What Camps Look For

Applying for and getting placed at a camp is all that stands in the way of your summer adventure! Check out our tips on what camps typically look for during the application process so you can be sure to put your best foot forward.

While each camp is different in the specifics of what they are looking for and the roles they are hiring for, there are a few key things camps look for at first which tend to narrow down the potential staff they’re looking at contacting with info on how to apply.

Below are some things that we at Camp Augusta look for while reviewing candidates (again, we are ONE camp … others may look at tons of other factors):

  • Experience with children – Many applicants use babysitting as their experience here which has been found to not be enough experience and often is a reason many potential staff don’t get hired. Day Camps (known as Holiday clubs in other countries), camps in their hometown, practical experience for their studies like teaching in a classroom setting, working at children’s organizations, working with foster children, counseling experience, or anything more formal tends to separate out those who have a stronger passion for working with children.
  • Reason for applying for the program – On an international hiring profile, you usually get 150 words to express this so you need to make it count. It is surprising how many applicants state that they want to travel and see the world and meet new people. Less than half say that they love working with children and want to make an impact on their lives. The latter statement gets potentials one step closer to being contacted. If not mentioned, we tend to move on.
  • Work Experience (For Counselor Job) – The hours at camp are LONG and grueling, emotionally and physically taxing. Looking at the amount of work experience a candidate has shows us if they are used to a hectic daily schedule, the type of work they typically place themselves in, and to a lesser extent it shows their values, what sort of work they typically go for. Candidates who work in cosmetics (as a random example) may not be as aligned with our mission as candidates who work in education or the outdoors.
  • Work Experience (For Kitchen Staff Jobs) – While the kitchen staff spend less time with the campers it is still important that they have a love for children, community living, and all the same personality criteria that we look for with counselors. Having experience prepping food and working in a kitchen setting is almost a must as we’ve experienced in previous years that without it, a staff member can struggle greatly. Ideally, they will have the experience of being in a kitchen working and not just working at a restaurant as a waiter.
  • Social Media Profiles – Your public social media profiles can reveal a lot. What many don’t realize is that with the ever growing social networking online people tend to have a more accurate portrayal of themselves on these sites than what they would put in an application. Sometimes it is amazing to see the difference! How do they portray themselves here? While not a death knell it can be the reason a candidate isn’t contacted to apply with us.
  • Available dates – Often candidates put in a start or ending date as a general guideline that is flexible. More success comes from those who put their start date within a week of our starting date and will be able to make it for the start of staff training. Ending dates are usually less successful as potentials often have school commitments, a new job or, for numerous potential reasons that means they have to be home by that date.
  • Age – We require our counseling staff to be at least 19 due to the age of our campers. Other camps may be more flexible with younger staff but it is good to double check these requirements.
  • Skill set – While we do not look for specific skill sets (apart from Equestrian), some skills can actually be indicators to candidate’s interests and shine some insight into who they are. Before you apply, spend some time on the camp’s website to see which activities you would already have experience in as this will set you apart.