Have you ever been sitting in a lecture and thought that you don’t have enough experience in what your professors are lecturing about? Working at a summer camp is the perfect opportunity for psychology, education, and related majors to gain practical experience. Read on to learn how summer camp can help your college degree!
No other job, besides an actual teaching job, can better prepare you to stand in front of a classroom all day, keeping children’s attention, and teaching them vital information and life skills, than summer camp. You learn….
- To gather children’s attention in creative ways, such as call and response, wacky skits, and more.
- To balance the needs, both physical and emotional, of a large group.
- Skills and techniques to redirect children when they stumble on a topic that may not be appropriate.
Learning and perfecting these classroom management skills helped me kick start a volunteer education program for my university, landing me my first job out of college. My classroom management skills also landed me A’s in all of my public speaking presentations in any of my classes.
Communication with Coworkers and Children
Communication in any setting is key to a successful and efficient day at work, or in life. Camps teach their staff highly effective communication techniques and styles that promote calmness and tranquility amidst a chaotic situation. When it comes to working and living in a community like summer camps, one miss in a communication step can cause major ripples in the ebb and flow of the day, communicating with everyone is highly valued.
The communication skills I learned while working at summer camp were so valuable, they landed me a scholarship in my second year of undergrad. The styles of communication and interpersonal skills landed me letters of recommendation from my professors then landed me a spot in several post-graduate Master’s programs and jobs out of college.
Therapy in Action
Maybe you are an education major, or a psychology major, a social work major, or working towards understanding human and family development. If so, you will know the importance of therapeutic practices and the empirical research that supports these practices. At Camp Augusta, we utilize several research based therapy practices with campers.
Success Counseling, aka Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
We use something that we call “Success Counseling”, which is rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy. Success Counseling happens when a camper seems to be struggling with something. The counselor and camper sit down together to discuss what the camper was trying to accomplish, what all the options to achieve that goal were, what the best option is, and make a plan for next time. Additionally, the counselor later follows up with the camper to check in with them.
Success counseling was a great tool to have when I became a teaching assistant at my University to help walk my students through challenging lessons and frustrating assignments. Learning success counseling helped me work at other jobs, too. When I got a supervisory role at a different job, I utilized parts of success counseling to train employees, and walk them through different policies and procedures of our department.
“Your Storied Life” aka Narrative Therapy
Your Storied Life, rooted in Narrative Therapy, looks at three main components, the events that happened, the life that we lead, and the story we tell about the events.
This helped me when I was in school to distinguish what was in and out of my control. Utilizing this approach, and teaching others this approach, helped alleviate mounds of stress around things like midterms, finals, public speaking and more. Certain things like studying, paying attention in class, and taking notes were in my control. My grades, while somewhat in my control, were out of my hands as soon as I turned an assignment in. If I got a poor grade, I reminded myself not to tell a story that the professor hated me, or that the professor didn’t understand what I had written. Objectively, I looked at the feedback, and did better the next time.
Summer camp can help your college degree in so many ways and the skills learned while working at camp are invaluable can be supplemental to our education or even teach us things we never thought we would learn. Camp can teach us the soft and hard skills that we are looking for to add to our resumes, and help give us that little energy boost to complete our college degrees, help us find purpose in our lives, and as always bring a little wish, wonder, and surprise into our lives.
Want to know more? Our Summer Camp experts are ready to answer any of your questions to help you find the perfect camp job. Get in touch today!