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Why Being a Camp Counselor Is the Best Summer Job You Can Have

Working as a camp counselor may sound like a dream job, and it is undeniably fun. You’ll be spending weeks away from home, in the beautiful White Mountains while other friends are stuck inside behind a desk or a register.

But the perks of an adventurous summer as a camp counselor go much deeper. The skills you’ll gain on the job will be an incredible boost for whichever profession you plan to pursue.

If it seems hard to imagine the impact that being a camp counselor can have on your career, here are a few real-world scenarios where your camp experience will work in your favor.

1. You’ll learn the value of teamwork

Most summer jobs mean interacting and working with a small circle of people — and the smaller and less diverse the team, the less likely you are to be exposed to different viewpoints that allow you to make the best decisions. 

As a camp counselor, you’ll be working with a wide range of age groups — from 7 to 70 — and people with different personalities, interests and backgrounds. 

When faced with a challenge, you’ll be able to draw from their collective wisdom, and tackle issues that arise as a team.

2. You’ll gain strong communication skills 

Strong communication skills are essential at work, especially when you’re managing a team. Being able to delegate tasks, manage conflict, motivate your team and build relationships are all easy when you can communicate well and relate to others.

At camp, you’ll strengthen your communication skills through the range of interactions you have. Whether talking to the parents of a camper, or consoling an upset child, you’ll learn how to deliver difficult news, tailor your communication style to your audience, and how to read verbal and non-verbal cues. 

3. You’ll never be overlooked for a promotion 

Being a hard worker is essential to advancing in your career, but often it’s not enough. Workplaces also value employees who demonstrate leadership, bring in new ideas, stay positive, and show enthusiasm.  

You’ll learn all of these skills at camp. Even if you don’t consider yourself a leader, you’ll find yourself acting as one when you arrive at camp and become a camper’s biggest role model.

Staying upbeat is another skill you’ll bring to your next job. Camp counselors learn how to manage multiple curve balls at once, all with a positive attitude and a smile. 

4. When asked how you problem-solve, you’ll always have a ready answer.

One of the most common questions employers ask in interviews is to name a challenge you overcame or a way in which you learned from a mistake.

There’s a good reason for this: Learning how to surmount difficulties is one of the best predictors of success, and as a camp counselor, you’ll have ample opportunities to work through challenges. 

Plans will change at the last minute and you’ll have to think on your feet. You may not always make the best decision, but learning from your mistakes is part of the growth you’ll experience as a counselor.

5. You’ll learn the value of creativity

Problem-solving requires creativity, a skill that is valued in all workplaces, not just creative professions.

If you need to encourage a camper who only likes yellow foods to expand their palate, or talk a reluctant child into trying an activity that frightens them, you’ll need to come up with creative ways to encourage them.

Creativity, communication, problem-solving, resilience, leadership, teamwork — these are all the skills that you’ll learn and build upon as a Camp Walt Whitman counselor. Who knew you could gain all that from a summer in the woods?


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