Each summer I hire 200 staff members to work at Camp. Some of these individuals are counselors and others are members of our auxiliary staff like food service, maintenance, or they are part of our health management team.
We are still looking for individuals to join our team this summer. If you want to experience a life changing summer, complete our staff application online. Once I have received it I will contact you via email to either set up an in-person or video conference interview.
This summer will be my 11th summer to spend at Hermann Sons Life Camp as a staff member. It seems like just the other day I was showing up as a 17-year-old junior counselor for my staff orientation and here we are over a decade later.
The kids are the absolute best part of Camp. They see joy in abundance and are the reason Camp exists. Interacting with the children is the highlight of being a counselor, but there are life lessons to be learned as well.
Anyone who has worked at a summer camp, even for just one summer, will tell you that they learned some pretty important lessons during those sunny months. And I don’t mean how to make a fire or a friendship bracelet… I mean the kind of lessons that stay with you for the rest of your life. The ones that will pop up time and again, long after your summer camp career is over, in your jobs, your family and your future life.
Here are six of those lessons:
1. How to ask for help, and when.
This is one I learned pretty early on, and a lesson I deem to be one of the most important. There are always going to be things you can’t do alone, and times where you struggle, but a lot of people have this notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I see it differently. Camp has taught me that knowing how and when to ask for help is actually a strength. Sometimes it is important not to struggle with something on your own, when there are plenty of people out there willing and able to help. There is also a lesson in here about when not to ask for help – figuring out when you can do things for yourself is important, too.
2. The importance of a smile.
At Camp you can make someone’s day just by giving them a big cheesy grin. It can be in passing, or it can be to signal the start of a conversation. It can be to a fellow counselor or other staff member or it can be to a child who’s homesick or struggling in one of their activities. A smile goes a long way in the rest of your life, too. When you smile, you make the people around you feel good. And when you make them feel good, you’ll feel good, too. This is such a huge thing along with simply being kind to those around us. Kindness and smiles can really brighten someone’s day.
3. How to solve problems.
From small things like motivating campers to clean their area during “clean for ice cream,” to larger issues such as reorganizing every activity because of rain, you name it and I’ve probably had to deal with it. At Camp, and in life, there are always going to be problems that you can’t ignore, and it is how you deal with those problems that matters. Camp teaches you great problem solving and decision making skills that will help you long beyond your days as a counselor. We cannot always control the problems, but we can control how we react and make a plan to fix them. Learning this skill at Camp is nice because you have a great support system around to help you.
4. How to work as part of a team.
This is something that I’m sure we’ve all been taught throughout school, but there’s something about Camp that really seems to make it stick. You are thrown together with a group of people you’ve never met before and you have to figure out how to work together to make it the best summer possible for your campers. There may be people you don’t like, or people you just don’t see eye to eye with, but somehow you will find yourself learning how to come together to form a very strong team. You will learn to recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can help someone out when they’re struggling and vice versa. I am also a firm believer that some of these team members you are working with will also become some of your best friends that you can count on for years to come.
5. How to have more confidence in yourself and your abilities.
If Camp does nothing else for you, it will teach you to have more confidence in everything you do. Whether it brings you out of your shell from someone who always sits quietly in the corner, to being the person who is singing and dancing and making speeches in front of the whole of Camp, or whether it simply teaches you what you are good at and how to go from strength to strength in that skill, your summer spent at Camp will change you forever. You will have more confidence in your abilities, you will not question your own responses to different situations, and you will leave Camp believing that your opinion is one that matters.
6. How to interact with people from all walks of life.
At Camp you will meet and work with people from all over the state, with different experiences and backgrounds. It is important to understand that not everyone has the same opinions or beliefs, and not everyone grew up in the same way you did. You will learn how to communicate and interact with people whom you may never otherwise come into contact with, and that is the beauty of Camp – it opens your eyes to what else, and who else, is out there, outside the small part of the world you may have already experienced.
What are you waiting for? We can’t wait to have you be a part of the Hermann Sons Life Camp family this year!
If you’ve worked at Camp before, I would love to hear some of the benefits you’ve experienced. Comment below!