Working for a local kids camp can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs for a teen or young adult. Sure you could go scoop ice cream, or paint houses, but why not instead work at a job that can change lives and have a great deal of meaning? Working with people is often a rewarding experience for anyone, but for some positively influencing and teaching kids is even better.
Kids attend camps to have fun, make friends, participate in new activities, and enjoy the great outdoors. But in order to do all that, they need camp staff who supports, teaches and also enjoys these same things. In return camp staff, along with camp attendees, have an experience they can’t get anywhere else. If you’re thinking you, or maybe your son or daughter, would enjoy and benefit from becoming a staff member at a camp, here are a few solid reasons why we agree!
You will learn to step out of your comfort zone
If you aren’t used to working with kids, this is one of the best environments in which to do so. It’ll push you to work with an age group you haven’t before, and teach you how to relate to people who are not as much like you.
The kids aren’t the only ones who will participate in activities they’ve never done before. Most camp staff will learn many new sports and activities as well. You might be a star basketball player on your high school team, but do you know how to start a fire? Or identify wild plants?
If you’ve never been to a camp yourself, it might be the first time you spend a good length of time away from home. If you’re going into college soon, this is a great way to prepare for living away from your parents.
At camp you will be constantly interacting with people. If you’re the loner type, this will be difficult, but can also be rewarding. There are of course times to get away and have some me time, but for the most part you will be with camp attendees and/or other camp staff.
Focus is on the kids, not on a sale or service
In contrast to a normal job or even an internship, the focus at a camp is on the people. Supporting them, helping them to have fun and learn, and making the time they spend at camp as positive as it can be. At a job, people can sometimes take a back seat to sales or productivity. Also, if you are interested in a career helping people, this is a great place to start.
It’s not about the money
At the end of the day, most camp staff feel they have worked at a job that is rewarding and fulfilling. Everyone enjoys getting paid for their work, but what’s best is to also feel that you have accomplished something and made a difference.
You can make lasting friendships
Like the kids who attend camp, many staff members acquire new friends that last a life time. If you are a returning staff member, you know the excitement of seeing all of your friends who worked with you the previous summer. Some even become friends outside of camp.
When it comes time to look for a summer job, or an after school school-year program, check out your local camps. Many are not just held during the summer, but also during school breaks and after school-hours. Not only will you make an impact on the life of a kid, but you’ll have an experience you likely won’t ever forget.