We are now enrolling for 2024 Click here for dates and rates.
We are now enrolling for 2024! Click here for dates and rates.

Working at Camp Develops Skills for “Grown Up” Jobs – Part 5

Mike Green (and former staff)

Owner / Director

Being a summer camp counselor is the most fun summer job you’ll ever have! AND ALSO: high school and college students will learn and develop valuable and important skills that will help in later “grown up” jobs. Being a camp counselor prepares you for your future, long after summer ends.

Briarwood’s high school and college aged staff get meaningful responsibility and work with older, more experienced staff to develop leadership, people management, communication and problem solving skills, all of which are crucial to future jobs. And it’s more fun than delivering pizzas or folding sweaters!

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!):

Gabby K., School Counselor

Thinking back to my seven summers working as a camp counselor at Briarwood Day Camp, it is very apparent the many lessons and skills I learned which, ultimately, laid the groundwork to help launch me into my professional career as a Certified School Counselor and License Professional Counselor. In fact, in team meetings with my colleagues, planning classroom guidance lessons, whenever I suggest an activity or lesson that is “out of the box” and creative, my colleagues will often comment “this is such a fantastic plan, we can tell you were definitely a camp counselor!” Here are just a few of those many skills and lessons I learned.

Being a camp counselor made me realize just how much I love working with others. It ignited my love and drive to work in the human service field and helped me to know I definitely did not want a typical “desk job.” As a camp counselor, I learned that connecting with people and building community is the type of work environment I thrive in. I certainly see this in my job as a school counselor. I am constantly on my feet, roaming the halls, walking around the dining hall, and the gymnasium, and checking in with students and colleagues and I absolutely love that!

I also learned how to help others and keep children safe, not only physically, but emotionally. As a camp counselor, you certainly get in the trenches with kids, tasked to meet them where they are and to honor all of their emotions. Lending a listening ear and learning how to validate and partner with campers and parents was so crucial to building rapport and trust. Being a camp counselor helped me to fine-tune these skills which naturally translate into my counseling career.

As a camp counselor, it is essential to use sound judgment. I learned to “take a step back” and think before acting and speaking. This extends to both children and families. I feel so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn this while working at camp and use this within my professional role interacting with my current school community.

Finally, working as a camp counselor has helped me with, arguably, my MOST important job, being a mom. I like to think that being a camp counselor and working with children in high school and college sort of gave me a “head start” with learning how to be a nurturer and caretaker. I also learned how to push and challenge myself to create catchy songs, dance, sing, laugh, play, AND teach this to others. I often sing to my daughter and find that making up songs or dances feels so seamless, I attribute this to my days working at Briarwood Day Camp.

Being a camp counselor has given me so much. I feel so much gratitude for having had the experience and walking away with such priceless knowledge and skill sets.

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?
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