The best job in the world

Camp Counsellor…the best job in the world!

Summer camp jobs - Canadian summer camps, Canadian Camping Association

David Larsen of the Alberta Camping Association offered these words of advice for young camp counsellors, “Tell them, they will never have a more important job!”

In an editorial for an Ontario Camps Association newsletter, Peter McMahon wrote, “I often think how lucky camp counsellors are.  I envy them sometimes – more than any captain of industry or politician, they have the chance to make a difference at the most crucial time and place in a person’s life.”

Camp counselling may not be the highest paid summer job, but if the job is done well, it promises immense satisfaction.  Where can you have fun in the outdoors with your friends while making a huge difference in the lives of the young people in your care? Without question, camp counsellors exert a significant influence on their young campers who will love, admire and emulate them.  This carries a serious responsibility.

Ideal camp counselors are fun, enthusiastic and energetic.  They are kind, caring and good listeners.  They are co-operative, flexible members of the staff team.  They are competent, mature and thoughtful.  If a staff candidate has a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn, many camp directors will willingly train them in the specific skills for the job.

Summer camp jobs - Canadian summer camps, Canadian Camping Association

Our Kids Media profiled several well-known summer camp alumni, who spoke about how their experience as campers and counsellors impacted their eventual careers.  Featured alumni included Marc Kielburger (Me To We), Carolyn Bennett (Member of Parliament), Jane Taber (Globe & Mail columnist), Seth Godin (marketing guru), Michael Budman (Roots Canada), Adam van Koeverden and Veronika Bauer (Olympians).  These profiles can be found in the Summer Camp Alumni section of the Our Kids Media website.

Are you looking for a great summer camp job?  Be sure to check out the job postings available on the provincial camping association websites.

Print Resources

The Cabin Path
– By Jay Gilbert

This book inspires counsellors to think more consciously about the leadership lessons learned every day on the job at camp.  Through stories, analysis and contributions from a variety of camp staff, the author, in a personal style, describes how camp teaches young people to be the best leaders they can be.  Jay exemplifies how a camp leadership experience has on-going value in future career plans.

How to be a Camp Counsellor…the best job in the world
– By Catherine Ross

Catherine’s book is a compact, easy-to-read handbook that tells you everything you need to know to be a great camp counsellor.   Through actual camp stories, it provides practical information on many topics including: landing the job, interview skills, bullying, homesickness, risk and crisis management, special needs campers and program ideas. It is written for all camp counsellors who want to make the camp experience safer, better and happier for every camper in their care.

Catherine’s book is available from the Ontario Camps Association.