Working at a summer camp as a young adult can be a very rewarding experience. You get to see children learn and enjoy themselves, and you'll make some amazing friends along the way, too. However, a lot of young adults want to work at summer camps for these very reasons, so if you want to increase your chances of getting hired, it's important to do a few things to make yourself stand out as an applicant.
Become Certified in CPR
Most camps require that their staff be CPR certified, and in fact, this requirement is often set by the regulatory bodies in the state in which the camp is located. While most camps will pay for their workers to be CPR certified if needed, you can set yourself apart as an applicant by taking CPR classes and becoming certified before you even apply to work at the camp. The camp will save money by hiring you, rather than an non-certified applicant, since they won't have to pay for your certification.
The American Camp Association maintains a list of CPR and First Aid classes that are acceptable. However, requirements may vary by state, so before you take a certain CPR class, give your state's health department a call and verify that the specific class you're considering taking meets the state's requirements for camp counselors. For more information, contact Respond First Aid Systems or a similar company.
Volunteer in a Program that Focuses on Kids
If your application demonstrates that you have previous experience working with kids, you'll stand out as a more qualified applicant. Camps like to know that the counselors they hire will be able to jump right into the mix with little training, and previous experience with kids will help you do this.
Look for volunteer opportunities at your local library or YMCA. Some libraries look for volunteers to come help teach crafts or read to kids. Your local YMCA may have a program in which young adults serve as mentors for younger children. Aim to become involved in an activity like this at least 6 months before you start applying to camps, so you have a few months worth of experience to list on your application.
Develop a Specific Skill
Many camps prefer to hire counselors who have specific skills they can share with the kids. Make a list of skills you have that might be useful to a camp. Maybe you're great at soccer, horseback riding, rollerblading, or another sport. Perhaps you're excellent at crafts like sewing and making stained glass. Choose one or two of these skills that you already possess, and really work on honing it over a period of a few months, so you're confident that you can teach kids how to do it. Then, emphasize these skills and your dedication to them in your camp applications.Share