Who says there are no more good summer jobs?
Right here at Camp Alleghany we have dream summer jobs for young men who like to work hard, be part of a team, and enjoy the great outdoors all at the same time!
I’m talking about our long-established Green Team, a summer work force to be reckoned with. And since we have about 5-6 positions left, and are still taking applications, I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about what it means to be on the Green Team.
All about the Green Team
Headed up by Maintenance Director Garrett O’Dell, the Green Team tackles a variety of jobs around camp every day. Beginning long before campers arrive, and there to clean up and close down afterward, they are the back bone (and muscle) of the camp. (See the Green Team Hand Book.)
You’ll find the GT ruling the river on opening and closing days, ferrying each and every one of us — staff, parents, campers, guests (and all the luggage) — on the barge. Talk about a work out! But that’s just one of the perks of the job. With all that heavy lifting, focus, and regular activity you stay in shape — or get even better in shape — without ever having to visit the gym!
But more than the kind of job spent flipping burgers and carrying trays all summer, working on the Green Team is more than a job — it’s a way of life. Encamped on the Grenbrier River just like the rest of us (and under strict supervision relative to their quarters), Green Teamers enjoy the gentle vibe of camp and the “getting away from it all” world of camp, even though they’re also working hard.
Being on the Green Team is far more than performing tasks and keeping the grounds running smoothly. It’s also about a kind of life training that only happens in a setting like camp. Here, everyone is afforded an opportunity to learn about his or her self — and about others — and to grow as a result of the time spent together as a team.
That Green Team Spirit!
As Garret says, there’s a spirit that pervades being on the Green Team that results in earning far more than a pay check and resume experience at the end of a season. Instead, he believes that each team member has an opportunity to develop any or all of the following things during a summer on the GT:
- Learning about things they may never be able to anywhere else
- Strong Character
Garrett builds his team (and develops them over the season) by working with each person as an individual within the team. As he puts it,
I look at each Green Team member and try to discern their strengths and weaknesses. I then try to utilize each one to be an asset to Camp Alleghany; all the while trying to build a team of young men that can recognize each others’ abilities and help strengthen each weakness and utilize each strength to make a strong, assertive team. The recognition of each team member’s abilities and inabilities builds a character within each that will last a lifetime with the proper positive reinforcement. Each one, I hope, learns that we all need each other.
As you can see, his approach to the GT is in line with our overall mission and philosophy at Camp Alleghany.
Former Green Teamers tell all
And this is confirmed by former GT Members.
Matt Gorsuch, on the GT for five summers from 2000-2005 (and now on the Camp Alleghany Alumni Association Board) describes his experience on the GT this way:
I believe I gained a work ethic that grew from year to year and learned that when you invest a certain amount of yourself into a job in return it can be a more rewarding endeavor. Also the life long friendships I formed are priceless.
He definitely feels that he learned what it really means to work in a team-oriented environment, where every job is critical and being able to rely on each person is mandatory. Yet at the same time he loved that sometimes he just got to enjoy the perk of lazing by the river with friends!
My brother, Cooper Dawson, was also a long-time member of the Green Team, and he remarked on some skills that aren’t necessarily obvious at first glance if you think about being on the GT as largely about maintenance and tasks. For him, learning better communication skills came in handy in later jobs. On the GT he learned,
…the ability to talk to parents respectfully no matter who they are. And you’re usually really dirty when you do! (And) being able to give the same respect to a little kid as an adult. I guess it helped that the parents weren’t in ‘real world clothes’ so it wasn’t ‘Dr. Smith’ or ‘Officer Jones’ or ‘Mrs. Governor’ so that was helpful. But I still think standing on the barge telling parents what to do (respectfully of course) helped (make) talking to people easier.
He also feels that working at camp is, “As much about growing up and taking yourself and a job seriously; learning to take the lead and not wait to be told what to do.”
Working on the Green Team is both challenging and rewarding; hard work and fun; body building and character building. Wrapping it up Garret says that,
All in all, Camp Alleghany is a place that young men can come to work and know that each one can walk away with something special that is not available to all young men. They become part of an elite team that many long to be a part of.
So don’t wait to apply — these positions can go quickly.
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls