Happy Holidays & Happy New Year
With the holidays on the horizon and a new year around the corner, there is something particularly fresh and brimming about this time of year. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means “dedication.” The roots of this name, and the holiday, come from the classic story of The Maccabees who risked their lives for religious freedom.
The Syrian-Greek King Antiochus forced Jewish practice underground and destroyed the center of Jewish life – the Temple. The brave Jewish Maccabees took to the hills in revolt and defeated his army. When the war was finally over, the entire Jewish community gathered to rejoice in strong force by rebuilding and rededicating the second temple.
The story of Hanukkah is all about rising to the occasion: sometimes oil outlasts itself and sometimes people outdo themselves.
Now is a great a time to ask, “What do I want to rededicate myself to this year?” And while adults often discuss resolutions, this time of year is also the perfect time to help your children set realistic goals that will challenge and fulfill them in the coming year.
At camp we strive to create an environment that allows campers to gain better self-awareness to set, plan and achieve goals. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from achievements on the field or building positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, kids who purposefully achieve goals, however small, are building strong character.
Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a new year filled with achievement!
Yours in Camping,
Josh, Mara & Brent
Interested in working at camp but worried that future employers won’t see the value in a summer spent working at camp? Well, here’s an article to corporate employers that explains all of the valuable skills that staff gain in just 2 months of working at camp. Being a counselor is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs you could ever imagine. Interested in joining us and seeing for yourself, read more about working at camp here.
Corporate Employers: Don’t Rule Out the Camp Counselor
by Mark Weller, originally published here (on LinkedIn) on November 11, 2016
As anyone with kids in today’s day and age will tell you, the pressure to succeed is very real at a very young age for them. Schools are constantly pushing them to go into higher-level classes, even if they’re not necessarily ready for them. And if you want to get into college without extracurricular activities, good luck. The pressure continues even after high school; it’s a very tough task to get a good job in your child’s chosen field after college if they don’t have some sort of internship before they graduate.
The importance of the summer internship is harming camps around the nation. College students are opting to get an internship at a large corporation, charity, law firm, etc. instead of returning to camp to be a camp counselor for another summer. People are telling them that “anyone” can be a camp counselor and employers won’t be impressed with such an “easy” summer job. But if companies should be hiring anyone, it should be camp counselors. Camp counselors are arguably some of the most patient, caring, hard-working individuals out there, and companies would be lucky to have them on their staff.
Here are just some of the many skills one learns working as a camp counselor:
1. Communication – Camp counselors are excellent communicators. They have the ability and experience communicating with all sorts of people: parents, children, superiors, and co-workers. They know how to go from comforting a worrying parent over the phone one minute to acting as a leader for their campers the next minute. This is a very strong and important skill that is growing weaker and weaker with each generation, so this an excellent quality you get when employing a previous camp counselor.
2. Love of Learning – Working at a camp for the summer (or multiple summers) is a very humbling experience. You learn your strengths and weaknesses quickly and realize that you have a lot to learn. Summer camp is as much about learning for the counselors as it is for the campers!
3. Problem Solving – Although camp counselors have many supervisors and coworkers, no one is holding their hand every step of the way during their job. They have general guidelines that they follow, of course, like bringing all their campers to activities and meals and making sure that none of them get hurt (or receive proper care when they do). But with hundreds of kids running around, plans are bound to change at the drop of a hat. When a problem arises, camp counselors are already brainstorming the best way to fix the current problem, while also making sure to stay calm and not worry any uninvolved campers. They often think of the most efficient, creative way to solve any problem.
4. Leadership and Teamwork – Over the course of a summer – or many summers – camp counselors learn the perfect balance between being a leader and being an open-minded team player. Children look up to counselors as a leader and a role model, so counselors have to be ready and willing to set a good example from the first minute that children arrive at camp. On the other hand, camp teaches you that you can’t do everything by yourself and everyone has something valuable to contribute. These are also some of the most important qualities that camp counselors teach your kids while they’re gone for a week or two.
5. Excellent Work Ethic – If nothing else, camp counselors are dedicated individuals who give it all they got. Being a camp counselor is hard work, and these teenagers/young adults are working 24 hours a day for 3 months with a small amount of time off. They are extremely passionate individuals who love to work hard all for the benefit of their campers.
So, next time you’re reviewing a pile resumes for an open position at your corporation or startup company, don’t disregard the candidate who spent the last three summers working at a summer camp. Chances are, they’re one of the most passionate, hardworking candidates in the pile!
“10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Former Camp Counselor” – published online by Adam Boyd on November 20, 2013 on Merri-Mac
“The Power of Camp: Camp Changes Lives in Positive Ways” – published online by Jessica Coleman in May 2006 on American Camp Association
“The Camp Counselor vs. The Intern” – published online by Dan Fleshler on May 29, 2012 on The New York Times