Posts Tagged ‘camp counselor jobs’

It’s Not Too Late…

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Are you experiencing it yet? The ‘Oh no, summer is almost here and I still don’t have a summer job yet!’ panic?

Maybe you visited a job fair a couple of months ago, met a camp recruiter, and briefly thought about working at summer camp. It certainly sounded like fun, and it would definitely be different than any other summer job you’ve ever had. But you decided to put off the decision. Oh, how time flies when you’re taking exams and busy planning spring break.

Now, you’re just a little over a month from packing up your dorm room and wondering where you’re going to go. There is home, of course. But if you’ve been hoping for something slightly more exciting this summer, consider revisiting the idea of working at summer camp. It’s not too late.

While it’s true that many camps are filling those final empty positions, if you have a unique or unusual talent, that just might work in your favor. Most of the positions camps are currently filling are those that are hardest to fill, meaning that they require some sort of specialized knowledge that not a lot of people have. What kind of specialized knowledge? Think creatively. Are you good in the kitchen? Maybe you are Shaun White on a skateboard, a Zumba enthusiast, know how to fire a kiln, operate a band saw, sew or build rockets. These are just a few of the specialty hobby or niche programs for which camps sometimes have difficulty finding just the right person. Before assuming that there is no place for you on a summer camp staff, do a little bit of research. You never know when a camp may be looking for someone just like you.

This isn’t to say that if you’re not particularly gifted in anything special that there is no place for you. Sometimes staff members who have signed on for the summer score that last minute dream internship or have to withdraw for personal reasons, leaving camps with positions to fill that require common skills. The point is that although openings are dwindling fast, it’s not too late.

Eagerly Awaiting the Arrival of Campers!

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

In just a few short days, campers will arrive at each of America’s Finest Summer Camps in droves.  But summer camp campuses all over the country have already been populated by someone else for the past several days: staff.  Working with children 24/7 requires more preparation than simply showing up ready to work and being given a brief tour of the “office.”  When your “office” is a summer camp campus, there is quite a lot of preparation to do before the campers arrive.  That’s why summer camp staff participate in orientation sessions that last for a full week.  During this time, staff are trained in everything from inclusive techniques and ice breakers to emergency procedures.

Some of the staff members, like many of their campers will later this week, stepped off of a bus and into summer camp for the first time.  They were nervous, as is expected of everyone showing up for their first day on the job.  Having carefully been selected by year round camp staff over the course of the past year, many of them are working toward degrees that will lead to careers working with children and have some idea of what to expect…but not completely.  Over the past several days they’ve learnt a lot about camp, a lot about themselves, a lot about each other, and a lot about the campers they will meet in a few days.

If you ask any of them, they’ll tell you it has been an intense few days, but beneficial ones.  They’ll tell you that not all of it has been fun, but a lot of it has.  They’ll tell you that they’ve already made some new friends they know they’ll have for life.  But, perhaps most telling about the type of people who choose to embark on an adventure as seemingly crazy as working round the clock for seven straight days in an unfamiliar place for two straight months, is that they’ll tell you that they can’t wait to meet their campers!

“Get to Know” Kim–Upper Debs Division Leader

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

For another “Get to know…”, a couple of our Deb girls interviewed Upper Debs Division Leader Kim Schwartz.  Here’s the word from Kim:

This is her fifth summer at Camp Starlight. Her role here at camp has always been the Upper Debs Division Leader—“Mama Eagle”–and she can’t believe that some of her campers from her first summer are now counselors.

Her most memorable moment at Camp Starlight was in 2008, when she had her Bat Mitzvah here.

Some other interesting facts about Kim…

She was pregnant her first summer

She loves that her entire family gets to come to camp together every summer (hubby Evan is also a Division Leader on the boys side, son Ben is a camper, and daughter Maddie looks forward to being a camper in a couple more years).

Speaking of family, she also loves that her children will grow up at camp.

During the ten months she’s not at Camp Starlight, she teaches upper elementary school.

She says that if she wasn’t a Division Leader at camp, then she’d definitely be a Bunk Specialist.

Faves list…

Color: blue

Camp Meal: whacky mac & matzah ball soup

Evening Activity: Spirit of Starlight

And there you have our “Get to know…” with Kim Schwartz!

It’s a Small World after All

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

As we go about our everyday, it is easy to think that the world is made up of just our friends, family and the people we see on a regular basis. We associate and spend time with people from similar places, cultures and backgrounds and can sometimes even forget there is a big world outside our own.  Whether you are a camper or a staff member, going to camp makes you see the world differently! Camp gives you the benefit of coming into contact with people from different schools, communities, countries and cultures from around the world. We make it a point of hiring counselors from across the globe for this reason.

After traveling around the world to meet our counselors, we know that everyone loves to see that some of our soccer coaches are from England and it’s great to be out of the lake with our mates from Australia! They bring so much to the camp experience. Not only are they fun, and we love hearing their lovely accents (we love trying to repeat them too!) They share stories about growing up in places we may have never been. They also teach us new activities, create new interests and help us see the world differently. And what happens is that even though many of our international staff live far away, and talk funny, we realize we are not all that different. These relationships help us to grow and force us all to learn about getting along with others and not just the people we see as like ourselves. Camp teaches you that there is so much more out there, and campers and staff walk away with a greater understanding of themselves and others.


Working at Summer Camp is Like…Watching YouTube

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Have you ever done this?  Gone to YouTube in search of a specific video, you know exactly what you want and why you want it—or so you think.  After you find it, you are drawn to the videos on the sidebar.  You’re intrigued by some of them and begin clicking through to them.  Some of the videos are mildly amusing.  Some of them you don’t really love.  Sometimes they even make you tear up a little, while others still have you laughing days — even weeks — later.  At some point you start reading the comments, too.  You’re hooked now.  You realize that you’ve already become much more involved than you intended, a lot of time has passed, but you’re now invested.  You’re on a mission.  It may not even be related to the reason you originally typed in the URL.  But you know that you’ve found something that interests you.  You find other videos mentioned in some of the comments and begin doing searches for those.  Inevitably, you eventually find that special series of videos that you could watch forever if time were of no consequence.  And you leave satisfied.

Working at summer camp is like that visit to YouTube.  For most people, the intentions start small.  They need a summer job…it sounds interesting…and they want to do something fun.  During an internet search, they come across a few websites advertising camp jobs.  The photos look awesome.  Sometimes they had a friend who worked at a camp who recommended the experience.  Others were campers themselves.  Whatever the reason, for many, it starts out as just a summer job.  Maybe they’re majoring in education and want to gain some experience for their resume or are looking for an alternative to the traditional internship.  Then they get to camp and the experience starts to grow.  It’s chaotic.  The action only stops for sleep at night.  Most days are awesome.  Some are challenging.   Still, others are the kind of which lifelong memories are made.  They start to realize that there is so much more to working at summer camp than they originally thought.  They become engulfed in the experience–their campers, fellow staff members, and the spirits and traditions of the camp.  They want to get everything out of it that they possibly can.  Before they know it, the summer is over—and they leave wishing that summer could go on forever. hiring right now!

Camp Starlight is hiring now!  So instead of going to YouTube after reading this, log on to their website for further information.

Make Your Camp Counselor Experience an Effective Tool in Your Job Search

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

So you’ve spent a summer—or maybe the better part of your college career—working as a summer camp counselor.  You’re nearing graduation and you’re starting to pull together your resume for finding a job in the “real world”.  You’ve been wondering, ‘How do I adequately articulate my summer camp experience?’  You’re worried that it will sound trivial to hiring managers, but you know that what you gained from your camp experiences are some of the most valuable skills you’ve learned.  You’ve learned the art of communication, having worked with people all over the world and children ranging in age from seven to fifteen.  You’ve learned the importance of discretion; your campers didn’t need to know EVERYTHING about you.  You’ve learned how to negotiate, mediate, and maintain a positive morale, having coached your campers through swim tests, disagreements, activities, stage fright, and just about a million other things.  You’ve learned time management skills.  How many other job applicants can motivate twelve campers to move across campus from soccer to woodworking in five minutes or less, consistently coax them out of bed at 7am, and convince them that it’s time for lights out after an exciting evening of activities? You’ve learned how to use creativity to solve problems and are MacGyver with a few jars of paint, construction paper, a little bit of fabric, some scissors, and maybe a little glitter…add feathers and beads to that mix and you can practically re-invent the wheel.  In fact, you’ve learned so many things as a summer camp counselor that you’re not even sure how you’re going to fit it all onto one 8 ½” X 11” sheet of paper, nevermind about your other job experience. So how do you convey the importance your summer camp job experience has had on your life in a way that hiring managers will see the value in it, too?

First, as sentimental as those experiences were for you, a hiring manager isn’t looking for the screenplay to the next The Blind Side.  They’re looking for prospective employees who can efficiently yet effectively and specifically communicate their skills and abilities in a very concise manner.  This means keep it relevant and as action packed as most of those days at summer camp were.  Convey how active your summer camp job was through the verbs that you choose.
Second, without being too broad, make your resume sing of how well rounded your skill set is because of your summer camp counselor experience.  Employers love diversity.  A resume that sings of it will be sure to get a hiring manager’s attention.

Third, do your homework.  Job hunting is not a one size fits all endeavor.  You need to know and understand not only what you are looking for, but what the company to which you are applying is looking for as well.  If there is a particular quality you feel you possess because of your summer camp counselor experience that makes you a good fit for a position or a company, highlight that one quality in your cover letter.  Explain specifically how you feel your summer job experience and knowledge will translate into the new role.    Having experience is one thing.  Demonstrating that you understand how that experience can be integrated into others speaks volumes.

Fourth, don’t be afraid to remind prospective employers, either in your cover letter or at the interview, that being a camp counselor is a 24/7 job.  Employers are attracted to people who aren’t afraid to throw themselves heart and soul into their work.  What’s more heart and soul than being on duty 24/7?

Finally, be prepared.  Be prepared to tell a hiring manager at an interview EXACTLY why you feel your summer camp experience gives you the edge over other applicants.  When asked, don’t go into a lengthy mumble that basically amounts to a rehash of your summer(s).  Show the hiring manager that you’ve thought long and hard about how your summer camp work experience is relevant to your future and that you understand specifically how to extract your experiences and apply them to other areas of your life.  Most importantly, give examples, give examples, give examples!

It’s a Small World after All!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

A wonderful, rewarding job where you get to meet people from all over the world? Yes, please!

Working at Starlight gives our staff the unique experience of interacting with people from all over the world in one place! With over 250 staff members, we have representatives from over 40 states in the U.S. and 15 other countries. Coming from all different places, we join together every summer for the same reason; to have the summer of a lifetime at camp!

 Starlight may physically be in Pennsylvania, but if you just look around and listen to the many accents and mannerisms of our counselors, you will soon realize that at camp, it really doesn’t matter from where you come. It’s our own Starlight world, and there is a lot to learn from working amongst so many different kinds of people.

 During the hiring season, we travel domestically and abroad to put together a terrific team of people based on skills, experience, and geography. Besides the traditional sports and activities our campers are taught, through their counselors, they also learn about customs and different ways of life outside of the regions they call home.

 We enjoy the excitement of the America vs. the World soccer game, Fourth of July takeovers by the Brits, stories about kangaroos and koalas from our Aussie staff, and celebrating Canada Day and Peruvian holidays at line-up. But what makes camp special for our diverse staff are the things that bring us together. Because waking up early for the Polar Bear Club, wrestling in slime, watching the burning of the lake, and an overall love for kids and camp are what make us the same, no matter from where we started our journey.

Camp friends are friends for life no matter where you live in the world. Even as the years go by and you move on from camp, you can count on a place to stay and a friendly face wherever you may travel. Ultimately a love for adventure, a yearning to make a difference, the same spirit inside us that is playful and fun with the desire to grow and change for the better is what creates a common bond, and makes a counselor’s summer an experience unlike any other.