How We Make Summer Camp Work for Our Family and You Can, Too

Winter break is here – hooray! Schools are out and even college students will be home for a few weeks. We are sure you’ll be busy with parties and presents but its not too soon to be thinking about summer!
Sure, this fall you researched camps for your younger kids and probably even dropped a few hints that the older (college) ones could really get a lot out of a summer job at camp. But have you considered a real FAMILY summer at camp? 
Well, our family does a version of this.  We’ll share with you…
CampStaff is our year round job but summer camp itself is what we live for. Each summer, Lynn and our three daughters head up to the White Mountains for a full summer at camp. Lynn is a Junior Camp Area Director responsible for around 70 kids at a time and 30 or so staff. From home, Bunkie keeps CampStaff operating and runs our camp consulting business.  He spends about 10 days at camp each summer, trading-off whatever odd jobs a former camp director is capable of handling for unlimited chicken patty sandwiches and all you can drink camp coffee.
In all seriousness, camp is a huge part of our child rearing plan. We live in a rural community and enjoy the many benefits of that lifestyle. The camp we choose for our kids, exposes them to campers from the major cities and suburbs of the northeast and with staff from around the globe. Our kids have had playdates on Park Avenue, have taken camp friends to harvest sugar cane and had high tea with counselors in London, among hundreds of other experiences. Camp has really opened up amazing opportunities for our family.
We made our camp choice with purpose
The individual and family success we’ve had at camp did not happen by chance. We carefully selected the right camp for our family before committing to work there. We knew we wanted a beautiful New England location, with a strong outdoor program and “nice” kids – luckily the camp we started at before becoming camp professionals, fit the bill and was in need of senior staff. When choosing a camp for your family, be sure the summer camp meets all your criteria up front. There are hundreds of options out there, there is no reason to try to shoe horn yourself into a not perfect fit. CampStaff or other summer camp job sites can help you match your needs with those of summer camps.
Meet the camp directors and camp alumni
We mentioned the camp we choose was one we had a history with so we knew the directors well and still had relationships with former campers and staff. For you choosing a camp from scratch, start with the camps website. Does it convey the values you are looking for? Next check out the camp’s social media feeds. (You can find the links on the camp’s website.) See what the camp chooses to share and what type of comments campers, parents and alumni leave. If you want to really stalk the camp (our kids’ term!), check out who follows the camp and what they post. You can get a strong sense of a camp’s values by seeing their community. Reach out to the directors personally.  Assuming the camp has listed a job opening in your skill set (like on CampStaff.com), set up a personal call with the directors. The directors may actually appreciate this since a huge part of their job is making sure campers are good fit with their camp.  Taking the initiative shows you understand a great camp is more than random luck. Ask all the questions you would ask if you were paying to send you kids to camp and would not be there all summer.
Balancing family life
The biggest challenge for a staff member with kids at camp is allowing the separation that makes camp work so greta for kids. A great camp will walk you through this process and have guidelines in place to help you deal with the separation (aka camp sickness). A few tips we’ve picked up; even if your whole family is at camp, everyone still likes getting mail and mail call. Write letters, even if you see each other a few minutes every day. Schedule phone calls with someone. Campers love phone call times and depending on the camp’s policies, it may even be a scheduled activity. Make sure your kid has someone to call – grandparents love to fill this role! Visiting day can be challenging because as staff, you will have responsibilities. Again, a grandparent visit might fit the bill. Or ask the camp (again the best camps will have a plan already) to block out a little time for you and your kids.
Make camp last all year
The best part of our family participating in camp together is shared experiences and shared friendships. We love sharing social media posts from camp people who we all know. When we travel, camp always has a connection either from someone in that area or a camp story. Camp really can be a huge part of your life if you want it to be!
Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

3 Super Perks for Summer Camp Nurses

Nurses are in high demand EVERYWHERE so why not try a few weeks
SOMEWHERE new?  Summer camps throughout the US and Canada are hiring summer nurses.  Here are 3 reasons you should give camp nursing a try!
1. Travel – When we said everywhere, we mean everywhere. Camps from the New England coastline to the California beaches are hiring nurses. Contracts can vary from one week to 12 weeks depending on the camps schedule. If you’ve ever though of spending a summer hiking and boating in the mountains, here’s your chance. If you wondered what a major city is really like, camps are located within easy drink distance of every major US city.  With free room and board and very good salaries, camps are the perfect bases for exploring a region you may be considering relocating to.  The bonus perk is that because summer camps attract staff from around the world, you will certainly make friends worth visiting around the globe!

 

2. Bring your family with you – You can read more about picking a camp and bringing your family with you in our other blog posts.  For nurses, this is an almost given – work at summer camp and you kids attend FREE. You kids will be placed in a cabin group at sleep away camp or day camp just like the full paying campers. Your kids will have all the benefits of summer camp life. You get the special privilege of being able to see them run happily by with their new friends, while you spend a summer in the best nursing job you’ve ever had.

3. Free in-state licensing. Your new camp will pay for and will help you with the process of getting the appropriate licensing. So don’t limit your nursing search to states you are current in, pick a new one. They do this every year and will know the best way to make it happen. You can focus on packing up for the summer of you life!

CampStaffNurses has current nursing needs for some the best summer camps. Register for free and let camps come to you. Follow our social media feeds @campstaffnurses for daily updates.
Photo Credit Camp Bryn Mawr
Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

How to send your kids to summer camp for FREE and get paid to do so

Did you know that summer camps offer free or steeply reduced tuition for the children of staff? So, yes there is a bit of a catch to the FREE part but for those of you with the time and the right skills this is an amazing opportunity.
How does it work?
Summer camps need experienced professionals for support roles, such as chefs and nurses, and for leadership positions and heads of programs, typically filled by teachers and coaches. In many cases, this means hiring staff who are already raising families of their own. If a camp hires you to fill a valuable role, in most cases your kids will be able to attend while you are working for free or reduced tuition. With some camps charging over $10,000 for the summer, the added value can be significant. 
STEPS TO TAKE
1.Register with CampStaff.com to see which camps are seeking staff with your skill set. You can plug through the individual websites looking for jobs but you’ll see below, you may want to save that for later in the process.
2. Narrow your list down by whatever criteria you choose – remember your a picking a job for you AND a camp for the kids – those aren’t always automatic fits.
3. Visit the websites of the camps you’ve narrowed down to and with your kids make sure it looks like a place you’d like. This is VERY important. The camp needs to be a place that you child(children) will be successful or else, your summer will not be. Later in the process, the camp directors will want to discuss your kids in depth to determine bunk placement, etc., it’s best if a bad match is caught earlier rather than at this late point. 
4. Contact the camps either with your CampStaff profile or directly – making sure you are upfront about having camp aged children (or needing a nanny for younger ones). In most cases, it will not be problem however, it does occasionally happen that a bunk age group is completely filled and there would be no opening for staff kids. Again, get this taken care of up front so your kids aren’t disappointed later.
5. Interview with the camps that meet your criteria!
6. If hired, be sure to clarify what is included for your kids and what are extras. (Add on trips and spending money accounts are typically not included with free staff tuition.)
Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

In the mood for some camp reading this winter?

I recently read a novel, based on friendships that began at summer camp. Like most of you interested in working at camp this summer, a book that references camp gives me good vibes in the middle of the winter.
The book is titled, “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer, a New York Times best selling author.

What I really wanted to know about the book is where did the author go to camp? So I googled it. Turns out she went to a camp in Stockbridge, MA, which is right in the Berkshire Mountains, the same setting as the camp in her novel.  In an interview with NPR, she says, “I made wonderful friends and that, actually, is as much a part of it as anything else. My closest friend is someone I met that summer in 1974. And my closest friend sort of talked about the world in a way that, you know, none of my friends back in my suburb did. And I began to be a little different and to sort of think of myself differently. And at the end of the summer, you know, going back home, as in my novel, it was like a tragic thing. My parents showed up in their Rambler and took me away and I felt like I was being kidnapped. Like, ‘Why are you making me live in that house?’ Of course, I had great parents who had a house full of books, but something had been lit in me that never got unlit again.”

If you are interested in really feeling (or re-living)  the connections you make at camp, I’d recommend giving it a go. While the book received all sorts of fabulous reviews from actual book review experts, I’ll let you know that this camp expert gives it a thumbs up, too!

Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

4 Ways to Prep for the Camp Staffing Surge

After 22 seasons of summer camp staffing experience, we know it’s coming – the camp staffing surge.  Beginning the week after college students return to campus from Christmas break, the waves of summer camp staff applications begin steadily surging in, only to be punctuated with mini-staffing tsunamis following the end of spring breaks around the country.   We suggest that you use your calm before the storm time for a little pre-season prepping. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Update your CampStaff camp photo/image.  Some images on camp profiles are low resolution from a few years back.  Most camps have seriously upped their photo game – you profile photo should reflect this.  And while you are at it, make sure the logo you’ve uploaded is high quality also.  1st impressions and all…
  1. Tweak your CampStaff camp short description blurb.  The short description is the first thing a job seeker will read when searching for camps.  (It also pops up in the BROWSE ALL CAMPS on the homepage.) Make sure your description is SELLING your camp jobs.  Some of the best we’ve seen list prime perks of working at the camp – like, “near city X” or “on lake Y”.  Listing major staffing needs is also effective – “Lifeguard staff needed for our 4 heated swimming pools and waterpark”.  Be as specific as you’d like – you can change your description as often as you like!
  1. Update CampStaff job openings.  This may seem like an easy one but we are betting that most of you eliminated job openings as they were filled in the spring and haven’t “reloaded” since.  Take few minutes to update your staffing needs, dates and contact info and while you are at it, refresh your CampStaff staff search skills.  When you are ready to do a targeted search to fill that last over 21 year old ski boat driver position, you’ll be ready!
  1. Customize your CampStaff contact emails. When you find a staff member on CampStaff that interests you, you can click on the “contact this job seeker” button. An automatic email will be sent. It’s a great, generic email. Customize this email in your camp profile section so it’s personal and really gets the attention from the staff member. To learn how to customize the email, you can watch this tutorial. Or, log into your CampStaff account, go to “Camp Profile” and then to “Edit Camp”. Scroll down to the section titled “ Camp Staff Information” and then to “Custom Seeker Request Email Message”. Add your customized email here and then remember to hit “submit”.
photo credit Bay Cliff Health Camp
Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

5 Reasons you should get a summer camp job (and get your parents support!)

Photo Credit Camp North Star

So you want a summer camp job but feel – or more likely, your parents feel -you should get a “real job”. First of all, summer camp jobs are REAL jobs.  In fact, a summer camp job may be the most real job with the most real life benefits you can take this summer. Below are 5 real-world benefits of working at summer camp.  Camp jobs are more than just fun (and, yes they are FUN), a camp job can be a part of your total education experience.  Now let’s get you and your folks on the same page…

  1. Travel – The majority of American students attend college with 100 miles of home. Summer camps are in all 50 US States and all of the southern Canadian provinces. Summer camps offer paid (or partial) travel to and from camp, salary, free room and board and all expenses on official camp trips. Explore a region you may be considering for after college graduation or just expand your knowledge of the country. Travel will help you grow as a citizen and a person.
  1. Make new, diverse friends – Because of the 100 miles from home thing mentioned above, most college students do not have the opportunity to develop real relationships with students from different backgrounds – regional, political, racial, religious. In a time when the country has seemingly become so sharply divided, camp offers the opportunity for positive relationship building. The camp we ran had a staff of 180 from over 30 states and 10 countries each year. Staff had the chance to put real faces to the ideas they read about on social media and heard about on the news. Who knows, during a long hike or around a summer night campfire – a conversation or an exchange of ideas may lead to solutions in the future.
  1. Make job connections – Colleges are preparing students for a future of job mobility and remote working environments. Again, noting the whole 100 miles thing, the geographically diverse relationships at summer camp can lead to future job opportunities and in the case of a truly mobile working situation – the opportunity to have friendly, helpful faces when moving to a new area. The bonus is your LinkedIn connections will get a huge boost in the cool factor!
  1. Have real responsibilities – Face it, for an undergrad an internship at a Fortune 500 company is probably a summer of picking up dry cleaning and taking coffee orders – no real responsibility that can affect the business. At summer camp, every staff member bears responsibility for the success (or failure) of the camp season (aka the business.). Bunk counselors are responsible 24/7 for the safety and health of their bunk. Group leaders are responsible for conflict resolution with coworkers and between campers. Aspiring coaches are responsible for developing and executing lesson plans and classes. Every interaction has direct impact on a campers experience – leading to the camps growth or otherwise. For a college student having a first time job experience, tack on time management skills and personal responsibilities. A staff parent once told us, “My daughter was pretty sheltered before camp. Whenever she had problem at school, she called us on her cell and we solved it. This summer she had to take responsibility for herself and has come back a more self assured, mature woman. Thank you!”
  1. Make a difference – Summer camp staff have the opportunity to make a real impact on the lives of fellow staff and the campers. This seems obvious at the wonderful the non-profit camps reaching at risk populations and special needs campers. What may not seem quite as obvious is the impact staff can have at private camps can be just as meaningful. Early in my camp career, I questioned whether to move from for profit, private camping in to the non-profit camping world. A wise camp director pointed out, the campers at his high-end camp had every opportunity in life to become CEO’s, political leaders, doctors – everything that financial privilege had to offer.  What we could do as camp professionals is make sure these future leaders were instilled with the values of summer camp so that when they were in position too impact the world, their summer camp experience would guide them. You may think that sounds a little kumbaya – but what’s wrong with that?!?
photo credit Camp North Star
Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

3 Things you didn’t know about summer camp jobs

Summer Camps assist with travel expenses

Travel to a new part of the country is a major perk of working at summer camp,  Camps are located not only in some of the most beautiful wilderness and lake setting in the world bit also near cultural and tourist attractions and major cities.  In addition to salary, most camps offer some type of travel allowance or assistance for staff traveling great distance.  A summer camp job could be your ticket to that destination you’ve been dreaming of.

Day Camps provide staff housing

Day camps, particularly those in rural or seasonal vacation areas can provide housing for summer camp staff.  Housing is usually reserved for specialty staff – such as nurses or chefs however, depending on the location, bunk staff and instructors can qualify for housing too. The bonus perk is that day camps operate Monday-Friday leaving the staff with what amounts to a weekend house in a summer resort!

International students enrolled in US college and universities do not need a special visa to work at summer camp

Working (and being paid) at a summer camp can qualify as part of your cultural exchange experience.  Ask your International Student Advisor on campus if you qualify.  If so, you’ll receive a full salary with all of the benefits just like domestic American staff.  No additional agency fees for you or the summer camp!

 

Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com