50 Ways To Avoid Summer Camp Experience Burnout

If you love working with kids, have a confident attitude and love of the outside, crafts and games; being a summer day camp counselor may be the perfect job for you personally. Flexibility is a big plus in this type of job, as you never know what your 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 very best game. Below are a few tips for obtaining the summer job of one’s dreams.

What Do Camp Counselors Do?

Typically, counselors are hired to act as recreational leaders supervising overall camp operations or teaching various special activities. Swimming, archery, horseback riding, crafts and nature education are simply some of the myriad fun-filled outdoor activities you’ll enjoy right combined with the kids at day camp. You will need a lot of patience, creativity, leadership skills and above all, a sense of humor.

Apply Early!

This is extremely important as camps often begin looking for staff in the winter months. If you’re a little 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 your application.

Looking Locally

If you’re looking for a job near your geographical area, contact local day camps, YMCAs, town recreation departments and other youth organizations to see if they’re looking for summer camp staff. You might know others who work there and be able to use these connections.

Look On-Line

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.

IS THERE Educational Requirements?

While you can find not specific educational requirements for summer camp counselors, it helps to have CPR and MEDICAL certification and it could even give you an advantage over other applicants.

Be Creative with Previous Experience

OK, maybe you haven’t been a camp counselor, but perhaps you have been a camper. On your application, emphasize your summer camp experiences and how you intend 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 coping with campers from a counselor role.

Use Your Camp Connections

Many counselors were once campers at the very same camp to which they’re applying. Naturally, this would give you a leg up in the hiring process as you know the camp culture, traditions and songs, and best of all; you’ve got 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 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 individual characteristics may position you nicely for a job. Approachability, empathy, leadership ability, creativity and enthusiasm are traits that directors are searching for within 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 particular talent or specialization that ties in with the camp’s programs, be sure you 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 truth that you may spend years in Boy Scouts or spent summers camping together with your family. Any certifications in camp-related areas are also 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.

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