forward by becoming a counselor yourself. If you have spent a summer or two at a camp as a counselor-in-training, you have actual on-the-job experience coping with campers from the counselor role.
Use Your Camp Connections
Many counselors were once campers at the very same camp to which they’re applying. Naturally, this might give you a leg up in the hiring process as you know the camp culture, traditions and songs, and on top of that; you have a real and infectious love of the camp itself.
Get Experience DEALING WITH Kids
Although you may not have specifically worked at a summer camp, it is possible to accumulate other experience working with youngsters. Tutoring younger kids, volunteering at afterschool programs, assistant coaching on kids’ teams and babysitting are invaluable experience with children. Ask guidance counselors, coaches or teachers for suggestions.
Emphasize Your Positives
Even if you’ve never set foot in a summer camp, your personal characteristics may position you nicely for employment. Approachability, empathy, leadership ability, creativity and enthusiasm are traits that directors are searching for in their staff… and a little goofiness doesn’t hurt! If you are responsible, caring and also have the ability to put others before yourself, you will be a good candidate.
Do You Have a particular Talent?
If you have a specific talent or specialization that fits in with the camp’s programs, make sure to highlight this on your own resume. Camps that emphasize the arts, for instance, may be thrilled together with your expertise on the violin or experience with musical theater production, while wilderness camps may zone right in on the fact that you spend years in Boy Scouts or spent summers camping with your family. Any certifications in camp-related areas may also be important.
So, get working on that resume! Remember to emphasize the positive, list all related experience volunteer or paid and put your enthusiasm and love of kids’ front and center.