Ask anyone who has been a camp counselor and they will say it is the hardest yet most rewarding job they have ever had. They worked around the clock for eleven weeks of summer in order to share a small glimpse of life with young people. Yes, of course it is fun but also purposeful. What are some of the qualities that you might find in former camp staff, and how will they benefit a business long term? Here are just a few examples:
- Communication: Camp counselors learn to communicate with a wide range of people including directors, supervisors, parents, and most importantly children. When parents drop off their child, the counselors have one conversation to prove themselves competent so the parents can leave confident knowing their greatest love will be in good hands.
- Resilience: Camp counselors are going to encounter a lot of problems during each summer. Some might be solved in a couple of seconds while others will need more attention, and many solutions will require creativity. They quickly learn to tap into past experiences which equip them to handle practically anything. Just ask the counselor who has taken a group of girls into the woods for a backpacking overnight (it downpoured rain the entire time) and returns to their cabin just in time to face an outbreak of the stomach virus. Camp counselors know how to take it in stride. They put on their thinking caps, grab gloves and trash bags and get to work. All the while keeping their cool and comforting the sick campers.
- Initiative: Camp counselors become self-starters as they learn to quickly adapt to what is happening around them. Most of the time they have less than a week during training to pick up everything they need to know about camp life, how to care for campers, and quite frankly themselves. Yes, they have great resources but no one is holding their hand through every circumstance. They are go-getters, who approach every situation with a desire to learn and to improve.
- Team Leadership: Take an individual who is a leader in all aspects and combine it with an individual who knows when it’s appropriate to follow and the result is a camp counselor. They know themselves well enough to know they can’t do everything on their own which leads them to bring their ideas to the table and collaborate with their peers to produce the best game, lesson plan, and cabin activity. Most importantly they do it with a smile on their face knowing this job is impossible without the support of others.
So, dear future employers, these are the people you need to seek out. They will bring something special that will be hard to find in other applicants.
Sarah Kate Powell