The Timeless Debate – Camp vs. Internship
As we’re looking to complete our staff for the upcoming camp season, we have a lot of conversations with new and returning staff about coming to camp, getting an internship, or exploring other summer opportunities that best fits their needs. Before I get into how amazing working at camp is, I believe that whatever people want to do- whether it is working at camp, getting an internship, volunteering, or something completely different- it should be just that- what THEY want to do. Everyone has their own dreams, wishes and journeys and I respect everyone following their own path. I guess my motto would be “Do what YOU want to do.”
I’ve always wanted to be at summer camp and that has been my path through and through. As summer gets closer and I grow more tired of being in an office, I’m getting more and more psyched to be heading back at camp for another summer in the woods, on the lake and in the dining hall. For those who have the opportunity to spend their summer at camp, here’s a few things to consider:
Being a staff member at a summer camp matters in the life of a child.
Where else can you positively change the lives of kids on a day-to-day basis? And not just day-to-day, but hour-by-hour and moment-to-moment. The amount of interactions a staff member has with a camper on any given day is unmeasurable. You can help a child discover who they are and who they want to be, while forging their own identity. You can teach them about confidence, humility, spirit, courage, sportsmanship, responsibility and self-care—all before lunch! That leaves another half of the day for even more!
Each day is different (for those who like variety).
There is no such thing as “a typical day” at camp. No day is identical to the last, ever. Each day provides new challenges and new opportunities to learn and think fast. Adversity strikes every single day. Weather, field trips, camper adjustment issues, celebrations, schedule changes- staff will learn how to think and act fast while also caring for the needs of a cabin full of campers.
Build real skills.
Round the clock camper care can be exhausting but it is even more rewarding. Imagine managing a cabin of kids and dealing with problems as they arise, all while being a role model and having fun- nothing more difficult. Oh yeah- don’t forget the sunscreen, packing the sneakers for basketball and remembering the individual needs/wants of each camper and the cabin as a whole, all while communicating with your co-counselor, supervisor and campers. What about self-care, awareness, time management- there is no other job that can give you these skills.
How about those benefits?
- Housing – check!
- Food (camp food is the best food ever… mmmm grilled cheese) – check!
- Co-workers from all over the world that become your lifelong friends – check!
- Having fun with your old and new friends singing, dancing, being active all day all summer – check!
- Be who you want to be – check!
- Giving kids life-changing experiences all while you have the time of your life as well – check!
Obviously you can tell that I am a little bit biased, but I really, truly believe that there is nothing better than working at camp. It has been my path and it has led me around the world, making friends and memories along the way. But the most important thing I would tell staff- camp has been my path but you have to do what YOU want to do.
Are you interested in joining the Camp Chi Staff? Apply today to be part of our 2018 team.