Why Being a Camp Counselor is the Best Summer Job

In the summer of 1987, I returned for my second year as a camp counselor. Those summers 30 years ago were transformational for me, and I’ve since witnessed thousands of other lives that have been changed from the experience.

I believe every college student would benefit from spending at least one summer as a camp counselor. The leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills counselors develop, not to mention the close, life-long friendships they form, are unmatched in any other summer internship or job.

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen my post last week with the picture of me as a camp counselor back in the 80s (above). The post resonated with many other former camp counselors, some of whom now work as teachers, therapists, or full-time professionals in the camp industry. Even if they don’t end up working with children in their career, many former camp counselors report using their camp-learned skills in many areas, including leadership, communication, and parenting.

Why is it, then, that parents – and career centers – often push college kids toward “internships” where they mostly make coffee and copies instead of toward the amazing opportunity of being a camp counselor?

I think it’s because some people just don’t know the important job and life skills camp counselors hone while leading kids and activities. Every year, college students have to convince their parents about why they’re returning to work at camp.

Starting with this post, and in a regular series I’ll continue over the summer, I’ll shed some light on why being a camp counselor is the best summer job.

But I need your help!

If you were ever a camp counselor (whether last summer or many decades ago), please take just a few minutes to answer this short survey. I’d like to gather information from people in all different careers and hear what you have to share about how your experience as a camp counselor influenced your life.

Were you a camp counselor?
Take my “I was a camp counselor!” survey.

Please pass this survey along to anyone you know who worked at a camp!

Related:

Ep. 9: Being a Camp Counselor is the Best Summer Job

The Greatest Internship: 6 Critical Skills Counselors Develop at Camp

The Camp Counselor Vs. the Intern

Camp Belongs on Your Resume

Writing Camp Jobs on Your Resume

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