If you have made the decision to find a job at a summer camp, then congratulations, you’re right at the start of an exciting new adventure. We may be biased, but we think you’ve made a great choice. Summer camps are one of those unique jobs where work and play are intrinsically linked – and having fun is part of the job description!
So, you’ve found a camp that you like the look of, you’ve done the research and it aligns with your values and career goals, and you can really see yourself working there – so how do you give yourself the best chance of getting the job? Deciding when and how to reach out to a camp you want to work for can make all the difference in you getting the job you want.
As with most jobs, timing is an important piece when it comes to landing your next camp job. The earlier you begin your camp job search, the better. Camp hiring can start as early as fall, and usually kicks off onto full gear in the early winter months.
Camps want to be finished with hiring as soon as possible so they can focus their time on getting camp ready for the summer and making sure their new staff are ready too!
While not ideal, it’s not the end of the world if you’re not starting your search until later than that, as some positions may still be available. Many camps require 100 or more employees each summer in order to operate. Since life is unpredictable, it may be the case that people who had been hired to fill a role may become unavailable.
The world of summer camps certainly faced a lot of unpredictability in the 2021 summer season. Typically, about half of a camp’s employees will be made up of international hires, but with the uncertainties regarding travel restrictions, many camps were left needing to decide when and how to fill so many roles, and in some cases, rehire for roles that would have been filled by returning international staff members. With a lot of unpredictability in what 2022 will look like, it’s possible that we will see new travel restrictions, so spots may open back up before the summer.
Start The Conversation
When you want to get noticed by a camp, we have no better advice than to reach out and say hello! Even if it’s late in the hiring season, and even if you don’t see any positions listed on the camp’s website, it will never hurt to make a personal connection with someone at the camp. In the event that there are simply no available positions, they can make a note to reach out to you first thing for the next season’s hiring needs.
A simple and professional email introducing yourself and expressing your interest in the camp is more than enough to get on the hiring team’s radar. In this age, most of the people camps are talking to will be through emails initially, so if you make the effort to give them a call and speak to someone live, that can be a great great to build rapport and make a strong first impression before you’ve applied.
Making sure you have researched the camp and written down some specific questions to ask them will show that you are invested and serious about working there – and makes the application a lot more interesting for the camp. Remember that each camp speaks to hundreds of applicants each year, and it’s the ones that show that they are engaged in the process that really stand out. So take the time to think of some questions to ask. If you can’t think of any, try asking the person you are talking to about their experience at this camp; their challenges, joys and stories. This will almost certainly give you some more information about the camp and if it’s the right fit for you.
Once you’ve made a great first impression at the right time, it’s up to you to nail the application and interview. Check out our 4 mistakes to avoid when applying for a job at summer camp!
Want to learn more? We make it our mission to gather all the necessary information to help you find your perfect camp job. Speak to one of our Summer Camp hiring experts and get the guidance you need to find the right camp for you!