So you’ve found your dream job this summer — you’re working at camp for the first time!* You’ll be spending your summer playing with kids, making a positive impact on their lives, having tons of fun, meeting new people, and making friends. But there are a few other very important things that you should expect from your job at camp.

Safety First
The most essential aspect of your job this summer is safety. Make sure your campers are always wearing the right clothing/equipment for activities. Create an environment among your campers that values respect — make sure everyone feels emotionally safe. Take care of yourself (get proper sleep and nutrition) so that you remain alert and can make appropriate safety judgment calls at all times. Physical, mental, and emotional safety should be your main priority at all times.

Resources to help:

You Are the Example
This summer, as a staff member, your campers will look to you for guidance and leadership. It’s important to give campers structure (establish expectations at the beginning of camp), make sure your campers know that you are in charge and are comfortable in that role, and be able to communicate with campers effectively. You will be leading by example, so it’s extremely important to know the profound impact your actions, habits, and words have on your campers.

Resources to help:

Games Are More Than Just Fun
Playing games with your campers is not only fun, but beneficial! Ice-breaker games on the first few days of camp can help campers adjust to one another and become friends. Playing games with your campers on the spot can make for better transition times (think of how much easier those extra five or fifteen minutes before lunch will be if your campers are occupied). And observing your campers while they play games with each other allows you to notice and give positive reinforcement for things like: good sportsmanship, including everyone, playing by the rules, and good communication, just to name a few.

Resources to help:

Find more information about these topics and more in ACA’s Knowledge Center. Not your first summer at camp? Tell us what else someone might expect from their first summer working at camp!

*If you haven’t found your dream job yet, post your resume on ACA’s Summer Jobs at Camp site to help employers find you!

Photo courtesy of Camp Howe, Goshen, Massachusetts