Summer camp jobs are arguably the most popular offseason gigs in the United States.
As children and young adults break at the end of the school year, they are often looking forward to this season of the year that comes at a time when the weather is perfect for the outdoors.
Given the favourable weather and the general age of summer campers, you might guess that summer camp jobs are pretty engaging and draining regardless of which specific one you land.
You are faced with a crowd of young energetic students out of school and in a new exciting environment.
Your job is to supervise the children and/or young adults as they enjoy their holiday while at the same time ensuring they engage in other important summer camp activities- learning and growth.
Although the learning involved in summer camps is not a requirement for their academic progress, it is a huge part of the campers’ all-round nurture.
Parents who send their kids out for this education insist that it is done right.
Traditionally, summer camping involved campfires and activities that describe the woods- fishing, hiking etc.
With evolving times, however, camps have diversified and currently include activities like learning computer animation and doing music.
Basically, today there are summer camp activities for any extracurricular skill that learners may want to sharpen.
Activities may have changed and expanded but the initial theme of personal development has stuck.
As such, there are more summer jobs available today than ever before.
As long as you have a skill which you can teach adolescents and young adults, there’s a probably a gig somewhere waiting for you.
Popular gigs include swimming, programming, science, cooking, cultural knowledge, foreign language, archery and photography.
The type of employers for summer camp jobs depend on the type of the specific camp.
Is it, for instance, cultural, educational or athletic?
Summer camp workers often joke that yelling is the basic skill required to do their work.
Well, this is just a description of the high energy levels you will need to put up with the lot of excited youngsters.
As activities have diversified, the tasks have become easier since most learners now pick an activity they like and are likely to be self- driven.
Still, you will need to have a lot of patience and a degree of strictness to ensure that it is not all fun and no learning. Remember you will be dealing with adolescents on holiday!
Besides these personal skills, you will need to be highly skilled in whatever ativity you will be chaperoning.
No summer camp wants a swimming instructor who will be beaten by all the kids in the pool.
You have to do the delicate balancing act between the really gifted learners and the slow yet passionate ones.
Oh, and you will need some good energy reserves, if that can be called a skill!
Your main duties in a summer camp job will be to supervise and teach. To ensure that kids do not go overboard in their fun activities and that they acquire valuable life skills by the end of the holiday.
You have the unenviable task of putting up with their rebellious life stage and make something meaningful out of it.
You will be up early and stay up late on many days of the camp.
On the upside, summer camp jobs can be largely gratifying. No matter how much you feel you are straining, it is a holiday for you too- and you get paid for it!
There is nothing as gratifying as seeing those kids grasp the skills you impart.
The kids view you as a mentor and establish a close and often lasting relationship with you. Few things will bring you more pleasure.
Whether you work in a free or paid camp, it is inescapable that the institution will be looking for the best tutor in each activity.
Most camp activities are out-of-class, so you will need some certification to show that you have excelled in that field.
Make a point of taking part in activities that show your authority in your hobby.
There are numerous online platforms to get such certifications. Think Duolingo for foreign languages or Berkelee for music skills.
A recommendation from a previous summer camp job is a big plus.
Above all, you will need to show exemplary interpersonal skills to convince the employer you can handle the energy-oozing summer camp group.
Don’t sleep on your skill. Check out how it could literally pay off from the wide range of summer camp jobs below.