Whether a person’s hoping to find a camp job or an entire camp career, exciting opportunities can be found in the truly unique workplace of summer camp. Educating young people in the powerful and transformative educational setting of summer camp is tremendously rewarding and there are transferable skills to many, many other fields! People of all ages stand to learn a lot from camp jobs; summer after summer it's possible to build successive skills. In addition to the rewards of working with and teaching campers, staff often return during and well after the college years to work, mentor, play, and learn alongside the campers. While camps exist for their campers, they also promote and provide on-going growth and skill development for adults in an atmosphere of friendship, safety, fun and learning.
This is an excellent time of the year to be thinking about working at camp. Trust us, lots of folks ARE exploring camp jobs, like these posted on our website. Camps are certainly preparing for summer by hiring on seasonal and year round staff of all ages.
Educating young people at summer camp is most certainly a rewarding job. It's also a career for numerous professionals who find their camp work too compelling to leave. This recent Maine Magazine article about Sue Stocker McMullan and the Legacy of Alford Lake Camp (ACA Accredited) reveals so much that's critically important and unique about the profession as it shares Sue's story.
“Basically the core of all of this is enabling young people to feel better about who they are in an extended family situation, where there is warmth and caring,” says McMullan. “They learn to connect with people on a deeper level. They learn how to get through struggle and how to succeed. And then they go out and make a difference in the world. My mother-in-law [Jean McMullan] always reminded me that this is one of the finest forms of education we can give our children.”
Parents of teens may not appreciate the powerful benefits of working at camp for teens and college-age children. Just as camp prepares campers for school and college and life, it prepares its staff for advanced learning opportunities and for highly responsible jobs in fields that are both related (like teaching, counseling, and an array of youth development work) and those not related at all (like every major profession from medicine to law, from business to science, and many, many more.) Camp jobs prepare people for the demands of the classroom, courtroom, operating or exam room, and the board room – just to name a couple. Camps excel at preparing people, young and old, to interact meaningfully with other people. And as children have fewer and fewer opportunities to live, work and play with other children, camp experiences have become essential.
Camp life and camp lessons often have lifelong impact on campers and staff because they are transferable to so many other work settings. These recent posts and articles focus on how camp jobs stack up against internships in the internship-obsessed culture college students and their families are forced to navigate today. Actually, internships and camp jobs are not mutually exclusive. Internships are available at many camps—truly a win-win when camp people are willing to partner with school people to help young staff receive college credit for camp work. In fact, camp people ARE school people. You may remember the concept of camp was founded by educators a century and a half ago right here in New England, the birthplace of summer camp. The summer camp field has not strayed far from its educational roots. That camps often provide a first job experience while instilling the responsibilities of working should come as no surprise.
If only every young person heading into the world could benefit from being at and working at camp first...
Thanks to the following ACA Accredited camps for the photography used in this post:
Chewonki Camp for Boys, Camp Howe and Summer Fenn Day Camp