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How Being a Camp Counselor Helps with your Later Career

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Cynthia Feeney


Overview

Being a camp counselor doesn't just help you with a career in teaching or child-care. The skills you develop are valuable for any type of job.


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Many people think experience as a camp counselor only prepares you for a future career in teaching or childcare. This could not be farther from the truth. Camp counselors gain valuable experience that can be used for careers in business, governent, and non-profits. The skills a counselor gains after a single season helps them whether their career takes them into the classroom or the boardroom.

You may be surprised that situations you deem fun or ordinary as a camp counselor actually show strong leadership, communication and flexibility to potential hiring managers in the corporate world.

Here are some examples of situations and how a hiring manager may view them.

Leadership and mentoring
Situation: Organizing your campers’ schedule, handling homesickness and supporting a win in the camp tennis tournament.

How a manager views the situation: Shows compassion, confidence, and the ability to lead in tough and joyous situations.

Good communication
Situation: Discussing your job with your supervisor, offering reassuring words to a concerned parent, and resolving an argument between two campers – all in one day.

How a manager views the situation: Shows your ability to tailor your tone and choice of words depending on the situation and who you were speaking to.

Flexibility
Situation: Filling in for the swim counselor when you usually teach tennis or handling a sick camper just as you lead everyone to breakfast.

How a manager views the situation: Shows your ability to switch gears and not panic. Flexibility is something many managers and fellow employees welcome, as corporate life is never predictable.

Ability to have fun
Situation: Making clean-up time fun or helping your campers cope with a competition loss.

How a manager views the situation: Not taking everything so seriously displays your ability to see the big picture and not sweat the small stuff.

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About the Author

Cynthia Feeney is a freelance writer from Carlsbad, CA. She spent many summers as a camper in Ohio and was a counselor at Point-O-Pines Camp for Girls in upstate New York during college.


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