Working at Camp Develops Skills for “Grown Up” Jobs – Part 1
Mike Green (and former staff)
Owner / Director
October 30, 2023
Working as a summer camp counselor is not only the most fun you’ll have but it also teaches valuable skills that you’ll take with you into your adult life and that translates into all different kinds of jobs. Working with children in the summer – and with no disrespect to delivering pizzas, carrying golf bags or folding pants – prepares you for your future, no matter what that future will be.
Summer camp counselors get real responsibility and learn leadership, people management, communication, problem solving skills and more that they take with them to their “grown up” jobs. We asked some of Briarwood’s former staff members – now young adults – to tell us about how being a camp counselor helped them in their current jobs.
Here’s what they said (and look for more installments in the future!):
Amanda U., Pediatric Nurse
Briarwood has helped me as a “grown up” in my job in so many ways. As counselors, we were responsible for taking direction from our supervisors, following our schedule and making sure everyone was safe. Nursing is a culmination of that. You need to be able to follow orders from a doctor or provider and also manage your time on the schedule of medications, scans, and normal kid activities like a bath.
I also think that learning how to talk to both the child and the parent is a major skill I learned at Briarwood that has helped me as a pediatric nurse. There are certain ways to calm a parent down that is not an easy skill to learn. I used to be afraid to call people and talk to parents but I learned how to do that at Briarwood. Now I am comfortable calling parents with lab results for their kids, updates on medical care and calling the doctors for multiple things.
Lastly, I’ve learned to appreciate the healthy child and what parents have to go through every day. People don’t know that time is precious and impacting the campers is something I’ve taken into my nursing career. I hope I can continue to take what I’ve learned in time management and parent management from Briarwood as well as how to have fun with a kid!
Carl W., Lawyer
Being a camp counselor is one of the only ways to get real leadership and management experience and exposure to a workplace environment at a young age. When I was a counselor, I learned plenty of skills that have been useful in my profession. You learn simple but important things such as showing up on time, being professional, etc., as well as key soft skills such as managing other employees (junior counselors, CITs), interfacing with customers (parents) and reporting to leadership (supervisors, owners). I have carried on those skills throughout undergrad and law school and then on to my work as an attorney.
Like I said, camp is one of the only platforms for young people to get exposure to these skills at a young age. And it’s fun too! While later college students have access to internships, those positions often come in a more observant capacity and without the autonomy to make decisions, use judgment, manage others, etc.
Can’t recommend working at Briarwood enough! It helped me immensely!
Bottom line: working as a counselor at Briarwood Day Camp is great training for whatever you go on to do. Our staff gets responsibility, they learn leadership skills, they learn communication skills, they learn management skills, they network and THEY HAVE FUN!
Interested in working at Briarwood this summer? Click here to learn even more!
Want to read more about being a Briarwood staff member?
Here are some articles: