Positions for Summer Camp Counselors – What Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there are summer camps in all 50 states.  Many college graduates look back on their summers working as camp counselors as some of the best memories of their lives.

A Variety of Summer Opportunities

But what are the kinds of opportunities for college students and how do you find them?  This is an important question, because the variety of opportunities available is more than most college students realize.

Here are some examples of the types of positions available at summer camps.  Some are not considered positions for camp counselors, but many times the need is for camp counselors that also serve an additional role.  For example, staff members may also serve as life guards, sports instructors, ropes course guides, stage coordinators, food servers, activity specialists, riflery instructors, story tellers, small group leaders, drama directors, and media directors  These are just a few types of the many opportunities available for camp counselors, so taking the time to research opportunities may uncover positions you never knew were available.

Unless college students are aware of the wide range of positions available, they may think camp counselors simply oversee a group of children and spend time with them in various ways.  But, as important as this is, many camps need their camp counselors to serve in other roles, and in some cases, will pay more for camp counselors who are qualified to fill these roles.

How to Find Summer Opportunities

Most summer camps are members of national associations and are also accredited by these associations.  Websites for these associations are valuable resources to search for camps, learn each camp’s unique characteristics, and learn about the types of workers they are looking for.

The American Camp Association, the National Camp Association, Inc., and the National Association of Christian Camps are some of the largest camp associations in the U.S., so these organizations and their websites are a great place to start.

To learn about different camps in more detail and to understand, from a firsthand perspective, what camp counselors have experienced at a particular camp, it is best to talk with friends, family members, church friends, or other students on campus who have personally worked at the camp or have at least attended the camp as a camper.  Family and friends will be more objective with their feedback, and because they know you, they may be able to tell you if the camp fits you, your skills, and your interests.

Summary:  There is a greater variety of opportunities for camp counselors than many college students realize.  This article describes various opportunities and provides helpful ways to find them.

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About Mark

Mark Dubler has been a leader, host, and participant in camps and retreats for the last twenty years. He holds an M.A. in Educational Ministries from Wheaton College and is the Executive Director of Otyokwah Camp and Retreat Center, a Christian facility with a rich history of providing personal, life-changing experiences.

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