Former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, summed it up when he described his days as a summer camp counselor as some of the most valuable leadership training he has ever had.
From the outside looking in, many people see the camp counselor role as an extension of ones camper years or an opportunity to take the “summer off.” Little do they know that being a camp counselor is the hardest job one will ever have until becoming a parent themselves. Hot days, non-stop schedules, campers pushing limits and high expectation of following camp policies and protocols are just the start, however, all of this is nothing compared to the rewards one internalizes after the summer has faded.
There are so many benefits to working at a camp, so we’ve gathered 13 reasons why you should work at a camp for a summer:
1. You get to be a role model.
For however long you have the opportunity to interact with the campers, you quickly become one of the coolest (and most influential) people in their lives. Camp counselors especially have the opportunity to impact campers because of the amount of time spent with their kids. True bonds can form when you least expect them to: at the high dive at the pool, at the top of the zip line, tubing on the lake, or in the cabin late at night when homesickness sets in.
2. You get to unplug.
Among the woods and lakes, you might not find much Wi-Fi, but you’ll find plenty of nature just begging you to unplug and enjoy. Surrounding yourself with the
beauty of the great outdoors only helps with this.
3. Crafts to the max.
Never tie-dyed a shirt before? No problem. Camp is a great time to learn (or perfect) tie-dying skills, tie thousands of tiny knots until your wrists are loaded with friendship bracelets, and make too many dream catchers.
4. Boost your resume.
Through the experiences you have working for a camp, you will be able to proudly put on your resume that you not only survived a summer working for a camp but thrived in the environment as well. Here you can find 10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Hire Former Camp Counselors. What made the list? Former camp counselors are great communicators, life-long learners, leaders, team players, and creative thinkers, just to name a few.
5. You truly make a difference.
There are so many benefits to working at a camp, including making a difference. Check out The Camp Counselor vs. the Intern from a New York Times blog, here.
“What I do there matters,” she insisted. In several conversations, she told us about helping a camper cope with her mother’s debilitating depression and comforting others whose parents were fighting or separating, about aiding 11- and 12-year-olds who were coming to terms with their sexuality, battling anorexia, confronting body fear. She talked about the many hours devoted to water-skiing lessons, about instilling the confidence needed by awkward, gawky, painfully self-conscious 8- and 9-year-olds to stay prone in the water, hold on to the rope, then rise up and stay on their feet as the boat pulled away. “What’s more important than that?” she asked.
I had no answer, because I couldn’t come up with anything more important.
6. Rock those chacos.
You get to rock the colorful chacos all summer, ending the summer with an awesome (terrible?) tan line.
7. Life-long friendships.
Within just a few days of arriving at camp for the beginning of the summer training sessions, you will meet some awesome people. Just think, your co-workers are some of the best, simply by them being there: they gave up their summer (just like you) to learn, grow, and impact others’ lives as well. Life-long friendships are bound to develop as you live and work alongside other college kids for three solid months.
8. Interview material.
After spending a summer at camp, you will surely find out some strengths and weaknesses for you to talk about in an interview, not to mention the crazy stories you can share
9. Peer networking.
Not all of your co-workers will be elementary education majors. In fact, you will meet a plethora of majors who have done the same thing you have: sought out a beyond-the-typical summer job. An awesome time to expand your peer networking to individuals from all over the country and from all walks of life.
10. Fresh air.
Believe it or not, the great outdoors can give you a sense of relaxation and recharge. Finding time to enjoy a more leisurely life by embracing the early sunrise and sitting up late under a sky full of stars can do more for you than you might have ever imagined. A little dirt never hurt anyone, right? 😉
11. You get paid to be crazy.
Now, our definitions of crazy may be different, but as a staff member for a camp, you get to participate in Wacky Wednesday, dress up crazy for skits, be the leader in the daily dance party, and genuinely show your campers how to have a good time.
12. You hone your leadership skills.
There are plenty of opportunities to improve your leadership skills by working for a camp because, at one point or another, you will be asked to lead. Whether you are leading other staff members or a handful of campers, you will be looked up to for direction and wisdom.
13. You will learn so much about yourself.
As awesome as camp life is, it also is challenging. You may not know how to deal with a situation with a camper, your co-counselor for the week might not be the most compatible with your sense of humor, and some days might seem like they drag on forever—is it lights out yet?! However, it is moments like these where your true colors shine. You will learn so much about yourself and, at the end of the summer, will be able to look back and be proud of all that you made it through.
Ready to work hard, make a difference, build your resume, get paid, and have the best summer of your life? Apply to work for a camp for a summer—you won’t regret it.
This article was originally published on The Lala.