Summer is almost here, making it prime time to secure a seasonal job. People who love the great outdoors and enjoy working with children may find a summer camp job appealing. Each year, summer camps hire thousands of adults of all ages to work as staff, counselors, and activity specialists. Here is the best way to land a summer job at the camp of your choice.
Step 1: Think about the type of camp you prefer. There are day, overnight, and special needs camps as well as camps that focus on academics, sports, adventure, the arts, and the environment.
Step 2: Begin the job search early. Many camps begin recruiting during the winter, so start looking for jobs then or during early spring. There may even be some positions open during May and June so it is not too late to start looking then. Search online at camp job websites including CampDepot, CampPage, CampChannel, and CampJobs. If a camp you are interested in does not have jobs posted, contact the camp directly to inquire about employment. Also, contact the county recreation department and local youth organizations like the YMCA to see if they offer summer camps.
Step 3: If you want to work as an activity specialist or a counselor, acquire some relevant work experience. Tutoring, babysitting, working at an after school program or assisting teachers, scout leaders, or coaches are good ways to get experience working with children. Ask school guidance counselors and volunteer coordinators at colleges for other suggestions. Many coaches and teachers run camps so develop relationships with those you would enjoy working with because this can result in a referral or position.
Step 4: Specialists should have references or certifications in their area of expertise. Common specialty areas for camp jobs include sports, aquatics, horseback riding, technology, drama, and art.
Step 5: If you attended camp as a child, contact the camp director to ask about employment opportunities. Many camps prefer hiring previous campers to those who are unfamiliar with the facility.
Step 6: If you are younger than 17, look for a counselor-in-training job or a position in the office, groundskeeping department, or kitchen. Counselors usually must be at least 17 but some jobs may be available for younger teens depending on state labor laws.
Step 7: Prepare a professional resume highlighting your education, skills, and work experience. Create a list of references and practice your interviewing skills.