What can a camp experience do for YOU?!
Summer camps offer many opportunities to gain skills and knowledge for “real world” jobs. The challenges, responsibilities and learning that comes out of one summer is at times jaw-dropping. Check out our Camp Augusta web page on the real-world skills one gains from working at a camp, and how this can be tailored to your career!
What Can Camp Do For Your Resume?
What do people say when you tell them you are considering working at a camp this summer? Do they laugh? Tell you to get a real job? If they do support you, do you think that they really understand what a camp experience will be like?
The challenges, learning, and growth that come with working at a summer camp are not always understood by folks who spend all of their time in the ‘real world.’ As well, it can be difficult to translate the skills you learn and develop at camp to a ‘real-world’ resume or interview. Saying that you were a ‘Camp Counselor’ in an interview may conjure up images in an employer’s head of a goofball who doesn’t like to shower, and who will bring weird games and annoying songs to future staff meetings! Meatballs? Wet Hot American Summer? Parent Trap? That’s what they might be thinking.
Yet, a summer at Camp Augusta offers many opportunities to gain skills and knowledge that are not available in a classroom or office, and which will serve you well and be of great benefit to almost any future employer, not to mention your own life and those you come into contact with. Because camps often use language that makes sense only to people who are familiar with camp life, translating the true scope and magnitude of the skills and responsibility of a summer at camp can be a challenge. Here is an overview of the training and skills an employee at Camp Augusta will receive, with some suggestions on how they can be translated to a real-world resume and/or interview.
Position: Counselor … or Child Development Specialist
Training: Over 300 hours of focused, dedicated, specialized, on-site training (including instruction from outside experts). The longest training with the most diverse curriculum of any camp or outdoor center in the country. Before staff training, your education begins with a 300+ page staff manual focused on child, community, and personal growth. In addition, you’ll learn about child, social, and cultural development from over 30 hours of video documentaries. When camp is running, you’ll receive real-time training from a dedicated mentoring structure.
Psychology of child development
Rational-emotive behavior therapy
Nonviolent communication training
Neuro-linguistic programming training
Emotional intelligence awareness and cultivation
Living in community – responsibility and awareness
Negotiation and consensus building
Group development, facilitation, and debriefing, both large and small group
Knowledge management and learning organization training and experience
Theater training, character, improv, and scene shorts
Working with emotional emergencies, angered/unbalanced people
Responsibility and integrity development
Leadership and power dynamics training
Explicit and tacit knowledge educational theory
Emergency preparedness and risk management models, and execution
Innovation development principles, understood and practiced
Hobbies and skills resume section will be a conversation starter!
Living and Working at Camp Sunshine Requires:
Flexibility (responding to quickly changing schedules and needs)
Stamina (on the job 24/7, working in a physically demanding environment that requires the utmost care and attention)
Communication skills to people of all ages and backgrounds (fellow staff, children, and parents, including those from other countries)
Patience and compassion (working with children and staff)
Conflict resolution (other staff as well as children)
Ability to work in stressful situations (very tight schedule, high expectations, rapidly changing environment)
Ability to react quickly and stay calm in high stress environments (accidents/injuries, high- stress cabin group)
Ability to work with and relate to people of various ages (child-adult)
Program and curriculum creation/development/evolution/assessment/improvement (new clinic creations, evening program creations, etc.)
Sample blurb for a resume:
Child Development Specialist, Camp Sunshine
Responsibilities include: in a 140+ person community, primary caretaker for five 9-11 year-olds with 24-hour responsibilities that include rational-emotive behavior therapy, experiential education, child development, understanding of group dynamics, teambuilding, wake-to-sleep hygiene and care, group facilitation, diverse skill transfer, and some downright fun; participation in over 300 hours of training in emotional intelligence, nonviolent communication, CPR and 1st aid, lifeguarding, child psychology, teaching techniques, emergency preparedness, and communal living.
You’ll use specifics from your summer — will offer more details and examples and domains that will stand out. Remember to use action words, active voice, and highlight your initiative, innovation, specific responsibilities, leadership highlights, and whatever else your summer brings!
Happy Future Job Hunting!