So you love working with kids? I understand, most people do.
If you enjoy being outdoors and you’re wondering what work you can do this summer, then, perhaps you should consider getting a camp job since summer camps hire thousands of teenagers and older students every summer to work as kitchen staff, counselors, activity specialists, staff-in-training, etc.
However, if you’re genuinely interested in summer camp jobs, there are some things you have to take into consideration before taking these jobs.
For example, do you have any experience working with kids? And have you ever worked in a similar setting with the kids before?
If you answered YES to the questions above, then congratulations – you are the best candidates for summer jobs.
Now, for the best result, here are some of the crucial tactics that’ll help you get a job in a camp this summer.
How to Find Good Summer Camp Jobs
1. Consider Doing Some Research
If you are new to this type of job, you have to do some research and learn more about it. There are different websites which have lots of information camp jobs and some of the best places where you can easily get them.
Also, snoop around, look for friends or relatives who have worked in summer camps before and ask them about their experience.
This will help you to get first-hand information, unlike websites where details are exaggerated. After getting all the information, consider whether the jobs are right for you or not.
You can start by searching a range of sites which usually list summer camp jobs like CampDepot, CampJobs, CampPage, CampChannel, etc. You can also check out some of the summer job websites such as Cool Works for suitable listings.
Furthermore, use the same websites to find camps and then apply on the web or reach out to camp directors to inquire about the jobs.
Remember, not all camps will post jobs on the websites mentioned above, but all of them hire young people for summer jobs so it will be good to directly contact any camps where you would really wish to work.
2. Start Your Search Early Enough
After you have made up your mind that you are ready to try the summer jobs, don’t wait for the last minute, you want to apply for the job earlier.
Generally, most camps are well known for retaining the staff that has been working with them, but if there are some available spots that have to be filled, they will hire.
Therefore, don’t wait until the summers when the camps are opened, try out the jobs during the early springs where the interview process will take place.
This will give you a good chance to apply and inquire about the job when there are no many people; hence, the competition is low.
Camps usually start hiring during the months of winter but don’t be discouraged if you start late since there are always a few positions that’ll be available in May and June.
3. Choose a Camp That Aligns with your Philosophy
This is why you should do some research on all the summer camps that you have in mind and check their philosophies. Some are highly competitive, while others are not.
Also, some summer camps are more of a general kind, while others focus more on some sporting activities or other different types of events.
- Read Also: How to Easily Find a Job
It’s also easy to find camps that concentrate on teaching and training the people who are there for some news skills, and others are just for recreational purposes. Before making your decision, ensure that you have known more about its philosophy.
There are also two types of camps, residential camp and day camp. For a day camp, you are allowed to go home every evening, and for the residential camp, you have to stay with the campers both during the day and night.
4. Network with Others
You can check in with youth organizations and local clubs. While not all nearby clubs and youth organizations are connected with summer camps, it’s still worth looking into the possibility.
You need can tell – you might be able to eventually meet with groups that cater to specific communities, depending on your location.
Although the work won’t start until the summer, you want to give yourself enough time to find a position at a summer camp. Start making inquiries about possible job opportunities a few months before you would want to start working.
5. Gain some Experience Working with Children
For activity specialist and counsellorship positions, you need to gain some experience working with kids. You can start by getting yourself acquainted with tasks like:
- Volunteering with after-school activities
- Assisting music/dance/drama teachers
- Helping coaches for kids teams
- Helping Scout leaders or acting as a Big Sister/ Big Brother
All these are perfect examples of viable experiences you can get. Ask coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, clergy, or college volunteer coordinators for advice and suggestions.
And if you are below the age of 17, ask around about counselor-in-training (CIT) programs or support jobs in the office, landscaping, or the kitchen. Most camps need counselors to be between the ages of 17 to 18.
This is a beautiful program that helps younger people to get valuable skills in responsibility and leadership while staying in a highly supervised environment. Start by confirming if CIT positions are available in a summer camp near you.
Although some camp jobs may still be available for individuals that are 16-year-old (depending on state labor laws and hiring policy), check the camp’s hiring information and job application for details.
Furthermore, if you’re going after specialist positions, you want to ensure that you gain some certifications or secure references that confirm your competence in art, aquatics/swimming, drama, technology, sports, climbing, horseback riding, etc.
Having a little background in scouting may equally help you to build wonderful skills for a future summer camp position.
6. Search Online For National Camp Organizations
Another great approach will be to search online for different camp directories like the American Camp Association (ACA). Depending on where you are, there are many websites on the web that contain job opportunities mainly for summer camps.
Figure out if you wish to work full-time or part-time before applying. Remember that most summer camp jobs are seasonal, but you have to decide the amount of time you’re willing to commit to a job before applying.
If you wish to carry out a broader job search, then consider checking out job search websites, such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or Monster. Many of these sites let you subscribe to their email alerts so you can always be notified once new and relevant summer camp jobs are published.
It’s also essential to bookmark job positions that look promising. This is because even if you find a good job, you may not be able to submit your application right away. Simply use the bookmarking feature on your internet browser to save job postings that you would like to check out later.
7. Reach out to Your Past Camp Directors
Contacting your past camp directors is also a great way to work in summer camps. Even if they no longer work for a camp, they could still have useful connections that could help you land a job at a summer camp.
Interestingly, most camps have contact details on their site. If you’re not sure of how to contact your past camp directors, the websites may be a great place to start.
8. Seek Advice From Your Past Gym Teachers
Although talking to your past teachers may not be a surefire way of finding a summer camp job, it can still be a perfect starting point.
Apparently, the education field involves lots of networking, so there’s a possibility that your past gym teachers might know someone in a leadership position at summer camps. Reach out to your teachers to confirm when they’re available for a chat, then book an appointment for later.
9. Make a List of Questions to Ask Your Teacher Before Time
Since summer camps have lots of physical activities, your formal gym teachers will probably have connections with different organizations or camp leaders.
10. Prepare a Great Resume
Every employer wants to hire an individual who is qualified for the job, so it’s crucial to write down positions you’ve previously held at camps and other organizations.
Don’t forget to keep your listings for the past 2 to 3 years. Ensure also to make note of any certifications or special skills that you have, such as CPR training.
Be mindful of keywords when writing your resume. For example, terms like “CPR certified” and “good with kids” may appeal more to a summer camp that wants to hire.
Additionally, consider creating your resume with programs like Microsoft Word. This will make it easy to have a printed or digital copy on hand, if necessary.
But if you wish to use a program other than Microsoft Word, there are many websites on the web that offer different resume templates; you can choose from any of them.
Finally, watch the short video below to learn how to ace a summer job interview:
It’s also important to think ahead about what they may ask you, such as questions about your ability to work with others or your leadership skills.
And after the interview, remember to send a thank-you note or email to the camp for their consideration and time. This will differentiate you as a courteous applicant.