It’s that time of year again — time to apply to be a 2017 Counselor at Camp Alleghany for Girls.
There are so many good reasons to be a camp counselor, and so many benefits to you in your career — benefits I’ll get to in just minute.
For now I want to start with timing.
The early bird gets the worm
Apply now? In November of 2016 for a job that doesn’t start until June of 2017? WHAT?
It may seem odd to apply now if you think about it for only a brief second. But it makes a whole lot more sense if you drill down into it a little bit more. Let me give you some great reasons for applying early:
- Other people will be applying and eager to get hired
- You need to know for your own planning what next summer will be like
- Chances for the position you want are higher by applying early
First off, other people will apply, the early bird getting the worm! That means other young women will get hired, roles will be filled, opportunities potentially lost.
While high school and college days go blithely on under classic autumn skies, we at Camp are vigorously planning for the Summer 2017 camp season. Our work doesn’t stop when those tents get packed up, the glitter of the final Dance and Drama shows gets trunked, and the Banquet Banner is taken down, folded up, and stored for posterity!
NO — We have camper enrollments ticking away, and the administrative team has big staffing considerations to nail down from Junior Counselors (applications now closed) to Counselors to the Green Team to other facilities staffing to a variety of other contracts and even the need to hire a new Program Director in the wake of Taylor Fellows Wilkerson moving on to other pastures.
Suffice it to say, we’re busy!
In fact just this upcoming weekend we have our annual Administrative Team Fall Retreat where lots of Summer 2017 issues are on the table of discussion and planning, including staffing. After having my third child late this summer (after camp was over, phew!), I’m ready to dive back in to the camp world with a passion!
SO…that’s why it’s good to apply early, because we staff NOW! (Well, technically the applications open on November 15th, but you know what I mean!)
Secondly, it’s good for you, too!
Knowing what you’re going to do next summer is a great way to do advance planning — if you nail down a job you know where you’re going to be, what’s expected of you, what the dates are, how much you’ll make, and what you need to plan for to be there.
That is real peace of mind in a busy busy world. It leaves you with firm dates around which you can plan other things like getaways, family reunions, and other free time for tests, internship interviews, and just the buffer time needed for moving around.
Finally, you may have moved along in the camp counseling process such that you’d like to shoot for a special and/or a higher level assignment. Trying for that late in the game lessens your odds.
If you’re ready for a camp “promotion” to more responsibility, getting in early demonstrates your drive while upping your chances. After all, we want to fill these positions. Granted, we want the right person for the right job, but at the same time, we can’t wait forever. We trust that a great many of our returning applicants ARE ready for more responsibility, and so knowing your aims sooner helps you and us!
And even if you don’t get the exact position you’re seeking, it doesn’t mean you weren’t a great candidate. Staffing is a complex process. That’s why getting in early helps you anyway. Maybe you’ll get another great assignment, or, if hired, you’ll be paired with a new and unusual assignment that offers a fresh challenge that you weren’t expecting.
What I can say is that waiting until next year (applications technically close March 1, 2017), while there still may be some long shot opportunities, isn’t the best strategy for getting the job!
So, all that said, I also want to emphasize why a camp counseling job is a solid career steppingstone.
In the Thick of It
I’ve written about the merits of camp counseling jobs many times before. As have others. And you can get our free downloadable e-book with Six Reasons Why Being A Camp Counselor is a Great Career Move (click that link to download the PDF).
Yes, camp counseling is not just a walk in the park!
Being a camp counselor is demanding, multi-faceted work that offers the opportunity for demonstrating growth over time, personal successes, and the realization of goals, all of which future employers look for in their job-seekers.
As longtime friend and Camp Alleghany alum Ellie Frazier once put it, and I’m paraphrasing here: You don’t have to choose between being a camp counselor and being an intern. Both are paths to career success!
Camp Alleghany for Girls Counselor applications open November 15, 2016. We’re hiring for basic tent counselors on up to Head Counselors, and everything in between, like Unit Heads, Department Heads, Blue/Gray Mentors, Moms, etc.
Check out the hiring process here.
Interviews will begin no later than January 1, though some interviews may happen in December if it works for both me and the applicant amidst close-of-college and high school exams and the holiday bustle.
Again, I encourage you to apply. The application goes beyond the standard work/school experience to encompass longer written answers about why you’d be best for the job. I hope you’ll take some time to think over your answers, take chances on new opportunities that you’re interested in, and put your best foot forward!
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls