There are a lot of different types of summer jobs out there.

Often, both high school and post-secondary school students alike secure jobs for themselves during their months off school so that they can better prepare for their futures. Naturally, regular paychecks help them to establish some financial security while on-the-job experience is great for developing strong career paths.

And then there are those jobs that provide great deals of self-fulfillment in more meaningful ways. Of course, not all summer jobs are created equal. Some are great for the paychecks, but don’t necessarily add value to people’s lives.

Flipping burgers and scooping ice cream are often considered the types of jobs that provide little more than some extra pocket money and discounted fast food. Many teenagers have described such summer jobs as the worst you can get.

For true development, young adults should seek to land jobs that encourage them to interact with others in ways that promote greater self-fulfilment. And there are few jobs better for interacting with others than that of the camp counselor!

Better than just an opportunity to meet new people, the role of camp counselor gives young adults the unique opportunity to develop the type of skills that will help their transitions into their careers.


The camp counselor role gives you highly-regarded experience

Being a camp counselor gives you excellent preparation for some of the most important tasks you’ll take on as an adult. Not the least of which is securing a long-term career.

It’s likely no secret to you that landing a great career opportunity often has more to do with your experiences than it does with your academic achievements.

Employers will be particularly impressed when you show summer and term-time work experiences on your resume.

This is generally because, in today’s world, many young adults become preoccupied with their social activities.

By showcasing their summer and part-time jobs, it demonstrates their sense of responsibility, great dedication and ambition.

It makes them a lot more likely to earn a decent living after they graduate from university or college. 

The Prime Minister of Canada was a camp counselor

Regardless of your political views, it would certainly be difficult to argue that being the leader of a nation isn’t a prestigious career choice. If you have any doubts that being a camp counselor will provide you with relevant experience for high-status jobs, look no further than Justin Trudeau.

Our neighbors to the north have a 45-year-old Prime Minister who was a camp counselor back when he was 18. As revealed by Canada’s national news publication, The Globe And Mail, the nation’s PM worked a few summers at Camp Ahmek in southeastern Ontario’s Algonquin Park.

Noting that over four million Canadian parents send their children to summer camp each year, author Joanne Kates highlights the importance of the camp counselor role, highlighting the fact that it’s a “high-skill job”.

“It may indeed be a job that builds competencies well suited to running a large and fractious country,” she writes, “Put 10 young kids in a cabin for a week or a month. It can be a powder keg.

Sure, camp is fun and 99 per cent of children adore it; but there are inevitable – and sometimes intransigent – struggles.

Where else in life do leaders learn to solve conflicts in a group and help individuals find their way to peace so they can live together in harmony?

A PM looking to negotiate among the provinces – or perhaps even the Middle East – might do well to have some of the camp counsellor’s mediation skills.”

How does being a camp counselor prepare you for the real world?

The role of camp counselor provides you with essential skills for big-time careers. Here are three:

Leadership skills

As a camp counselor, you will oversee large groups of children. Along with other counselors, you will often be responsible for hundreds of kids.

Your job will entail organizing groups of campers and leading their activities. Imagine getting a bunch of rowdy kids with a lot of energy to settle down after a long day. It won’t exactly be easy.

If you work at an overnight camp, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that everyone is safely and soundly tucked away before you can think of catching any Z’s yourself.

Developing such leadership skills will not only position you well in your search for a career, but it will help with your quest to become a self-reliant entrepreneur.

People skills

Employers aren’t just looking for job applicants who have the technical skills to do the job. They need candidates who are great fits for their companies’ cultures.

Whether you’ll be considered a good fit will have a lot to do with how well you interact with others.

Are you a good team player? Do you value the thoughts and ideas of others? What experiences do you have to demonstrate how well you work with other people?

The answer to all three questions can be provided by discussing your experience as a camp counselor.

Maintaining the enthusiasm of children on a day-to-day basis as you lead their activities is proof of your ability to bring out the best in people.


As if it wasn’t already obvious, your job as a camp counselor will make you responsible for the well-being and development for the most important people in the world – kids!

Not only that, but you must be a great time manager as well. You will have both your own schedule to adhere to as well as the responsibility of ensuring that your campers are following instructions and playing by the rules.

If you’re interested in a much easier transition from post-secondary school to your career, taking advantage of the opportunity to be a camp counselor is an excellent way to go.

The USA Camp Association is hiring camp counselors for summer camps right now. Submit your application today!