Repetition, Repetition, Repetition: One Reason Camp Is a Unique Professional Experience

Summer camp jobs can teach camp staff important lessons, such as how to fail and bounce back — an important professional development skill.

Camp Staffing: We Can Avoid a Crisis!

Over the past few years, directors all over the country have reported struggling with the fact that good staff are harder to find. They also indicate that it is much more difficult to convince quality applicants to accept summer camp jobs and stay for the entire summer. In the late spring of 2018, with minimum wage issues, the shortage of male candidates, low unemployment rates, and the increased number of internships, we heard more urgency. In some circles, the staffing situation was being labeled as a “threat to our industry.”

The Process of Interviewing Prospective Staff

The interview process for summer camp jobs can help weed out prospective staff who won't meet expectations.

What You Don’t Know Can’t Help You: The Value of Asking Your Staff

Staff feedback is vital to running a successful summer camp. Your staff are the only ones with the answers to these questions, so if you want to know the answers . . . ask them. 

Staffing Strategies: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Headed?

What happened throughout one’s generational history influences current views and perspectives, and camp directors carry those perceptions with them in their thoughts and actions — including those that affect their expectations about the recruitment of staff. Thus, it can be helpful to understand where we’ve been and what today looks like to better understand the future needs of staff recruitment.

Go All IN with Internships & Don't Miss OUT on a Great Opportunity for Your Camp Staff!

Summer staff can be a challenge to find and establishing camp positions as university practicums or internships can help fill the gap as a competitive option for students needing real world experience. Most universities have specific requirements for agencies and organizations to be approved as practicum and internship sites. In addition, interns have specific academic requirements (“homework”) they must complete during their practicum or internship experience.

Camp Employment as Internships

Most camps hire college students to work as camp staff — primarily during the summer season, but on occasion throughout the year. When the employment situation is one where the student has no other obligations, the hiring and employment processes can be relatively smooth. However, camps sometimes run into situations where college students are constrained in their ability to work at camp because they are required to do an internship as part of their schooling.

Take Time to "Hug" Your Staff This Summer

As the summer of 2018 is getting underway, it is evident that this has been another challenging hiring season for many of you. It is likely there are camps out there still looking to hire for a few key positions or who may even have to continue the employment process once camp has begun to keep minimum ratios in check or to fill in where holes are left due to last-minute cancellations or no-shows. Regardless of your staffing situation, you have worked hard to get to this point.

Signing on the Dotted Line: Commitment Is a Two-Way Street

Congratulations! You committed to working at camp this summer, and the director and/or team who hired you have been anticipating your arrival since you signed on the dotted line! It is completely normal to have cold feet and wonder if you made the right decision to spend your summer at camp, similar to the feelings of the campers you will soon meet who will be embarking on this adventure as well. Before the butterflies in your stomach get the best of you, know that commitment is a two-way street.

Project Real Job — Moving Forward Together

In the early ’80s, I graduated from high school and made a simple but life-changing decision. It was May and I hadn’t yet made plans for the summer. My mom encouraged me to call my former camp directors, Herman and Rodger, and inquire about a summer working at camp. I so enjoyed camp as a kid but had missed out on being a counselor-trainee because of other commitments. A summer working outside with kids as a junior counselor sounded great.

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