So you have your dream job this summer — working with a ton of kids, having fun, and staying active at camp!* How do you make sure that you get exactly what you want out of your summer at camp? We’ve already talked about what to expect . Setting goals before the summer can be helpful and make you more aware of your desired outcomes.
Get Clear on What You Want
Start by asking questions like this:
- How do I want my campers to feel at the end of their session?
- What would I want campers’ parents to be able to say about my counseling abilities?
- How do I want my coworkers and supervisors to feel about my counseling abilities?
- How do I want to feel at the end of the summer?
- What will allow me to do the best job I can?
Make SMART Goals
After you know what you want, make SMART goals toward getting there:
Examples of SMART goals:
- I want to “catch” each of my campers doing something good every day.
- I want to work with my campers to set 3–5 main ground rules of our camper group on the first day. (For help with this, read Stephen Maguire’s “The Cool Counselor: For the Right Reasons .”)
- I want to tell a coworker “thank you” for something each day.
Use these examples as a guide as you create goals specific to your job.
Keep a Record
As the summer progresses, it will be helpful to write your about your goals and how you are accomplishing them. That way, if you create a goal such as “Make sure all of my level-one swimmers are ready for level two by the end of the session,” you will remember the steps you took to achieve that goal — and the skills you gained. This notebook will serve as a reminder of your goals during the summer . . . AND afterward, when you are adding to your resume or portfolio.
If you have any other tips, share them in the comments below!
*Haven’t found your dream job yet? Post your resume or browse openings on ACA’s Summer Jobs at Camp site!
Photo courtesy of YMCA Camp Wabansi, Brussels, Wisconsin