How To Find A Summer Camp Job
Have the summer off from school or your regular job, and want to find something to do which is fun, rewarding, and which can pay you a little extra money? Summer camp jobs typically have fairly low salaries, but room and board is included, and you have a chance to enjoy the great outdoors and share your enthusiasm with children. Enjoying working with kids is a must to become a summer camp counselor, activity specialist, or supervisor. There are also office and kitchen positions and other support roles to fill. Each camp has its own list of staffing needs. How can you get your foot in the door this summer?
One mistake that a lot of people applying for summer jobs make is waiting for the last minute to start searching and applying. Start looking into possible camp jobs before summer actually starts. In May and June you will still find a few openings, but most will already have been filled. So start looking earlier than that—in February or March. It doesn’t hurt to cold call earlier than that and simply ask when the best time is to send in applications.
If you already have experience working with kids, that’s great. Teachers for example have a leg up on the competition. If you aren’t a teacher, consider doing some work in your spare time like babysitting or tutoring so that you have some related work to put on your resume.
If you yourself are a student, talk to your own teachers and coaches to see if they know about any job openings or can help you out with recommendations. Many summer job counselors are teachers since the work is related and it fills those summer months which would otherwise be unpaid vacation.
If you went to camp when you were younger, start by contacting your own camp. They will be more likely to consider you since you attended.
There are many different types of summer camps and job roles. Some camps are outdoor camps while others may have a focus on music or art, sports, or even science. Along with standard counselor roles, you may find other opportunities for specialist coaches in swimming, drama and more. If you are applying for a specialist role, be ready to refer to your relevant experience, and also get some references who can attest to your expertise and recommend you for the position.
You will find listings for summer camp jobs on websites which are dedicated to listing summer jobs and summer camp jobs. You also can search for individual camp websites and then check on those sites for job listings. The YMCA and other local youth organizations may be able to point you toward more openings.
Also try checking with the country recreation department to see whether there are other possible openings you can apply for—sometimes these departments run their own programs, other times they can recommend programs to apply for.
Good luck, and have a blast at your summer job!
I started working at summer camp as a junior in college and gained invaluable experience working on a team and teaching kids. As a teacher, I’d spend my summers at camp and always returned to my classroom in the fall full of new ideas! At our camps, we teach tech courses to kids ages 7-17 at top universities across the nation like Stanford, Princeton, Emory, and Northwestern.