9 February 2012 0 Comments

Summer camp jobs

Summer camp jobs offer you the chance to get paid for being a kid.

What the Job Entails
Unless you have a specific job in the camp (nurse, therapist), you’re likely to fall into the “counselor” category. This is a very ample definition that covers everybody, from cabin leaders to instructors. Camp counselors work six days a week. Although the actual job (where you teach a class, for example) can be just five or six hours a day, you will be in charge of the kids all day long, so there aren’t truly any hours off during a regular work day. Besides teaching classes, you will also have additional chores. For example, riding staff might be required to work at the stables, cleaning or caring for the horses.

General summer camps don’t require any special skills. In fact, many hire high-school or college kids to serve as camp counselors. If you’re going for a senior position, such as team leader, then you will need to demonstrate the ability to work on your own, as well as responsibility and good communication skills. Some camps have an age minimum for camp staff (usually 20 or 21).

summer camp jobs

There are also plenty of specialty summer camps, where having a particular skill will help you secure a job more easily, as well as earn you more money. For example, many summer camps focus on wilderness adventure, horseback riding or water sports (kayaking, swimming). If you have experience working as a lifeguard, were a boy scout leader or are a riding instructor, landing a job in a summer camp will be easier and more lucrative.

Most summer camps require First aid & CPR training. Some will require you to show you can swim, while others might require lifeguard training/experience or certification. Some jobs require a current driver’s license. It’s becoming more and more common for camps to conduct a background check or drug testing on potential employees, so don’t be surprised if that’s a requirement.

What It Pays
Many summer camp jobs are internships. This means they don’t pay anything, but offer other benefits. Many universities offer internship credit through summer camps. For example, people studying to be teachers or hoping to work in the tourism or recreation industry might be able to obtain college credits by working at a summer camp. Some camps pay salaries, but the amount varies widely depending on your position at the camp. For example, Cedar Lodge camp in Michigan pays anywhere from $1800 to $2600 for program staff, while Camp Winnebago in Maine offer $250 a week for their counselor staff positions.

What Else You Need to Know
While there’s a relaxed atmosphere at camps, that doesn’t mean you’re not expected to follow certain rules. If you smoke, you might be asked to do it away from the camp or not at all. The best way to land a summer camp job is to start your search as early as possible. If you’re hoping to start in May, for example, it’s best to start looking in February. Certain locations are especially sought-after and jobs fill out quickly.


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