Holiday Wish List Ideas

Now is the perfect time to put together your holiday wish list….with all things camp!

Here’s a few ideas of what to ask for, or what to give a camp friend this holiday season.

Now is the perfect time to put together your holiday wish list….with all things camp!

Here’s a few ideas of what to ask for, or what to give a camp friend this holiday season.

Brought to you from your friends at CampStaff.

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This hat is perfect for camp. It’s cute, stylish and practical, too. If your camp is near the mountains, beware of cold nights even during the summer.

Pro tip: get this hat now to use for the winter AND the summer!


Screenshot 2018-11-15 10.53.41A sturdy water bottle is the perfect item for camp.

Pro tip: get a water bottle with a flip nozzle like this one; it’s much easier to take quick sips thought the camp day without having to unscrew anything.


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Just imagine your camp’s state and zip code on here. Great idea for you or for a camp friend!

Pro tip: self-explanatory


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Bandanas. A different color for every day, or share them with your camp friends. Bandanas are great accessories, hair pieces, and are unisex.

Pro-tip: Can’t go wrong with bandanas at camp and you’ll be sure to find more uses than ever thought possible!

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 Have a Summer Camp Internship

This year, more colleges and universities are requiring students to fill summer internship credits making the summer internship the camp industry’s biggest competitor for college aged staff.  

Internships are intended to provide learning opportunities, develop leadership and offer a chance to assume responsibilities in a field of interest. In many cases however, internships at large corporations are “below entry level jobs” with eager students relegated to spending their summer making copies, picking up lunch orders, and filling coffee cups with no real chance to assume responsibilities or show leadership potential.  

Now think about the leadership opportunities and responsibilities staff at your camp have every day of the summer. Where does a college student have the most chance for meaningful growth? The answer, of course, is camp!

So, how can your camp use internships to help staff? With very little effort, your summer camp can offer fulfilling internships to your staff with the bonus of providing stronger job skill development than most corporate internships. 

How does a camp get started?

Your camp already has maybe the widest variety of options for college aged students to earn internship credits of any business out there. Health services, recreation, hospitality, accounting, marketing, agronomy, computer science, etc, etc, etc – the potential list is huge!

Internships at camp have been around for a long time and although some camps handle the internship process very well, it seems obvious from the large number of camps not utilizing internships that many camps are unclear of how to start. 

CampStaff reached out to Jolly Corley, staffing director at Camp Robindel in New Hampshire, for advice on getting an internship program started at camp. Jolly has successfully offered summer internships at Robindel for many years and was happy to share her expertise. 

Jolly and I talked about the tangibles of how to make an internship work (more on that in a second). Before we even get to the “how” of making an internship work, Jolly recommends coming up with 3-5 skills your camp can give an intern by the end of the summer.

CampStaff Asked, “What can you give an intern as a skill that they may need?”

The answer to this will be different for each camp. Look at your camp’s values, your message, your program – what type of person comes out of your camp at the end of the summer? For example, are you aiming for your intern to be able to think on their feet with creative programming by the end of the summer, or do you run a more structured program where the outcome may be that the intern can work as a member of a larger team and work within the confines of the boundaries set forth in the program?

Jolly and I spoke about soft skills vs. hard skills. As a camp industry, we pride ourselves on teaching our staff the soft skills of life; creative thinking, teamwork, decision making, time management, motivation, flexibility, problem solving, critical thinking skills, and conflict resolution, just to name a few. 

These are some of soft skills that your intern may be taking away with them at the end of the summer. Or perhaps you may want to focus your internship on the hard skills of a program; ie. If your waterfront director is using his/her job as an internship, his/her skills may be safety, protocol, staff management, scheduling, and procedures.

In writing, your guideline will look like : “At the end of the summer interning with us at Camp XXX, you will be able to x,y, and z”. 

Once you are able to define what you can offer an intern, begin thinking of how to go about hiring staff who can use their camp job as an intern. Yes, the tangibles of making this whole system work!

CampStaff Asked, “Is it best to set up an internship “as is” or can you customize the internship for each intern?

Jolly gave the example of her standing position yearly of “event planner” as an internship. This is a desired position and she opens it only to returning staff (for a variety of reasons). She also has openings for internships that she tailor -fits to staff, depending on their major and the requirements needed to be met. 

Camp is fortunately similar to a small town, complete with every job skill imaginable and a need for various people with various skill sets. Thinking outside of the box may allow you to hire that highly sought after staff member AND offer a salary AND internship. Jolly recounted the story of re-hiring one of her best staff members while being able to offer her an internship in civil engineering.

CampStaff Asked, “After you have set up the internship with an employee, what are the  obligations as a camp director/staffing director in terms of follow-up?”

For an informal internship, as often is the case with international staff, usually a written reference once a summer. 

For a formal internship, possibly some initial paperwork, meetings over the course of the summer, and a follow up to the initial paperwork

Jolly gave a great tip for the meeting with staff during the summer; she offers them a reading list of books and/or articles. When the interns come to a weekly meeting with her, she can reference the reading as a starting point for conversation with the intern and apply it directly to the experience the intern is having at camp.

CampStaff Asked, “Do interns get paid while working at camp?”

Yes, please pay them.

CampStaff Asked, “Are there enough hours in the summer to fulfill the needs of an internship?”

Yes, working 12 hour days for 6 days for 8 weeks will more than fulfill a typical 400 or 480 hour requirement. When listed, most internships at colleges will state “for the full semester”. What Jolly has found that when the prospective intern talks with their college advisor to explain the situation of hours worked, advisors view the summer camp experience as a full internship requirement. 

We hope these tips help camps who have been thinking about offering internships, but didn’t quite understand them. If you have questions, reach out to us at CampStaff. 

photo credit Camp Robindel

Looking for camp staff? Visit www.campstaff.com and begin searching for staff today. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer staff!

RV’ers and Summer Camps

We’re sure you’ve seen the instagram feeds – full-time RV’ers, van lifers, digital nomads -whatever you want to call them – families living and working in cool homes on wheels with ever changing beautiful views and seemingly endless adventures.  Thanks to the flexibility offered by internet based jobs and schools, an ever growing number of families are choosing to live year round in RV’s and explore America.  

Hiring RV snow birds is nothing new for northern summer camps.  A retired Marine couple worked at our camp for years.  They pulled a 5th wheel RV trailer back and forth from Texas to New Hampshire each summer.  They spent winters in Texas as caretakers of a seasonal RV park.  During the summer, he worked maintenance and she (a Senior Olympic archer) taught archery.  They did this for years until the draw of grandchildren over powered the draw of camp.  While this workforce of skilled retirees is still out there and very important to summer camp staffing, a new opportunity is also out there.

Not your grandparents RV 

A quick search of social media will yield hundreds of lifestyle feeds from people living and working from the road as digital nomads in a wide variety of custom RV’s.   They even have their own stylish, hip magazine – Rova Magazine (https://rovamag.com/).  The common threads seem to be a belief that work can be an adventure, desire to travel and search for like minded people and families.  Summer camp fills all three of these!

Camp work is always an adventure.  How many times in your camp career have you been asked to quickly learn to do something you’d never done or call upon a long forgotten skill to make a camp event happen?

Camp offers the chance to use different jobs skills.  Face it, the digital nomad is not into the traditional job cycle of picking a career, plugging away for 40 years and then trying something new.  For people living and working on the road, most common work is gig economy type jobs – short term contracts or fixed terms of employment.  Summer camp can offer so many more diverse jobs than just about any other industry and definitely with a fixed term, of employment.  Traditionally, camp directors have relied on school teachers with summers free to fill skilled leadership positions.  Digital nomads – with college degrees and real world skills – can offer a whole new source for quality, mature leadership.

Desire to travel. 

No brainer here…great summer camps are in all 50 states and across Canada.  A full-time RV’er with say an archery certification could pick and choose a camp each summer in a new location.

As great as the digital nomadic lifestyle seems, its one down side is a physical community.  Summer camps can offer a happy medium.  A few months in one location surrounded by people who live, work and study all over the world can open lots of doors for the traveler.  Now a real, because of summer camp community can be tapped into whenever and wherever the traveler goes.  The extra bonus for families living and traveling on the road is the chance for the kids to experience the wonderful relationship that camp offers.  How cool would it be for the RV family and other camp families to connect during the year?

CampStaff has begun targeting potential staff living and working the RV lifestyle specifically for summer camps.  Keep an eye on the seeker database for RV’ers.  The work camper concept has been in existence for years and there are many job sites designed to reach this worker and we are sure innovative camps have used them.  If there is a website you’d recommend, please let us know and we’ll add it to this post.

Looking for camp staff? Visit www.campstaff.com and begin searching for staff today. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer staff!

Camps Are Using SOCIAL MEDIA More & Better

In late July, we began seeing camp social media feeds advertising for 2019 staff positions. Camps are setting up staff specific Instagram accounts, in addition to the official camp Instagram account.  We at CampStaff find both of these very relevant because 1. it shows that camps are becoming more aggressive (and much earlier in the year) in recruiting using their staff and staff alumni networks and 2. Instagram is the current social media o f choice for reaching college aged staff.

Instagram should be your current choice for staff contact – with your current staff and potential staff.  Here’s a few tips to get rolling.
1. Set up a staff specific account – clearly name it so parents and staff can tell the difference from your “regular” page
2. Make it public – you want potential staff to be able to see it
3. Ask all of your current and past staff to follow it – the more followers, the more chances you have to show up in friends of friends search feeds

6 camps who’ve upped their staff Instagram game!

echolakestaff – “Staff Spotlight” feature puts faces to the names and shows the geographic and job skill diversity of staff.

poconospringstaff – we like the use of last summer’s staff pictures to highlight returning staff.

waltwhitmanstaff – we like the pictures featuring the things staff can do on days off. Travel should be a big part of your recruiting pitch.

weequahic_staff – GREAT referral ads and fun count down to orientation pics are sure to get staff fired up for the start of camp!

pinecovestaff – over 4,280 followers…#GOALS

On more thing: Despite what you may read, do not write off Facebook.  Even after the well publicized stock plunge, Facebook’s value is still over $600 billion plus it OWNS Instagram (worth $100 billion).  FB is also run by some very smart people with, according to the US Congress still hold considerable media power. We are confident Facebook will remain relevant in the near future- particularly in reaching more “mature” staff.  A simple fix is to also create a staff page on Facebook that links to your staff Instagram account. Any posts on Instagram can be “automatically” posted to Facebook covering all your bases.

Signing on the Dotted Line: Commitment Is a Two-Way Street

Reprinted in part from Camping Magazine by permission of the American Camp Association; copyright 2018 by the American Camping Association, Inc.

Congratulations! You committed to working at camp this summer, and the director and/or team who hired you have been anticipating your arrival since you signed on the dotted line! It is completely normal to have cold feet and wonder if you made the right decision to spend your summer at camp, similar to the feelings of the campers you will soon meet who will be embarking on this adventure as well. Before the butterflies in your stomach get the best of you, know that commitment is a two-way street. Yes, you made a commitment to camp, and camp also made a commitment to you (whether it is your first summer or eighth summer on staff).

Working at camp is a real job and should be treated in the same manner as employment or obligation anywhere else. Because you will be taking care of other people’s kids, the hiring process to work at camp is rigorous. Your application was screened; you were interviewed (sometimes more than once and by multiple people); your references were contacted; and background and other related checks were run before you were even offered a job. Steps were taken for returning staff to be rehired as well. Not everyone is cut out to work with kids, but you have been carefully selected and trusted to become an integral part of a camp community.

One of the main reasons you were hired is because of your strong moral character, which means being responsible, having integrity, and staying true to your word. Thorough consideration has been given to where you will fit in the bigger puzzle of the staff team. Don’t be thatperson who bails on your commitment! If you are new to camp this summer, you may not know the people you are coming to work for and with very well (if at all). Please know they are counting on you to fulfill the contract you signed.

It is possible you made the decision to work at camp several months ago, and other opportunities may have presented themselves to you in that time that could get in the way of fulfilling your commitment. Weddings, family reunions or vacations, taking classes to catch up or get ahead, sorority/fraternity rush, etc., may lure you to rethink your commitment to camp. If something has come up since you signed your contract that would affect your ability to stick it out, it is best to talk to your camp director sooner rather than later to explore options. The courteous thing to do is to set up a time to discuss in person. Texting is not the best way to deliver the news. Worse yet is telling your camp director about your plans at the last minute instead of asking permission in advance.

Camp Is a Job

Hopefully, you get the idea that while working at camp is a job, it is unlike any other employment experience you will ever have. At the end of the day, you will earn a paycheck and may receive other benefits such as room and board if working at a resident camp (where housing, meals, laundry, utilities, and other living expenses are usually covered). This may mean extra money in your pocket at the end of the camp season when returning to school (or looking for another job). Regardless of working at a resident or day camp, you will typically get paid a base salary with add-ons for experience, certifications, leadership roles, extra duties, etc. A bonus for completing your contract may even be included. Working at camp can be a great way to save most of your earnings.

Commitment to you beyond the paycheck comes in the form of innovative training, intentional opportunities to connect with the people you will work with, and support every step of the way. What you may not realize is working at camp has many benefits that will last long after the summer is over. This commitment to you will not only help you be successful in your career choice but also in life. Commitment is a two-way street. Thank you for keeping your commitment to camp — it is a win-win for both you and the camp that is fortunate to have you this summer.

-article written by Kim Aycock

Looking for a camp job? Visit www.campstaff.com and fill out your FREE profile. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer job!

Perks For Your Staff This Summer

Camps, you’ve worked so hard this season to hire the best staff out there. Now, let’s make sure we are helping staff feel appreciated this summer.  The more time and effort we put into our staff, the more time and effort they will put into the campers. A win-win for all. Chances are that if your staff are happy, the more likely they will return next summer (making your job that much easier).

The perks I’m talking about here are the tangible perks. The food, the staff lounge, the nice bathroom.

Below are some ideas we’ve learned from camps across the country that help them be successful in staff happiness and staff retention. Making staff know they are appreciated and cared for goes a long way!

  • Food at camp is of course a big plus. Extra food for staff is an even bigger plus. After a long day, some camps offer a place for staff to gather and gobble. Whether you have a staff lounge or use your dining hall, having a staff cook is a huge plus. (When we were camp directors, we hired my mother-in-law to cook a 4th meal for our staff every night during the summer. She is a fabulous southern cook and was able to offer good food as well as good advice. While  some nights were simple grilled cheese, she cooked gumbos and chilis other nights. Talk about a happy staff! We asked staff to pay a small fee to cover the cost of the food and they were more than happy to pay.)

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    Extra food for staff is a big plus.
  • Wifi access in an area for staff only. The ability to reach out to the world outside of camp is helpful logistically as well as mentally for staff. College aged staff are often so reliant on their phones during the year and transitioning to camp where cell phones are generally not used can come as a bit of a shock. Let staff know when and where it is appropriate to use their phones so they can connect with their outside world.
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Let staff know when and where it is appropriate to be on line.
  • Travel itineraries for days off; most of your staff will look forward to exploring the surrounding area when they leave camp; have some sample itineraries/handouts ready for them to choose from that they can grab on their way out of camp. Offering ideas of local lakes, touristy towns, and shopping outlets allows them to fill their time off of camp grounds in a way that keeps them away from heavy drinking and/or partying.
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keep quick and easy-to-grab suggestions handy for staff to take as they head off camp grounds for a day off
  • Ride-share system; offer a way for staff to get in touch with one another before camp in order to share information about getting to camp. Need a ride/Get a ride type groups on Facebook work well. Offer ride-share options for staff once they are at camp for days and nights off. College age staff live in a sharing economy and may not have access to their own cars while at camp. Make it easy for them to get off camp grounds and refresh on a day off. Become the Uber of their summer camp experience.
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offer ride share options for staff to get to camp or to get off camp grounds for days/nights off
  • Staff activities; in the evening, when staff may not be able to get out of camp, offer entertainment for them. Organize sports or game tournaments, offer in-camp movie nights, or ceramics night for staff. Your camp has tons of activities for use by campers during the day; open up these areas for staff to use at night and they will be extremely appreciative. Offering in-camp entertainment promotes staff staying in camp rather than visiting the local bars!
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open up areas of camp for staff to use in the evenings after campers are in bed

 

  • Staff wellness; take advantage of who you have at camp to offer wellness opportunities for staff. If you have a fitness guru on staff, offer a boot camp. If you have a nutritionist, offer classes for eating your best at camp. If you have a dance instructor, offer a Zoomba class for staff, etc. etc.
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take advantage of who you have at camp to offer wellness opportunities for staff

Looking for camp staff? Visit www.campstaff.com and search through thousands of applicants. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer staff!

Summer Camp Staff, What to Pack?

For all of you staffers getting ready to head off to camp, you are probably starting to think about what you will pack for the summer. No doubt your camp has sent you a packing list. Use it!

And… I thought I’d share some general camp items with you that are among my favorite.

  • water bottle – if you can, get the kind with a “flip” top, instead of the screw on/off top, I guarantee that you will stay more hydrated. And, believe me, staying hydrated at camp is key! (well, staying hydrated in life in general is pretty key)

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    doesn’t have to be a camelback brand, but I really like the ease of taking a quick sip without unscrewing anything!
  • real sneakers – I know you can wear flip flops to some places at camp, or slip ons, or some form of coverage on the toe. Your feet will be so much happier if you have real sneakers with real support with real shoe laces. Being on your feet for countless hours a day can hurt if you are not ready for it! Be ready.

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    real sneakers with real support with real shoe laces!
  • a winter hat if you will be in the northern part of our continent! I know, a hat in the summer time sounds a bit crazy right now. But if you are in the mountains on a chilly night in June it is awesome to sleep with a winter hat on – it keeps you cozy and warm!

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    A Winter hat for summer camp? yes, if you will be in the north or in the mountains. Or, both! So cozy to sleep with a warm head.
  • a journal to write in, even if you have never done this sort of thing before. Camp often inspires us to try new things and to reflect on the many new experiences we have. Pack one and surprise yourself when you use it.

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    pack a journal – you may just be inspired to use it!
  • shower caddy – they make them soft and foldable or hard and rectangular. Either way, you will be sharing space with others and having a home for your toiletries makes life that much nicer.

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    easy to pack shower caddy and a nice home for your summer toiletries
  • head lamp – yes, like the kind you would wear if you were spelunking (don’t know what spelunking is – look it up – it will be your new word of the day). Head lamps are generally accepted as cool in the world of camps. Additionally, they are ridiculously useful.

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    yes, these head lamps come in handy all the time at camp! (please note sign above my head)
  • 4th of July Clothing (or Canada Day Clothing if working in Canada!) – pick up some red, white, and blue ahead of time. You’ll be so glad to not have to scrounge around last minute to find something festive to wear. While you are at it, throw in some fun bandanas, hats, or other gear – dressing up at camp always adds a nice twist to the day and it’s fun to have a few clothing items to pull from!FullSizeRender 4

If I sound like a mom in some of these item suggestions, I apologize. But I am a mom. And I am a mom with a lot of camp experience. Trust me on these tips!

Looking for a camp job? Visit www.campstaff.com and fill out your FREE profile. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer job!

Making a Career of Summer Camp

I recently attended the Tri-State Camp Conference, the largest gathering of camp professionals in the world. It’s a wonderful event organized by the New York and New Jersey section of the American Camp Association. For three days, thousands of camp professionals gather in Atlantic City, NJ to share best practices, learn from leaders in other industries, connect with one another and draw inspiration as they head into their busy summer seasons.

 

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to attend this conference every year since 1997. When I first went, I was working summers only as senior staff member at the camp where I grew up. I had no idea what a large and professional community existed out there in the “real world”. Before long, Tri-State became not only a uniquely wonderful opportunity to learn and grow in my job, but also a chance for me to network and connect with a wide array of professionals across the camp industry. Relationships that began at a Tri-State hotel or conference center grew to become ongoing mentorships that have helped shape my career in camping.

 

This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to lead a Tri-State session called “Building Your Camp Career”. We put together a panel of camp directors from a variety of camps: independent for-profit camps, not-for-profit camps, and camps affiliated with national religious organizations. The panelists took questions from attendees about the paths that they took to achieve their goals in camping. It was a fantastic session to be a part of. The audience was filled with talented and passionate camp counselors and young year-round camp professionals, all eager to hear words of wisdom about how to keep camp in their lives forever!

 

A small sampling of the kinds of questions that were asked that day:

– What moments or choices did you learn the most from? These could be your biggest mistake or a total “home run”.

– What are the particular challenges and/or greatest benefits of the specific portion of the camp industry that you work in? (independent private for-profit, for-profit in a shared ownership group, independent non-profit, religious-affiliated / agency non-profit).

– What is the biggest risk you took in pursuit of your camp career?

– What is the greatest skill you’ve acquired in your camp career?

– If you had to share just one thing that an aspiring camp director should do in their pursuit of opportunities in the field, what would that be?

– What advice would you give an aspiring camp professional regarding the opportunities that may be in their own camp versus those that might be with new and unfamiliar programs?

– Okay, I have an opportunity – or even more than one! – to consider: what is the most important thing you think I should value above all else in deciding whether or where to go?

– I’m thinking about continuing my education – what are your thoughts about the value in graduate-level degrees and the types of specific programs that might have the greatest relevant and value in the field of camp leadership?

 

The panelists shared their insights on these topics and many others. Equally inspiring was the way in which they offered to make themselves available to any attendees in the future. This open-ended offer to help, mentor, advise and advocate for others is one of the most incredible parts of the camp world. There is a pervasive culture of openness and a level of a selfless generosity that I imagine is hard to find in any other profession. If you’re reading this and think you might want to pursue a summer camp career, my advice is to attend an American Camp Association event and introduce yourself to as many people as possible. No doubt, you will find folks similar to the members of our Tri-State panel, eager to help you achieve your goals.

 

-Eric Sasson, Director at Camp Akeela, Thetford, VT

 

Summer 2018…We Can’t Wait!

Looking for a camp job? Visit www.campstaff.com and fill out your FREE profile. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer job!

Thoughts on Being A Camp Nurse

As a camp nurse, Kenya Samad shares what personally captured her / what made her return year after year to the camp where she currently works. While this article is directed at camps, it is a helpful read for anyone considering working at camp this summer as a nurse.

1- the opportunity for my daughter to accompany me. many nurses choose school nursing or part time nursing for the convenience of the schedule for their children. most of my fellow school nurses are looking for summer opportunities but definitely need their children to be able to accompany them. if you are open to having the nurse’s children accompany them, please mention this in the job listing. it is oftentimes uncomfortable to have to ask this question immediately when speaking to the camp and yet it is often the most important detail regarding whether or not we can entertain the job at all.

2- breaks. we all know that camp nursing has long hours, and most of us are 100% okay with that! but we also work long hours at home and relish the idea of being able to have a bit of down time at the lake, in the woods, in the sunshine, etc. please let your nurses know realistically what their schedule will be like, and please factor in down time for them. i have had a camp job that worked me HARD from 6:30am until 11:30pm, and i had to practically beg to have a moment to myself. needless to say, i did not return.

3- involve them in camp life. i cannot stress this enough! a part of working for camp is BEING at CAMP! we enjoy the campfires and bunk shows, we love to receive friendship bracelets and bandanas! if you have departmental tshirts, please include your infirmary staff! we want to be acknowledged at the flag pole and we want to rock tie-dyed shirts, too! we want to bring home something that we made in ceramics and we love the feel of cool lake water and laughing with the kids in the cafeteria. let your nurses know that they are welcome to participate in camp life and encouraged to be an often-seen, warm, friendly face on campus. this means a LOT when we are regarded as more than just “the help in the infirmary.” the camp that i am currently working for gave me the opportunity to go to the arts and crafts building whenever i wanted to and encouraged me to perform in the lip-sync battle. it was awesome, and not only did i tie-dye all of my camp staff shirts, i now sleep on tie-dyed sheets every night and wear tie-dyed socks with my scrubs!

4- salary… be generous if you can. some nurses will absolutely take on camp jobs for the experience and fun, but some of us actually need to supplement our income. please know that a competitive package can be essential.

5- accommodations. as a part of the 40+ camp folks, i have to say that a comfy bed and personal shower is so wonderful! some camps have accommodations at the health center (convenient, especially when your nurses have to wake up in the middle of the night to attend to a camper) and some have nearby housing, but please know that after being on their feet and taking care of campers / staff all day, many nurses love the idea of being able to step away from it into a comfy, cozy, space of their own.

Kenya Samad, Camp Nurse

Are you a nurse looking for a camp job? Visit www.nurses.campstaff.com and fill out your FREE profile. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer job!

Why should a traveler work at summer camp?

I came across this blog post and think it’s worth sharing with all you amazing, world travelers out there. With permission, Jessica Lippe shares some really awesome insight on why camp is a great fit for a traveler.

Riding an airboat! You can find me on the right in the burgundy tee

Experience Once-in-a-Lifetime Events… Every Week!

I love ziplining. But so far, I’ve never paid for a zipline experience. Working at camp has allowed me to enjoy this adrenaline rush for free whenever campers weren’t using it.
The events and experiences you’ll get to enjoy depend on what camp you go to, but here are just a few other things I got to do as part of camp work: play paintball, rock climb, walk high ropes, take the leap of faith, hold an alligator, ride airboats, jump off the high dive, play broomball on a frozen-over pool, and fly on a giant swing, just to name a few.

Shoulder Seasons are Your Vacation Time

Yes, camp work typically means giving up a good chunk of the most popular vacation time: summer. But that means you’ll also be giving up the high prices and large crowds that come with tourist season. Instead, try traveling before or after camp, when you might enjoy prime destinations for less, and maybe even have them all to yourself.

Learn Valuable Travel Skills

Working at camp doesn’t mean doing the same task all day, every day. You can lead a hike, plunge a toilet, perform a skit, and make a craft… all in the same hour! This means wearing many hats and learning new skills. Some of those skills will be beneficial in travel.

I know I’m a safer, healthier, and all-around more confident traveler because of the first aid and survival skills I was taught at camp. Camp also taught me more about cooking, budgeting, fitness, and getting by with few modern conveniences. All those skills have played a role in some way or another in my travels. Plus, many of my camp coworkers enjoy traveling as well, so we have exchanged some valuable travel tips.

Build that Travel Fund

Be warned, camps aren’t known as being a place that makes their employees rich. Your pay may be equivalent to less than three dollars an hour. However, all that money can go straight into savings. Think about it: at camp, your bed, food, and daily activities are covered. You may have a couple monthly bills to pay, such as for your cell phone or insurance, but those are relatively small compared to your typical monthly expenses. All you have to do is limit your spending at the snack shack and on your days off, and you’ll build a nice nest egg for more adventures (or whatever you want to spend it on)!

Satisfy that Travel Bug

This one may or may not work for you. Sometimes, camp encourages me to travel even more. Other times, it makes me fulfilled enough that I don’t feel the need to travel as much. If this doesn’t work, try exploring the surrounding area on your days off. This works especially well if your camp is far from your home.

Currently, I’m helping out with weekend retreats about twice a month. I still occasionally travel elsewhere, but it’s because I want to, not because I feel pressured to travel. If you work at a summer camp and enjoy it, try coming back throughout the year to work weekend retreats.

Another opportunity that may arise is that you could have the chance to travel with camp as part of your job. There are some adventure camps where staff take campers to all kinds of places. One way I’ve traveled with camp is by visiting other camps as a representative of my own camp, even going to multi-camp conferences in different states. Of course some business or training is involved, but that’s a small price for an all-expense-paid trip!

Inspire Others to Adventure

Camps make a difference. Many camps are also nonprofit organizations, so you can work for a cause you believe in. But you can also make a difference by encouraging the campers you work with to go after adventure. The world could use more travelers like you! If you are interested in more that Jessica has to say, visit her at https://jessicalippe.com

 

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