From the Cabin to the Boardroom
When the words “camp counselor” or “camp staff member” at Jacobs Camp came to my mind, I used to think of the obvious: sweating in 100-degree weather, gathering nine-year-olds to go to the pool, and making lasting memories with your best friends. All of these are indicative of being on staff at Jacobs Camp. However, there is so much more contributing to this experience that allows staff members to develop not just on a personal level but also on a professional level.
As a former staff member who recently started a full-time job as an accountant at PwC, I have noticed how camp pushed me further as both a leader and team player; it is translated every day into my professional life. My “real world” job requires me to bring that HSJ team mentality to every aspect of my work. Putting this into “camp” terms, each cabin is a team. The counselors are the “managers” or leaders of this team, and the Solelim are like interns, who are all responsible for the well-being, safety, and happiness of each “team member” or camper. Upper staff members are a part of this team as well. The unit heads and department heads have two levels of responsibility – supporting the counselors to do their incredible work as well as ensuring a fun, safe, and uplifting atmosphere for everyone, campers and staff alike.
I had the privilege of being a counselor and part of the leadership team in my five years on staff at HSJ. This inherently allowed me to improve skills like time management, two-way communication, a strong work ethic, and most importantly: a positive attitude. From day 1, most employers don’t expect their new hires to be strong in most of these areas, a summer at HSJ encourages an atmosphere in which counselors and staff can develop these skills effectively and efficiently.
I believe there is no better training for these necessary abilities in our modern workplace; every year on staff at Jacobs taught me something new. The best part about it: you get to meet and work with a diverse group of people with all sorts of backgrounds whether it’s the Mishlachat from Israel, the Camp Leaders staff from Columbia and Mexico or a staff member from a rival SEC school. I am forever grateful for the experience camp gave me, and I am proud to put it on my resume.
“Jacobs Camp Staff Member” in Utica, Mississippi on your resume will demonstrate more to an employer than you can understand. And who knows… all it takes is an interviewer saying, “Hey I worked at a summer camp too.” Instant connection.
About the Author
Eric Weintraub was a camper at HSJ for 8 summers (2006-2013). He was on staff for 5 summers, most recently serving as the Activities Director in the Summer of 2020. He is a sports fanatic and has made some of his best friends at Jacobs Camp.
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