One thing that truly distinguishes Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camps, is the quality of staff and counselors that they hire each summer. The counselors at camp truly play a unique role in the lives of kids each summer – a counselor is your teacher when you need help perfecting your jump shot, and your mentor when you need advice. They’re the mediator who talks you through a disagreement with your best friend, the helper when you just can’t figure out how to make your bed, and the big brother or sister figure who is there when you need them most. They’re the life of the bunk party, and the voice of camp’s law – and they are doing it for just about 24 hours almost every single day for the entirety of the summer. Any camper will tell you how important counselors are to their summer experience, but it takes a pretty unique individual who is able to play all these roles at once. So how do MCE camps manage to hire such exceptional staff each summer?
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
It is no exaggeration to say that MCE camps travel all over the country and all over the world to find the staff that can make your child’s summer a success. Camps oftentimes travel to college campuses in order to find American staff members who will be able to contribute to their staff – in fact, I was able to make such a visit last year to an Outdoor Fair in New England, and it was incredible to see how many other MCE camps attended this fair as they sought the best possible staff for their kids. Additionally, it is very common for Camp Directors and Assistant Directors to travel to hiring fairs in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand in order to recruit staff each summer. MCE camps cover many, many miles each year to ensure they find the best staffs for their camp each summer, and there’s no destination too far to travel for the right counselors.
A Noble Profession
It has been said that “teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber and future of an individual.” Of course, the same can be said for being a camp counselor – and so it’s no wonder that MCE camps oftentimes seek to hire current and future teachers, with formal experience in child education, to help bolster their staffs. These teachers oftentimes possess a unique level of insight when it comes to working with kids, and they can be truly invaluable assets on any camp staff.
Fitting the Camp Culture
Of course, each camp is looking for different attributes when hiring staff each summer. The primary trait each camp is looking for is the desire and ability to take care of kids, but beyond that there are different variables depending on the camp’s culture. A camp with a sports-heavy programming may place an emphasis on hiring varsity athletes who will be able to provide top-notch instruction, while a camp with dedicated bunk counselors may simply be seeking those counselors who can have a special connection have with their campers.
At some MCE camps, it is very common for former campers to return to their camps as CIT’s, junior counselors, and full-time staff members (and even eventually Assistant Directors, Directors, and owners!). At other camps, many counselors are new to the camp experience – but that doesn’t make them any less dedicated! Because each camp has a different culture – and is looking for different traits – one great method of finding new staff is simple word of mouth. Current and former counselors who love their experiences working at camp will tell certain right-fit friends and family about their one-of-a-kind summers, and those friends and family will (after a thorough application, interview, and screening process) make up part of the camp’s staff in future summers.
Want to Work for an MCE Camp?
Being a camp counselor is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have – each summer there are days when, despite all of the buzz and action at camp, I have a moment to take a breath and look around, and in those moments I appreciate how lucky I am to be able to return as a counselor each summer. If you think you would like to work for an MCE camp, we encourage you to see our staffing page here – who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing you in Maine!
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.