Working at camp

Benefits and what you need to know

As the day ends at camp, the setting sun casts dancing shadows on log cabin walls, while laughter fills the cool forest air. Camp is a community defined by shared experiences, camaraderie, and the creation of lifelong memories. This is just as true for camp staff as it is for campers. Read more

    Benefits of working at camp

    Are you looking to work at a summer camp? If not, perhaps you ought to. Working at a summer camp can bring benefits that will last a lifetime. Below are some of the most important ones.

    Personal growth

    Removed from the comforts and routines of home, you’ll tap into new reserves of resilience and adaptability. Whether it's learning a new skill or negotiating group dynamics, you’ll grow in ways that wouldn’t be possible in other settings. At camp, you’ll be more likely to take risks and embrace challenges, which will boost your confidence and independence. You’ll also learn valuable lessons that will enable you to build character and prepare for future challenges.

    Leadership skills

    Working at a camp means you’ll have responsibilities—responsibilities that will help you learn how to become a leader. At camp, you’ll be given opportunities to lead, support, and motivate others, from running team-building activities to supervising campers. You’ll need to communicate clearly and effectively, resolve conflicts, and show empathy, and in so doing, you’ll build vital skills. These leadership qualities will not only serve you well at camp but also in other professional and personal situations.

    Cultural learning

    Summer camps are often very diverse, with campers and staff from many different cultures, backgrounds, and nationalities. This provides a unique platform for cultural exchange and learning. By participating in different activities and sharing unique experiences with people from different backgrounds, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the range of human experience. This will help you become more open-minded and contribute to a more tolerant and empathetic society.

    Connection

    For many, camp is a fondly remembered experience, filled with cherished friendships and personal triumphs. This is true not only for campers but for staff as well. The connections and friendships you’ll make at camp are irreplaceable: you’ll build strong bonds and feel part of a community you won’t find anywhere else. It’s in the quiet moments beneath a starlit sky, with the campfire's embers glowing softly, that you form these special and transformative connections.

    What you need to know about working at camp

    When to apply

    Application deadlines vary among summer camps. Most start recruiting staff several months before summer begins, typically in the fall or winter, though you’ll find postings throughout the year. You should reach out to camps directly to learn about their application process and deadlines.

    The application process

    There are several steps in applying to summer camps. Though each camp will have its own process, here are some of the main steps you can expect:

    • Consult postings to see which camps have available positions. One great type of resource is the provincial camp association job boards:
    • Choose one or more camps that seem like a good fit for you. Pick camps that align with your interests, preferences, skills, and experience.
    • Review the application requirements for the camp, such as age restrictions, medical forms, and application fees. Make sure you meet the necessary criteria.
    • Complete the application form, which is usually online. You may need to provide personal details, emergency contacts, medical information, and more.
    • Interview with the camp, if necessary. Be prepared to discuss your skills, experiences, and reasons for wanting to work at the camp.


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