Be a Camp Counselor Instead

Two girls being camp counselors

Did you know that being a summer camp counselor is more beneficial to your career than taking a summer internship, that the skills practiced and learned working at camp have far more value than the clerical duties often assigned college student interns? That’s exactly the claim put forward by Darryl Brown in his short article appearing in USA Today. He describes being a camp counselor as the “perfect summer job.”

“In this job, I am part of an organization that gives me duties that are critical to its long- and short-term success. Supervisors give me responsibilities such as interacting directly with customers on a daily basis, and they fully integrate me into the professional hierarchy. To top it all off, I am learning legitimate skills that will help me develop professionally when I move into the workforce.”

It’s true; having “camp counselor” on your resume is a very good thing. The skills required to be a great counselor are valuable and in demand by employers, things like problem solving, leadership, creativity and imagination, being a “team player,” stamina, compassion, responsibility and maturity.

Being a camp counselor means receiving training in all of these areas, and then means practicing them in the real world, working with kids and taking on the complexities of life in a summer camp community. Everyone will tell you that being a camp counselor was the most challenging and the most fun job they ever had. I suspect most summer interns won’t be able to say that.

What are you going to do this summer?

NC Camps Impact the Economy

North Carolina Camps Ice Cream eaters

There’s big news coming out about western North Carolina summer camps. Back in March, the North Carolina Youth Camp Association and the American Camp Association, commissioned researchers at North Carolina State University to study the economic impact of summer camps in this region. Using online surveys, Dr. Michelle Gacio Harrolle and Dr. Samantha Rozier-Rich led the effort to measure all of ways camps contribute to the local economy. Certainly the camps themselves purchase local goods and services and hire regional employees, but camps also bring to the area staff members and families who likewise stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and visit local attractions.

How much does all this add up to? There are approximately 50 summer camps in Buncombe, Jackson, Henderson and Transylvania counties, so how much do they collectively add to the local economy? Or put differently, if the summer camps were hurt, how much could the economy be hurt?

Back in 1998 a similar study (same counties in North Carolina) showed summer camps generating, each year, almost 100 million dollars for local communities.

Today, the results of the economic impact study show a dramatic increase. The total economic impact of summer camps on these four NC counties is 365 million dollars. This is the total of direct, indirect and induced spending by the camps, their camper families and employees over one year, and reflects just how vital the summer camps are for the people in western North Carolina.

The full results of the study will soon be reported on the North Carolina Youth Camp Association’s Web site, but here are a couple of points from the executive summary.

  • 53,238 families were surveyed for the study
  • $33 million in annual tax revenues are created by camps
  • 49,665 families visited the region specifically for camp
  • $2,096 is the average expenditure per non-resident family while in the area

The effect of summer camps on local economies is far greater and more significant than most people would likely guess. With this study, we can finally quantify the crucial role camps play in western North Carolina.

Is Camp Employment for You?

Summer Camp Employment

There are so many things a college student can do in the summer; camp employment is just one option. So why choose to work at a summer camp? Well the most obvious reason is a camp job is way more fun than most other short term jobs. You’re outside a lot, you’re goofing around with kids pretty much all day, and you get to live in a beautiful part of the country. It’s also true that being employed as a camp counselor helps you develop leadership skills, communication and organization skills. As you help the campers grow and learn new activities and personal skills, you do too. Working to make a difference in the lives of children, makes one in your own as well.

But perhaps the best thing about working at a summer camp is joining the tight-knit community of people that makes Rockbrook so special. It’s just so easy to make friends, you end up enjoying everything that much more. Sure, camp is employment and you’ll earn (and save!) some money, but it’s so much more. Rewarding, definitely rewarding, all around.

Camp Counselor Skills

Work, play, grow
Work, play, grow…

So you just were offered a job as a cabin counselor and a climbing instructor. You think to yourself, “This should be really cool – I get to be outside, hang out with kids, make a little money and meet new people – hey, it’ll be way better than working in a restaurant all summer!” All of these things will hopefully be true about your summer experience – but wait – there’s more! Camp naturally fosters opportunities to grow in leadership, communication, problem-solving and in learning new ways to cope with challenges. All of these are areas that future employers value, too! Here’s an article from the American Camp Association about how to talk about the skills you learned at camp to future employers.

Spending nearly every minute of every day with a group of people certainly enhances skills in working with others. While these working relationships are established, other traits are also being fostered in the camp setting, such as patience, tenacity, the ability to stick with a job, and being a dedicated employee.

Check it out!

Camp Counselor Positions

Summer Camp Counselor

It’s not too early to think about next summer! In fact, we’re starting to hire all of our summer camp staff for the coming season— cabin counselors, outdoor trip leaders, horseback riding instructors, even folks to join to kitchen crew. Most positions are open, so head on over to the RBC camp staff page and start filling out the online application.

Hey, we’re hiring! 🙂

Not sure you are ready to take on a camp counselor job? Don’t worry! If you have an honest love for working with children, are energetic and a little outdoorsy, we will help you learn everything else you’ll need. We have a week-long orientation program for counselors that teaches all the important skills, provides tips and tricks for handling the job requirements, and makes sure everyone at camp is up to speed on how camp works. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but it is the most rewarding an fun work you’ll ever do!