When I decided to work at summer camp, I was confident that I would grow in my faith and have tons of fun, but I didn’t expect all of the other ways I would develop as a leader. Little did I know that as I was acting in skits, leading bible studies, and caring for campers, I was developing skills that would help me in my future career! Here are five skills I learned from working at camp.
1. Servant Leadership
As summer camp staff is tasked with taking care of campers for several days at a time, there are countless opportunities to serve. Kids may need help getting ready for bed, assistance during meals, as well as emotional support as they navigate being away from home. You might be surprised by how serving others comes naturally when you are put in this leadership position. As you develop a servant’s heart, the desire to serve is something that will stay with you even after you leave camp!
2. Public Speaking
Acting in skits and leading bible studies at camp helped me grow confident in my ability to speak in front of crowds. Public speaking might be something you dread, but as you practice you will become more comfortable. Spending time during the summer acting in skits will prepare you to give a speech in your next college class. Sharing your thoughts as you lead a bible study will help get you ready to effectively express yourself in a job interview!
As I worked at camp, I led kids who were experiencing all kinds of different emotions. Sometimes campers were homesick and I was the one to comfort them. Lots of campers opened up about the hard parts of their lives and as I listened to and prayed for these campers I grew in empathy. If you work at camp you will have the chance to become a more compassionate and empathetic person. This will help prepare you to be a great leader as you experience how to effectively care for those around you!
4. Positive Attitude
Sometimes things don’t go as planned as camp. For example, it might rain during an outside activity and the schedule will need to be re-organized. In situations like this, everyone looks to the leader’s response. That means that if the leader is adaptable and maintains a positive attitude, campers are likely to follow. Working at camp will prepare you to provide a positive outlook on a group project for school or adapt to changes at work with grace. Learning this skill will be a blessing to your future teammates as they will likely be more positive and adaptable as they follow your lead.
5. Team Work
One of the best parts of camp is meeting and growing close to amazing people from all around the world! As you work alongside others to lead campers, you will grow in your ability to communicate, manage conflict and act with humility. Collaborating with your teammates all summer long will be a refining process as you work so closely together. You will see many strengths and some weaknesses of those you are working alongside. This will provide opportunities to encourage your teammates in their strengths and provide constructive feedback as you see some of their struggles.
Consider how working at camp could develop some of your leadership skills! Tasks that become routine such as serving campers meals, leading bible studies and collaborating with fellow camp staff will help you develop skills that you will use for the rest of your life. I would not be the person I am today without camp and hope that after a summer of working at camp you will say the same. If you are able to work at camp this summer why not try it? It could be one of the best decisions you ever make!