Working at Camp Develops Skills for “Grown Up” Jobs – Part 4

Mike Green (and former staff)

Owner / Director

No summer job is more fun than working as a camp counselor! High school and college students also get to develop valuable and important skills that are required in “adult” professional jobs. Being a camp counselor prepares you for your future, long after summer ends.

Briarwood’s counselors get real responsibilities (with helpful supervision and guidance, of course). Our counselors – whether they are bunk counselors or specialists – learn and develop leadership, people management, communication and problem solving skills, all of which are crucial to future jobs. Is it a more useful (and fun) life experience to be a counselor rather than fold pants, deliver pizzas or carry golf bags? Definitely!

We reached out to Briarwood’s former staff members – now out in the “real” world – to tell us about how being a counselor at camp positively affected their present careers. Here’s what they had to say (and stay tuned for more insights in future editions!):

Georgia G., Learning Specialist

Briarwood has helped me in my grown up job as a learning specialist because:
• Working at Briarwood has exposed me to the various dynamics of friendships between campers and counselors, campers and campers, counselors and parents, counselors and supervisors.
• I got to experience what it’s like to resolve conflict with coworkers and address larger picture items with supervisors in a supportive and constructive manner.
• This has helped me in my current role as a learning specialist as I am not scared to reach out to my superiors and colleagues when I feel as though something is not right or could be improved upon.
• Briarwood has also taught me that (at Briarwood, at least!) your superiors / supervisors are there to help you. They are people you can lean on for support and who are willing to advocate for you if need be.
• Working at Briarwood allowed me to understand how various age groups of campers interact and the differing social norms for children inside and outside of school.
• Seeing children outside of a school setting helped me to better understand the “whole child.” It is always important to remember that children do not exist in a vacuum, and working at Briarwood allowed me to interact with children in their natural state (if you will).
• Leadership skills
• Briarwood taught me how to commandeer large groups of tiny humans while still treating each child as an individual.
• I learned how to transport large groups of 1st graders across acres of land in the summer heat, so now walking a group of students down an air-conditioned hallway is quite literally a breeze.

Brett K., Real Estate Agent / Sales

One of the most significant aspects of my experience at Briarwood was learning how to work with and manage many different kinds of individuals, including campers, co-counselors, and supervisors. Interacting with diverse personalities and navigating challenging situations was a daily task. This exposure honed my interpersonal skills, teaching me the importance of patience, active listening, and effective communication in resolving conflicts and building positive relationships. This skill set has proven essential in my interactions with clients and colleagues in my current position.

Additionally, my time at Briarwood taught me invaluable leadership skills. As a counselor, I was responsible for supervising campers, ensuring their safety, and facilitating fun and engaging activities. This experience allowed me to develop my ability to lead, motivate, and inspire others. Leadership is a vital aspect of my current role, where I am entrusted with guiding clients through the complex process of buying or selling properties. The leadership skills I acquired at Briarwood have enabled me to effectively guide and support my clients, fostering trust and achieving successful outcomes.

Lastly, my experience at Briarwood instilled in me a greater sense of empathy and the ability to prioritize the needs of others – while still having fun. My time working at Briarwood Day Camp was a transformative experience that equipped me with invaluable skills and insights, all of which have greatly contributed to my success as a Real Estate Agent and in life. The lessons I learned about working with and managing challenging people, leadership, dealing with orders, conflict de escalation, and empathy continue to shape my professional approach and enable me to exceed client expectations. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of such a wonderful team at an amazing camp!

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: