More than Just a Summer Job

Being a counselor at a summer camp can strengthen your resume beyond “babysitter”. While counselors are investing in children’s lives and ensuring their safety and fun, they are also gaining the opportunity to fine-tune their critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity skills – skills that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has defined as “Learning and Innovation Skills” requirements for job-seekers in the 21st century.

Here’s how these skills can be applied in the summer camp setting:

  • Critical thinking: When beginning an activity, check the equipment and weather conditions to ensure it’s safe for the campers to play the game. Assess hikes and make sure you take a route that will get your campers to lunch on time. Be thinking ahead.
  • Communication: On the first day of camp, greet parents with a firm handshake and a smile while looking them in the eyes. Kindly answer their questions to put their minds at ease. With campers, listen to their questions and concerns; clarify your expectations for the camper’s behavior during the week.
  • Collaboration: Work as a group to come up with the ‘We Wills’ for your cabin. Team up with your co-counselor to correct a group issue.
  • Creativity: Help your coordinator come up with rainy-day activities. Help the campers come up with fun skits that make sense. Plan ways to keep every activity energized and fun!

As a camp counselor, you can take the initiative to develop these skills. Be actively searching for ways to step out and improve camp without having to be told what to do.