People often ask where the camp experience can take you, and how it contributes to your employability and personal development. Some people may have the misconception that working at a summer camp in America is just a gap year; and that it won’t contribute to someone’s future. Boy, are they wrong! Camp not only develops you as a person but can also contribute greatly towards employability back home.
Working as a camp counselor is internationally recognized, with Camp America alone sending over 10,000 people each year. You can guarantee you will know someone who knows someone that worked at a summer camp in America.
Working at a summer camp might just be both one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs you will ever have. You will constantly be pushed to your limits both mentally and physically. Camp is the kind of job that keeps going even if you don’t think you have anything left in you. Because you have to consider your kids before yourself, you get out of it just as much as you put in.
Camp America was a huge milestone in my own personal development like it is for many others. I was put in unfamiliar and uncomfortable scenarios, but camp gives you a safe and friendly environment to find out who you are as a person and to step outside of your comfort zone. Before camp I never would have imagined myself getting up in front of hundreds of people and singing the New Zealand national anthem by myself. However, working at camp gives you the confidence to do things you never thought you would be able to do.
Because working at summer camps is such a well know program, almost all employers will recognize the value of your experience. It makes for a unique addition to your CV and gives you skills to handle all kinds of situations. No matter which field of work you are in, your camp experience will be useful throughout your career. In the most recent interview for the job I have now, we spent over half the time discussing camp, and how I could relate back to situations I was in at camp.
The camp experience might even take you on a path that you never expected. People make careers out of working for summer camps, and head back every single year or even permanently migrate to the U.S. The possibilities are endless as long as you are open to every opportunity.
The U.S. Embassy is running a photo competition to celebrate the opportunity that Kiwi youth can have working as summer camp counselors in the United States, and highlight the benefits that this experience can bring. Photographic submissions can be made via social media using the hashtag #USNZCampCounselor, and more information can be found here: https://nz.usembassy.gov/photo-contest-usnzcampcounselor/.