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Male staff and camper outside

Working at Camp Develops Skills for “Grown Up” Jobs – Part 3

Mike Green (and former staff)

Owner / Director

Working as a counselor at a summer camp is a ton of fun PLUS it allows high school and college students to develop valuable and important skills that are required in “adult” professional 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, long after the summer has ended.

Summer camp counselors have real responsibility (with helpful supervision, of course). Camp counselors learn and develop leadership, people management, communication and problem solving skills, all of which are crucial to future jobs. We reached out to Briarwood’s former staff members – now out in the world – to tell us about how being a camp counselor positively influenced their present careers.

Here are their reflections (stay tuned for more insights in future editions!):

Jeremy L., Social Media Director for a Website

Working at a summer day camp helped me prepare for adulthood in many ways. As a camp counselor, I was responsible for the safety and well-being of the campers in my care, which taught me a great deal about responsibility. My role required me to be organized, punctual, and reliable, as I had to adhere to a strict schedule and ensure that all activities ran smoothly.
As a counselor, working at a day camp taught me the value of teamwork and collaboration. My fellow counselors and I had to work together to plan activities, supervise campers, and solve problems. We communicated effectively with one another, and I learned to respect my colleagues’ opinions and ideas. These skills have been invaluable in my career, where teamwork is necessary to accomplish goals and complete projects successfully.

As a camp counselor, I also had to develop strong leadership skills. I was responsible for leading groups of campers and setting a positive example for them to follow. This required me to have the ability to inspire and motivate others, make decisions, and communicate effectively, all of which have been valuable skills in my early professional life.

Finally, working at a day camp taught me the importance of patience, adaptability, and problem-solving. Dealing with sometimes unpredictable campers required me to be patient and adaptable, and to think on my feet to solve unexpected situations. These skills have been invaluable in my personal and professional life, where I have encountered unexpected challenges and have had to remain calm and level-headed to find solutions.

Working at Briarwood Day Camp truly was the #1 motivator towards my current success. It was a place where I felt welcomed, loved, and acknowledged. I learned so many skills that will last with me forever, and it helped shape me to the man I am today.

Camper and staff smiling

Devyn S., Mental Health Therapist

One of the biggest takeaways from working at Briarwood has been the skills I developed to be both a leader and a role model. Whether I was making sure to set a good example for my campers or other staff or going out of my way to help another person out where I saw they needed it. I find myself doing the same at my current job as a therapist. I offer my time and attention, even when it is not required of me. I am always willing to lend a hand and listen when someone else needs it.

Also, as a camp counselor I learned the importance of giving kids the power to be their authentic self. Camp is a place where kids feel they thrive the most; where they can be unapologetically themselves and not feel any shame. As in therapy, I make sure the space I share with my clients is a safe and warm one, where I allow them the power to live their truth in the most authentic way they can.

My ability to connect with others has been a benefit to me as well. While attending Briarwood as a camper and staff member, I came into contact with many individuals, some of whom I continue to remain very close with. This brings up another point- one that focuses on making a lasting impact. Mike has said this time and time again – that we all have a camp counselor who has made a lasting impact. Whether they made us feel at home or allowed us to feel seen or heard. I certainly will never forget mine and I hope that as a therapist I impact my clients the same as I have my campers.

Working as a counselor at Briarwood Day Camp is a fantastic way to build skills for “grown up” jobs and opportunities. Briarwood counselors are given responsibility, they get to lead, they communicate with customers, they learn better 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: