Get Better Summer Camp Experience Results By Following 3 Simple Steps
If you love working with kids, have a positive attitude and love of the outside, crafts and games; being a summer day camp counselor could be the perfect job for you personally. Flexibility is really a big plus in this sort of job, as you never know what the day will throw at you, and you will 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’ll need to bring on your 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, horse riding, crafts and nature education are just a few of the myriad fun-filled outdoor activities you’ll enjoy right together with the kids at day camp. You will need a lot of patience, creativity, leadership skills and most importantly, a sense of humor.
This is vitally important as camps often start looking for staff in the winter months. If you’re a bit late, don’t worry; many programs still have openings in May and June. Have good references readily available and remember that some sites will request you to create a YouTube video to accompany your application.
If you’re searching for a job near where you live, contact local day camps, YMCAs, town recreation departments and other youth organizations to see if they’re searching for summer camp staff. You might know others who work there and be able to use these connections.
There are a variety 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 MEDICAL certification and it may even give you an advantage over other applicants.
Be Creative with Previous Experience
OK, perhaps you haven’t been a camp counselor, but maybe you have been a camper. On your application, emphasize your summer camp experience s and how you wish to carry the fun forward by becoming a counselor yourself. If you’ve spent a summer or two at a camp as a counselor-in-training, you have actual on-the-job experience dealing with campers from the counselor role.
Use Your Camp Connections
Many counselors were once campers at the same camp to which they’re applying. Naturally, this might provide you with a leg up in the hiring process because you know the camp culture, traditions and songs, and best of all; you have a real and infectious love of the camp itself.
Get Experience Working With Kids
Although you may not have specifically worked at a summer camp, you can accumulate other experience dealing 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 though 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 seeking in their staff… and a little goofiness doesn’t hurt! If you’re responsible, caring and also have the capability 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 ties in with the camp’s programs, be sure you highlight this on your 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 truth that you may spend years in Boy Scouts or spent summers camping with your family. Any certifications in camp-related areas are also important.
So, get focusing on that resume! Be sure you emphasize the positive, list all related experience volunteer or paid and put your enthusiasm and love of kids’ front and center.
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