Camp as a Springboard: Three Camp Characteristics Applicable to Any Career

I worked for years at camp, in a variety of positions, not because I was focused on my career, but because of the feeling I got doing the work. I enjoyed it. I was happy. But at the time, I could not articulate how camp was preparing me for “the real world”, or giving me the skills that I would need to call upon later in life. Now, after starting my own nonprofit organization, I realize that camp gave me invaluable skills that have led me to a meaningful and fulfilling career. I’m sharing them here, so that maybe they can inspire future camp staff:

CampWire Episode 37: Camp Staff Recruiting - Finding Diverse Organizations on Campus

This podcast talks about how to find organizations for BIPOC students, why it is important to hire diverse staff members for summer camp, and how diversity can impact the culture of your camp.

Want a More Resilient Staff? Focus on Feedback

So now that we are finally faced with a glimmer of light at the end of this year-long tunnel, it’s time to shift our focus to how we can help develop a resilient staff with staying power — not just for this summer, but for future summers as well.

Creating an Inclusive Culture to Increase Staff Retention

How inclusive is your camp? Ask any of your staff and campers that question, and you are likely to get different answers from each one. Why, you might ask? Because at the individual level, the definition of inclusion is how welcome a person feels to be their authentic selves at camp. Without their perspectives, determining how inclusive your camp may be is an exercise in futility. 

Staff Recruiting: The Answer Is Right in Front of You

Standing in a crowded room (pre-COVID-19) with your best smile on, you hope that something on your table will catch the eye of at least one of the sharply dressed college students cruising your aisle. Even if just long enough for you to begin your pitch, “Got plans for the summer?” They keep walking. All day, they just keep walking. A thought creeps in, “This was a waste of time!” The trip, the registration cost, the hotel, and perhaps most importantly, one of the fleeting spring days left until summer, all wasted. 

Innovation Engineers: Encourage Your Staff to Engage and Create

Keeping staff engaged is an age-old challenge that begs for a new twist given our current times and circumstances. The Summer Camp Innovation Network organized a space for innovation by connecting 18- to 22-year-old university students with camp professionals to create synergy around engagement of staff. Daniel Shore and Kim Aycock challenged the teams to create an idea that motivates staff to engage between summers. 

Working at Summer Camp Can Be More Than Fun and Skill Development

Working at camp can be a blast and a great opportunity to make lifelong friends while learning skills useful to life beyond camp. Although a great deal of camp research has focused on understanding the benefits of attending camp for youth participants, we know less about what this experience is like for the staff who make the programs happen. Do not fear! Research about seasonal summer camp staff experiences does exist (see Warner et al., 2021 for a review) and more is on the way! 

Project Real Job’s Innovation Boot Camp -Shark Tank Event- Ideas Around Staff Motivation

Shark Tank for Camp Pros, and YOU are the Sharks (i.e., judges)! A cohort of over 40 camp leaders, staff, and students were given the prompt, “What is one new way you can motivate staff leading up to Summer 2021?” They spent several weeks developing innovative ideas during a PRJ Innovation Boot Camp. In this webinar, you will (1) hear teams pitch their ideas, (2) have the opportunity to ask questions, and (3) reflect on how to bring these innovative ideas back to camp. 

Innovation Boot Camp -Shark Tank Event- Ideas Around Staff Motivation

Project Real Job brings you Shark Tank for Camp Pros, and YOU are the Sharks (i.e., judges)! A cohort of over 40 camp leaders, staff, and students were given the prompt, “What is one new way you can motivate staff leading up to Summer 2021?” They spent several weeks developing innovative ideas during a PRJ Innovation Boot Camp. In this webinar, you will (1) hear teams pitch their ideas, (2) have the opportunity to ask questions, and (3) reflect on how to bring these innovative ideas back to camp. 

Recruiting College Students: Make It Personal

Staff recruitment is looking a bit . . . or a lot . . . different this year. Slowly, a shift from loading up the car and driving cross-country to area colleges for job fairs has given way to online recruitment.

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