Side note from Maine Camp Experience: This article gives insight into the camp staff hiring process. It’s also a great guide for anyone wanting to know the steps of how to get hired by a camp. So parents, feel free to share this with the outstanding young adults you know who might consider spending their summer working for one of our wonderful camps!
It’s hard to imagine that it’s time to start thinking about the summer when Halloween is not even upon us. But for those who are thinking about working at a summer camp in 2013, it’s never too early to start. Many camps have already asked back their staff from this summer and have a good idea of who is or is not returning, as well as what positions they will need to fill. So the question is: How do I find and get a job at a summer camp?
The first thing you need to identify is what you would like to do. Do you want to teach a sport, work in arts and crafts, live in a bunk? What age group do you want to work with? What about religious affiliations or if a camp is coed or single gender? These are all important things to consider and can go a long way in determining which camp may be right for you.
Once you have an idea of what you would like to do (be flexible, some camps that you really like may not have the exact position you are looking for open), you next need to advertise your services and find a list of open jobs. One suggestion is to register with a website like mysummers.com or campstaff.com that will send your information to camps. Then, when a camp is interested in you, its administration will contact you. These same websites also have job boards to see what camps have posted open positions. You can also look at the 29 member camps of Maine Camp Experience on the MCE website to see the focus of each camp and find links to their websites.
Once you have found a job listing appealing to you, you will need to fill out an online application. It is very important to be honest…any lies or misinformation will likely be uncovered and probably hinder you getting a job. No matter how qualified, they will not be hired.
After the application process is completed, the next step is the interview. Since most camps recruit staff from across the country and sometimes internationally, many of interviews are done either by phone or by Skype. Following are a couple of pointers for these types of interviews. If it is a phone interview, please arrange a private space and make sure to have no interruptions, and disable call waiting on your phone if possible. If your interview is done via Skype, be sure to dress nicely and present yourself in a very professional manner. Make eye contact with the camera and smile!
Camp Directors want to know why you want to work for their camp and what skills or experience you bring to the table; make sure you are able to thoroughly answer their questions. Some of the questions you can expect are:
- Why do you want to work at a summer camp?
- Why do you want to work for this summer camp?
- What experience do you have working at a summer camp?
- What experience do you have working with children?
- Tell me about your ___________teaching experience.
- Are you comfortable living in a cabin with campers?
- What do you feel are your strengths? What do you feel are your weaknesses?
These are just some of the questions you may be asked. Other things that can help ensure your employment are certifications (first aid, CPR, lifeguard, or a specialization degree in your area) or your willingness to become certified.
Working at a summer camp is an awesome way to spend a summer, but it is also hard work. Those who are looking to make a difference in the lives of campers and to grow as a person are the people who should work at a summer camp.
Happy job hunting and good luck!
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.