Internships, Academic Credit & Summer Camps

There are many off-road ways to get to camp. Literally and figuratively 🙂

Quite literally, applying for an internship or academic credit for the summer is one of lovely scenic byways! Many camps have partnerships with universities and already in place internships ready for you! Other camps may have never done an internship exchange, and this may be a great opportunity for you and the camp! Here are a few ways to get your foot in the door and fulfill school credit and experience hours at a summer camp.


School’s Out For The Summer!!! Well, maybe not for you 🙂

Check with your school for details, first off. There are many divergent types of internships in many different types of majors you can fulfill for academic credit. These require exceedingly limited involvement by camp directors. These experiences may include a package deal, like student service projects, work hour documentation and then a reflection paper at the end of the summer experience. Also specificity with type of hours, like practical experience in program development, administration work and marketing may need to be designated. Usually these types of internships are focused in ones career field (forty hours per week at least) and require contact with your college or university internship coordinator. Another consideration is how much you will be compensated and what that work exchange looks like. Again, it’s best to clearly communicate this with your internship coordinator as well as your potential camp director and have clear expectations set before the summer begins 🙂


Practical Camp Experiences for Academic Credit

  • May offer internship or practicum experiences for academic credit
  • Usually requires selected topics and are short in duration
  • Minimal supervision from director
  • Career-focused, and it may also involve student intern supervision and mentorship from camp staff and the director.


Undergraduate Internship/Practicum Experience

  • May offer an overview of administration roles and other departments at camp. Also may involve marketing, program development, etc.
  • Universities and camps work together and design an internship best suited for undergraduate majors


Graduate Internship/Practicum Experience

  • May focus on daily challenges and administration, managing the camp operations, etc.
  • Paid and unpaid opportunities
  • Usually interns will send the camp their university’s internship guidelines and the camp will review them to meet these needs
  • Also exposed to other facets of camp, like budgeting, administration and marketing (more of the behind-the-scenes work at camp)


Camp & College Partnerships

  • Sometimes there are camps that already hold partnerships with academic programs. This is convenient. See what they offer and it meets both the internship as well as personal needs.


See the following:
Naropa University, MA Wilderness Therapy


Still unsure if an internship at a summer camp or pursuing a separate course for the internship feels good? Peruse some of these articles about how to choose between an internship and summer camp:

Summer Camp Or Internship

Ask The College: Summer Camp Counselor Or Summer Internship? Some advice on making the right choice for you when deciding between working at camp or pursuing an internship for the summer.
Skip The Internship: Go To Camp This article discusses the advantages of working a summer as a camp counselor rather than doing an internship.
The Camp Counselor Vs The Intern Another article the highlights the value of spending your summer at camp, and where those skills apply to other jobs.
This One Time At Summer Camp One man’s article about how much impact his experiences at summer camp have had on his career and life.
Internship An online resource for finding internships.