Summer camp is winding down in Alberta and many young camp staff are applying for an internship or a job. The leadership and work experience you received at summer camp are exactly what employers are looking for. Here’s how you can spruce up your resume to reflect the valuable work experience you had at camp this summer.
Has the ability to collaborate and work well with a team.
Every department at summer camp is a team and all those smaller teams make up the larger staff team, which is part of the even bigger CAMP team. An employer reading a resume might not know exactly what happens at camp, so it’s in your best interest to tell them. Each staff member must work in collaboration with other staff members to achieve your group and camp’s goals for the summer. Whether it’s getting dinner on for 100 hungry kids, organizing a massive wide game or developing an engaging campfire session; camp is a place where many personalities come together and work together to make it all happen!
Developed strong communication skills.
Not only did you learn how to take instructions while learning new things about your summer job at camp, you also learned how to give instructions to other staff members, youth and children. You have probably spoken in front of medium to large groups of people, explained an activity or specific instructions or shared a meaningful message at campfire. More than that, you’ve also learned how to listen to children who want to communicate something with you. By the end of summer, you’ve honed in on your written, verbal, nonverbal and listening communications skills - all are things employers will appreciate.
Gained leadership and management skills.
Somehow you managed to get 10 homesick girls to sleep at night and then organized a group of 20 kids to safely make their way through a high ropes course. Maybe you led a group of teens on a multi-day canoe trip or brought your cabin group to victory in a complicated wide game. It is safe to say that you have gained experience leading and managing others. Use examples of this in your resume and cover letter and be sure to mention it in any future interview. Share the extent of your responsibilities and your successes in leadership.
Is effective in resolving conflict.
Sometimes negative things happen at camp. Kids can fight with each other (and/or you), staff can butt heads or you might be dealing with a bullying situation. Being able to quickly recognize and respond to these incidents appropriately demonstrates your responsibility, good judgement and proactive approach to conflict resolution. This skill is extremely transferable and useful in the workplace.
Is able to be flexible and adapt in the workplace.
It’s raining out, so many of your camp’s outdoor activities will have to be cancelled. Lucky for the kids, you are quick on your feet and able to adapt to the situation, coming up with solutions for inside games or fun games that are still safe to do outdoors in the rain. Being able to come up with impromptu solutions, adapt to the unexpected and the ability to stay calm during uncertainty are very valuable to employers.
Thanks for all the hard work you did this summer. We hope to see you back at Alberta camps working in 2017!