Every year around this time, summer camps across the country start the hiring process for camp counselors. Whether you’re applying to be a counselor at science camp or for an all-girls recreation camp, be sure to weigh the pros and cons to see if being a counselor is the right job for you!
Pick the Right Camp:
There are thousands of different camps across the country that have different schedules and different focuses. To really enjoy being a camp counselor, be sure to choose one that fits with your personality. For instance, there are some camps that are only open during daytime hours. A big pro of working at one of these day camps is that your weekends are usually free! If you’d rather stay at the camp full time and are okay with only a few trips home, pick a camp that goes for longer. While most camps will employee counselors for the entire summer, the duration of time that campers are there can range from one to six weeks.
Think about your wallet:
Being a camp counselor may or may not be a well-paid position depending on where you work. Many camps offer counselors minimum wage in exchange for the free rent and meals they’ll get at the camp! Make sure before you take the job that your pay will cover all of your expenses and don’t necessarily plan on saving huge amounts of money. Most students would say the experience is worth the low pay, but it doesn’t work for everyone.
Morning Person vs. Night Owl
Most camps have an early wake-up time and have campers on a long schedule throughout the day. When you’re applying, read the job description carefully and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Getting 15 campers up and ready by 7:15 a.m. could be harder than you think. Josh Eversole, a senior ISC major at UK, had to get up at 6:00 a.m. every morning and hated the long hours working outside. If you’re more of an indoors person, or don’t like to be up early, consider getting a different job or seeking out a summer internship.
Weigh the Rewards
Fellow UK student, Amy Baker, had a much different experience than Josh! “I worked at Camp John Currie in Marshall Co. KY and I loved being a camp counselor! It was literally the best summer job. I really enjoyed getting to know the kids. My favorite part was watching a camper improve throughout the week! ... It is so fun to watch them grow and get confidence!” said Amy.
While some students choose to spend their summer taking classes or doing an internship, the rewards from being a camp counselor can be just as great. Learning to drive a boat, teaching kids to canoe, or getting to be a part of a camp-wide Dodgeball tournament is something you may not have otherwise gotten to do. Learning to be a leader and role model for kids is also a pro that makes being a counselor worthwhile!
If you’re interested in being a camp counselor this summer, there are already plenty of camps hiring! Check out these websites and for more information and job opportunities!