They say being a camp counselor at overnight camp is the hardest job you will ever love and that may be true, but there are so many benefits to the camp experience that often get overlooked. Many choose to take on the challenge because they went to camp and have a desire to give back to an experience that gave so much to them. Others may want to experience something completely new, travel, meet new people or just have that one last summer of fun before they enter the real world. All of those are great reasons but have you ever stopped to consider the value a residential summer camp counselor position can add to your resume?
According to a recent study (Warner & Povilatis, 2021.p. 63) as listed in the ACA article, Working at Summer Camp Can Be More Than Fun and Skill Development, We found that the unique characteristics of camp employment (i.e., social setting, impactful work, live-where-you-work, variety) helped young adults’ understand their desires for doing work that makes a difference, that has a supportive work environment and offers opportunities for meaningful relationships with coworkers, work-life balance, personal development, and variety. So, what’s all that mean? Young professionals today strive for work that allows flexibility, is meaningful and creates a positive work life balance. In a nutshell, spending a summer at camp helps young professionals understand what is important to them and allows them to identify and create a work philosophy that that will help them for years to come.
So how do you translate a summers worth of valuable knowledge and experience into a professional resume and successful first job? Let’s identify some skills that working in this setting inevitably provide and companies have recognized as invaluable:
· Living in a communal environment with campers and other staff members requires the ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and trouble shoot challenges or situations that may arise. In addition, when dealing with campers, counselors must be empathic, mitigate conflict and create a rapport with their campers and fellow staff that makes them trustworthy and approachable.
· When running an activity area or teaching a skill or technique at camp you’ve created a lesson plan, organized your thoughts, and thought critically about how to adjust or challenge different skill levels, ages, and weather conditions to capture your audience and keep them coming back for more.
· And finally, you have an opportunity to develop your independent leadership skills, take initiative and lead by example. All of which enhance your overall marketability.
At Camp Blue Ridge, we provide our staff with opportunities to not only work at camp but also gain unique and practical experiences that will put you one step ahead when it comes to completing your degree, landing that first job, or vying for a promotion. We have designed a unique Internship Program that caters to High School and College Level students alike. Whether you are looking to complete an independent study, satisfy required community service hours or complete an internship, together we can maximize your summer and provide you with an experience you simply can’t put a value on. These are highly beneficial work skills that will set you apart from others.
What’s our Blue Ridge Camp commitment to you? Our Internship Coordinator will meet with you and hand tailor your internship experience to ensure all requirements are met and all areas of interest are experienced throughout the course of the summer. Some example areas include:
• Camp Administration
• Facility Management
• Program Planning
• Staff Management
• Food Service Management
• Risk Management
We will work within your university’s requirements to ensure your internship hours are met through pre camp preparation, staff orientation, daily camp operations and post summer evaluation. We are committed to diversifying your exposure at camp and providing you with designated time to complete assigned projects throughout your internship experience. At the end of your contract, we will complete an in-person evaluation, provide you with resume building techniques and act as a letter of reference for you. The best perk of it all, you will become a permanent part of our Camp Blue Ridge family and a part of the fabric that has kept our family-owned camp thriving for generations of families for more than 50 years.