What Are Camps Looking For In a Staff Application?
When applying for camp positions, it’s important to understand what it is exactly that a camp is looking for in a potential staff member. Camps vary in their types, locations, and philosophies. However, there are still similar experiences and backgrounds that generally all camps like to see in potential applicants. If you’re looking to secure a staff position at a camp, here’s what you should have.
An Interest in Working with Children
The whole point of camp is to cultivate a positive and exciting experience around the campers who attend. This is largely left up to the staff who work there.
When searching for applicants, camps will want to see that you have some experience working with children. Whether you’re a teacher, a nanny, or a big brother or sister, camps will value the personal experiences that you share about this time. They want to know that working with kids is something you enjoy and want to do.
Experiences with Specialities of a Camp
When applying to specialty camps, make sure that you are offering skill sets that are applicable to that camp. If you would like to work at a fine arts camp, you should have some kind of experience in music or the arts. If you want to work at a sports camp, you should know how to play the type of sport(s) the camp is offering.
Sometimes, you don’t necessarily know what the speciality of the camp you’re applying for is. In that case, you want to make sure that your profile/application reflects as many skill sets as possible. The more choices you give to the camp, the higher your chances are for filling a potential staff opening that they have.
Easily Accessible and Reliable
Accessibility and reliability are two critical characteristics needed in a future camp staff member. On any communication you send out to camps, make sure to provide your cell phone number and an email address that your frequently check for updates. Camps reach out to potential staff in a variety of ways including phone calls, text, and email. The appropriate response time to a camp is 24-hours.
Applicants who are difficult to get a hold of or who are unresponsive, will perform poorly during a camp’s interview process. Avoid causing any problems for yourself by always practicing prompt and honest communication with camps.
Stay Flexible in Your Availability and Location
When you commit to working for a camp, chances are you will not be committing to much else during that time period. Camp is a day in and day out responsibility that you undertake when you decide to work there. You should go into the position willing to be flexible on where you work and when you work.
Camps are looking for candidates to start the summer season as early as May and go until the end of August. They also recruit staff from all over the world, so don’t be surprised if you attract interest from other parts of the country that aren’t your own. Stay open minded and always choose to learn more about a position before turning it down. Part of the adventure of working at a camp includes the experiences that come with it. When you are flexible, camps will be more inclined to hire you.
Be Detailed in Your Application Responses
The CampGig profile allows staff members to customize and share details in an organized manner that makes it easy for camps to review. Stand out from the rest by being detailed and authentic in your posts. Here’s a few tips about how to do that:
- Provide a profile picture to help camps become familiar with who you are. Avoid posting any kind of picture that you wouldn’t be comfortable with your grandma seeing. You’re looking for a job working with kids, not for a date. Use your picture as an opportunity to show camps that you’re trusting, confident, and fun.
- Give contact information that is relevant, something that you check at least once a day. Nothing is more frustrating to a camp then finding the perfect applicant who won’t get back to them. Make sure that whether you’re interested in the position or not, you always respond, even if it’s to say you’re not interested.
- List several skill sets under the Activities section of your profile. This section gives camps a better idea about what you are capable of doing. Camps will receive a much more comprehensive understanding of your abilities if this section is filled out completely and honestly.
- In your written responses, share from personal experiences and list several examples. This helps the camp to get a better idea about your background and the kind of person you are.
- Share your intentions with your schooling. Camps want to know what levels of education you have completed. Many will specifically look for applicants who have already completed a few years at the college/university level. Make sure to share in detail about this on your profile/application.
- Show that you’re a leader. Camps are looking to hire high energy, motivated individuals that are comfortable leading. Share about your experiences with this and give real life examples of how you have implemented this.
By keeping these elements in mind when applying for camp positions, you will be setting yourself up for future success. Working at camp can be an experience of a lifetime. Make yourself the type of applicant that any camp would want to hire.