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The Hidden Benefits of Summer Camp Jobs

The Hidden Benefits of Summer Camp Jobs

Friday, October 27, 2023
Category: Our Staff

If you’re looking for the ideal summer job, it’s smart to take a strategic approach. The best jobs are those that you can enjoy in the moment, yet will also serve you well as you continue along your career path. It may not be obvious at first, but you can check off both of these goals with a variety of summer camp jobs. And summer camp counselor jobs are not the only positions available! 

Other common roles include:

  • Unit supervisors (counselor managers)
  • Art specialists
  • Sports coaches
  • Lifeguards
  • Nurses
  • Activity specialists (with expertise in arts, culture, religion, etc.)
  • Support staff (kitchen, housekeeping, and more)

Here’s how summer camp jobs can prepare you for career success—this summer and for years to come!

Perks Now: Loving the Camp Life

Just a few of the things you’ll enjoy up front by joining the ranks of summer camp staff include:

  • Skipping the office clothes: Work attire is a must for office jobs, but it can be expensive and time-consuming to shop for, not to mention uncomfortable to wear. With a summer camp job, you’ll get to enjoy the comfort and functionality of casual activewear instead. You probably already own and love many items that are suitable for camp work, and you may even end up wearing your “work” clothes in your free time as well.
  • Making new friends: You’ll have plenty in common with your coworkers, all of whom love the outdoors and working with children as much as you. That’s a great basis for meeting new people and making new friends. And because adventures (and a few small misadventures) are all part of summer camp life, you’ll have plenty of good opportunities to bond, help each other, and develop your own inside jokes.
  • Getting fresh air and plenty of vitamin:. While your non-camp friends are plodding through their workdays in the cold glare of fluorescent lighting, you’ll be enjoying fresh summer breezes and literal rays of sunshine. In addition to providing health benefits like immune support and reduced inflammation, the vitamin D your body produces with sunlight exposure may help to regulate (and elevate) your mood. In other words, you’ll be doing your body and brain a big favor.
  • Built-in exercise: Unlike people with desk jobs, you may not need to hit the gym after work. You’ll spend your days hiking, swimming, climbing, and doing plenty of other calorie-burning activities, which means you’ll get workouts in on company time. As a result, you may find that you have more room for real downtime when the workday is over.
  • Having fun: If you cherished the time you spent at summer camp as a child, or just love spending time outdoors, camp jobs can be a lot of fun. No two days will look the same, and you’ll spend plenty of time leading games, crafts, sports, and other feel-good activities. 

Perks Later: An Impressive Résumé

Your work at summer camp will also give you plenty of in-demand transferable skills that can help to land you your next job (at a summer camp or elsewhere):

  • Leadership: The ability to organize, direct, and serve others is one of many skills gained from being a camp counselor, coach, unit supervisor, activity specialist, or other type of leader. It’s a great way to move up the ranks of summer camp roles, but also transfers well into senior positions in other capacities. Camp leaders make great mentors, teachers, managers, and more, in a wide variety of industries.
  • Good communication: Helping your campers and coworkers to succeed in any endeavor requires good communication skills, which are essential for all career paths. This can mean knowing when to ask questions or ask for help just as much as answering questions and helping others. It can also mean giving and receiving feedback with grace and sensitivity.
  • Problem-solving and flexibility: Camp jobs will put you in plenty of situations that call for creative thinking, especially if your first-choice solution isn’t an option at the time. Good problem-solvers are adaptable, resilient, collaborative, and open-minded, all of which are professional traits that will prepare you for adversity—and look great to employers on your job application.
  • Teamwork: When you work at a summer camp, you learn to define success in terms of what most benefits your campers and fellow staff members, not just yourself. Companies with a healthy culture will value your ability to support and serve everyone you work with. This is a great quality to have in both leadership and non-leadership roles, and it demonstrates an important aspect of emotional maturity as well. 

Apply for a Job With Surprise Lake Camp

Surprise Lake Camp is a nonprofit organization that provides a home away from home for generations of young people. We believe in the value of community and friendship. Our Jewish values and identity shape our connection to nature. We’re dedicated to helping young people unplug, grow, and develop values, confidence, and skills to last a lifetime, adding to SLC’s storied history as the nation’s longest-running Jewish sleepaway camp. 

Like our campers, the staff at Surprise Lake Camp gain skills, confidence, and experiences that help them grow into the people they want to become. When you join the team at SLC, you become part of a lifelong family. You’ll find peers and mentors who will support you as a friend, leader, teacher, and role model. And you’ll have an awesome, rejuvenating summer at the same time! Learn more about what it’s like to work here and apply for a job with us today!