3 Reasons Why Young Adults Should Work at Camp This Summer. In a move that felt absolutely impossible at this time last year, summer is in full swing in Houston and summer camps are getting ready to welcome back campers. Unfortunately, however, in a recent snapshot poll from the American Camp Association (ACA), half of all camps polled are not fully hired yet for this season. In fact, summer camps are experiencing a unique shortage of 18-25 year-olds who typically held jobs as counselors and camp staff in the past.
With traditional internships on hold with most businesses still operating virtually, a summer at camp has the potential to provide college students with many of the same experiences gained through a conventional internship, though. Here are three reasons why young adults should look no further than their local summer camp this season:
Summer camps are organizations ripe with tons of opportunities and ‘departments’ for a student seeking internships. They’re also known to be flexible, and work with camp staff to provide a setting that matches requirements for a whole host of internship credits. As camps rely on young, learning minds to help guide and inspire their younger campers, it’s likely that a summer camp can tailor the position to meet many different needs.
Development and Growth
Every day on the job is a new lesson learned in real-world leadership, and summer camp is a great place to hone these skills in a friendly, fun environment. In a study from the ACA, they also found working at camp has provided a lasting impact on the young adults that attend, helping to develop skills that transfer into academic studies, future careers, as well as build mental and emotional health.
It’s an Adventure
For over a year now, we’ve been dealing with so many strange circumstances. Spending a few months in the sun shaping growing minds is a rewarding, different and downright enjoyable way to spend your summer and knock out those internship credits. A profound character-building experience, it will help positively shape your teen outside school and work, and for the rest of their life.
But is working at camp safe? The answer is yes. The CDC has launched guidance for youth and Summer Camps to safely operate during COVID-19, including an updated background for what is known about transmission among children, considerations on screening/testing/contact tracing, and guidance on camp activities and spaces. This is backed up by the ACA’s findings from their ‘CampCounts 2020‘ annual survey. The survey — comprising data from over 90,000 campers — uncovered some really awesome data (such as less than 1% of campers and staff had confirmed COVID cases in the 2020 season). Combined, the future is bright for the state of camps in 2021.
“The science demonstrates that camps that have implemented strict, layered mitigation strategies, including masking, cohorting, physical distancing, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, proper handwashing, and respiratory etiquette, have been able to safely operate in person,” said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the ACA.
How to apply
To find the perfect Summer Camp internship for your teen, they could do a couple of things. First, you could search for camps near you to see what might be available in your immediate area. The ACA has a great Find a Camp tool to search almost 11,000 programs and almost 4,000 camps.
You can also browse current job openings, post a resume, research job fairs and have access to other great resources in the ACA Summer Camp Job board. Before your teen applies, it’s worth checking over their resume and adding any experience working with children (such as babysitting), any leadership positions they may have held, or any certifications such as CPR or lifeguarding for best results.
Another great resource is to check out HFM’s camp directory for camps operating in your neighborhood including your local YMCA. HFM’s camp directory is published from February to June every year.