Working at camp is not “just” a summer job, it is a vehicle to build the skills one needs to be successful in any job they pursue after camp. There are very few environments where you live, where you work, and where you socialize. Succeeding this type of community requires a staff member to use skills already acquired and develop new ones that may be outside of their comfort zone.
For example, a summer at Camp Watitoh affords each of our camp counselors the opportunity to learn team-work by living with co-counselors who were chosen for them and to create a team that will care for the general well-being of a group of campers who bring to the table different needs and connection styles.
Team-work is also involved in our specialty areas like the waterfront, athletics, and when working with the leadership to solve problems and create an experience for the campers.
Due to the nature of living where you work and having very minimal opportunity for oneself, time management is a skill that is quickly built at Watitoh. Staff members have the opportunity to brainstorm what their needs are and then have to make sure they are finding the time for self-care and doing things that recharge their batteries.
Creativity and collaboration at Watitoh looks different for everyone but it is a skill that is easily developed in a camp so deeply rooted in tradition. Staff members have the chance to plan and participate in all different types of evening activities and special events. They can be in front of camp as an “MC” of an event or behind the scenes working collaboratively with others to make the event happen.
Every day at Camp Watitoh is an opportunity for growth and development for our camp counselors and the skills one learns will be easily translated into every job and every relationship after camp ends.
The below was recently posted on the American Camp Association New England’s website (source can be found at the bottom of this blog post). We hope you find it as interesting as we did.
Camp is Necessary for the Future Workforce: According to Forbes
The fact is, not everyone who works at a summer camp will go on to have a career in camping. However, another fact is that everyone can benefit from working at a summer camp, and those benefits can have lasting, deep impacts on a career.
Since 1917, Forbes magazine has had its finger on the pulse of the business world. Over the past few years, they’ve published a lot focused on what employers seek in potential workers. Look for pieces like “15 Skills Employers Seek in 2022 (And Ways To Gain Them Midcareers)” or “HR Leaders Share 14 In-Demand Skills Employers Want in 2021”, and you’ll see camp everywhere. The same skills that keep popping up are those we champion as organically built into working at a camp.
This past August, Forbes published “The Top 10 Most In-Demand Skills For the Next 10 Years”, and once again, familiar camp skillsets make the list. Not only that, these camp skills dominate the top ten:
- Digital Literacy
- Data Literacy
- Critical Thinking
- Emotional Intelligence
- Leadership Skills
- Time Management
- Curiosity and Continuous Learning
We could make a strong argument that camp goes 10 for 10 on this list (we have camps that specialize in all things digital), but we’ll graciously say that after the first two, the remainder are 100% camp.
Most camp counselors will go on to have jobs where they must work with others while also juggling spouses, partners, hobbies, and/or kids. There’s no textbook or TikTok video that can teach the skills identified above. These are sharpened by trial and error, and at camp they grow throughout the crucible of summer as a down payment for future success.
Again, not everyone who learns the songs, wears the shirts, and cries on departure day will be back at camp again. But when done with curiosity, empathy, an open mind and an adventurous spirit, every person who takes a chance and works at camp can and will be changed for good.
THE AMERICAN CAMP ASSOCIATION’S PROJECT REAL JOB HAS TOOLS AND RESOURCES TO HELP COMMUNICATE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING AT CAMP.