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Are You Suited to Working at a Summer Camp?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 25 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Summer Camp Campers Confidence

How do you know if you’re the right kind of person to succeed at a summer camp? If you’re thinking about working at a summer camp for your ‘work abroad’ experience but are not sure if your skills and character are what they’re looking for, here are a few guidelines.

Remember that working at a summer camp abroad is one of those jobs that is perfect for some people, but for others it’s their idea of hell! Rather than throw yourself into a situation that may not be the exhilarating experience you’re hoping for, use these guidelines to see if this is the adventure for you.


Even though working at a summer camp abroad is a great way to build your confidence, you need to be comfortable enough in the situation from the beginning. Working at a summer camp tends to involve talking to all sorts of different people, dealing with fraying tempers of irate campers and trying to calm down excitable children, so you need to have the ability to deal with these situations.

Common Sense

The types of people that do well at summer camps are usually those with plenty of common sense. There are often all manner of little practical jobs and tasks that need doing – from finding pegs for a tent, to advising on the best local restaurant and helping jump start a car – so while it’s a great way to learn all sorts of random skills, it helps if you already have some basic understanding of real life.

Organisational Skills

Working at a summer camp always involves some organising, whether that’s organising kids for the swimming pool games, arranging the parking plan on change-over day or getting all the helpers together for an end-of-season barbeque. You don’t have to be the most organised person ever, but a scatterbrain will not do very well in this environment.

Health and Fitness

Will all those outdoor activities and running around dealing with campers, the ideal summer camp worker will have excellent levels of health and fitness. Most people come away from their season fitter and healthier than ever before, not to mention with a lovely golden tan from all that sunshine, but you need to be fit enough to handle the tasks at the start of the season.

Get Stuck In!

Above all, the type of person that does well working at a summer camp abroad is someone that’s willing to give anything a go. That could be anything from getting non-swimmers to dip their toe in the pool for the first time, trying to pitch a tent in the dark or giving a guided tour of the area to tourists. As long as you’re able to give things a go without being too concerned about making a mistake or looking foolish, you’ll have a great experience of working abroad at a summer camp. For most camps, the most important aspect of the camp team is to make sure the campers have a great holiday, so having the right attitude is a big step in the right direction.

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