Does This Describe You or Someone You Know?

You love the outdoors. You love playing sports, doing crafts, being creative. You love being Jewish. And, your good friends say you're great with kids.

If you relate to this, then there's the perfect place waiting for you: summer camp. Over half a million college students will find their way from their campus to camp this summer to fill openings at camps across the United States.

Consider this:

  • Live, play, and work in the great outdoors.
  • Go on active adventures.
  • Experience other parts of the country.
  • Make new friends from all over - even from other countries.
  • Bank more money than you think - with few expenses.
  • Become a child's hero.
  • Learn leadership skills.
  • Have an impact on the future of Judaism.

Camp jobs offer invaluable skill-building, leadership, training, and enrichment opportunities found nowhere else. Regardless of your major, camp experiences allow you to learn and develop skills that will enhance your job marketability. The benefits go far beyond a paycheck, too. Business executives often note that experience as a camp counselor translates into excellent management and personnel skills.

And the URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp is the ideal place to gain and practice valuable skills, make connections and build meaningful friendships, and make a difference in the lives of others.

Benefits of Working at Camp: The Value Proposition

All people who work at summer camp do so because they enjoy working with children. However camp offers so many valuable experiences and transferable skills that can be used for a wide range of different careers in different industries. The skills learned from working at a camp can be applicable in both the classroom and boardroom.

Many of the situations that you will encounter as a camp counselor teach you a wide range of skills which are appealing to recruiters - even the most mundane of tasks to the most fun tasks which strengthen your leadership, communication and flexibility. Below are a few scenarios you may face and how an employer may view them.

Self-discipline. Spend two months practicing the "grown up" task of showing up to work every day, on time, "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed". You will need to maintain high energy and engagement with your campers while acting as an attentive and nurturing support system for them, both individually and collectively.
An employer… Sees that you are dependable and reliable to the many people that would rely upon you to do your job. Showing up, ready to act in a professional manner is essential to every job out there.

Multi-tasking. Being on staff at camp is all about managing a lot of information coming in at various times from various sources, and having to prioritize it, create action plans, and implement them. Keeping track of your campers' laundry day, who is allergic to what, the various activities they choose, who needs to be reminded to take their medicine, and being ready to lead assigned activities are just a few of the things for which you are responsible.
An employer… Is always looking for employees who can filter a lot of information correctly and turn it into a focused project and/or a meaningful end result or product in a timely manner.

Good communication. Talking, talking and lots more talking is what you will be doing on camp. Talking to the campers and giving instruction, talking to the parents and reassuring them, talking to your director and discussing problems, talking out issues between campers.
An employer… Sees that you can adapt your tone and choice of words depending on who you are talking to and offer appropriate words.

Being supervised; Giving and receiving feedback. Camp is an exception setting for staff because we are committed to and focused on the growth and development of our employees. Our organizational structure and supervision philosophy is all about helping everyon do the best job possible. You will experience different levels of supervision, be held accountable for all that you do, and go through different types of performance evaluation.
An employer… Sees that you are not only open to feedback about your performance, but are also able to clearly process the messages your supervisors are giving you and adapting your actions accordingly. This is a critical skill to have to be a productive employee and an effective leader.

Leadership development. You will be responsible for a group of campers and will have to schedule their activities and lead them through their time at camp. Also, you will have to show compassion to campers who are homesick, or even to those who are becoming champions in a chosen activity. Using your leadership "instincts", you will see what styles and techniques you like and that get you the desired results.
An employer… Sees that you are compassionate, confident, have planning skills, and have the ability to lead through good and bad situations. All levels of today's organizations expect their employees to show leadership in some way.

Conflict resolution. There are many different situations at camp that occur where you and others will have to problem-solve in order to keep things moving. From campers arguing over who gets to go first, to co-counselors grappling with the amount of flashlight time to give, to you and your supervisor differing over how to handle a behavior problem, opportunities to work on conflict resolution skills are endless.
An employer… Sees that you are able to make informed decisions related to all aspects of your job and then move on - one of the best life skills you could ever take away from camp.

Self-directed teamwork. Camp is made up of a number of different types of staff who operate in various areas of camp life. You will often be working in small groups, sometimes under the guidance of a supervisor, and sometimes on your own with creative control and independence.
An employer… Sees your interpersonal skills in working with different people on a multitude of tasks. The modern workplace is often made up of multiple self-directed teams.

Flexibility. You will have to cover other peoples duties, you may have to change your plan to deal with a sick camper, or the director may suddenly change your time off because he needs you.
An employer… Sees you have the ability to adapt and change without panicking. Being flexible is always important to managers as this happens on a daily basis and they need employees who will change and work with them.

Ability to have fun. You have to learn to make even the most mundane tasks fun. No camper is going to like or want to clean up, but you have to make it into a camp activity and make it fun. Counselors are the people who make camp fun for campers. Activity leaders are the people who bring activities to life and make them fun for campers.
An employer… Will like that you are someone who does not take everything too seriously and is able to bring some fun into the workplace when appropriate.