How Can An Internship At Camp Grow Your Professional Development?

Invest in your future!

Being a staff member at Falling Creek Camp is more than just a summer job - so how can an internship at camp grow your personal and professional development? Watch to learn how the Falling Creek experience can set you up for success!

Join Our Team

We know that working at camp is fun and rewarding, but did you know it’s also a great way to jumpstart your professional development?

As Andy says in the above video, “At Falling Creek we use the terms ‘job’ and ‘internship’ interchangably, but really what we’re trying to describe is a professional experience. Something that will set you up for success over the course of the rest your life.”

You can gain internship credit at camp!

Many of our counselors who need internship credit to graduate don’t realize that they can earn that credit while working at camp! We can coordinate with your department to tailor a unique learning experience, and have set up internship credit across a wide variety of disciplines.

Even if you don’t need internship credit, you’ll still earn valuable experience and professional skills while working at camp. Depending on your area of expertise, you may even arrive at Falling Creek earlier than Staff Orientation Week to attend additional certification clinics and training opportunities. This can include getting certified as a lifeguard, Wilderness First Responder, Swift Water Rescue, Horsemanship Association, or other specialized certifications that are applicable to your activity. Certifications like these not only help you build skill and confidence as a leader, but also show that you are trained and knowledgeable in your field, which open even more doors for employment.

Translating the camp experience to your resume:

Certifications are easy to list on a resume, but how do you clearly articulate the multitude of soft skills and experience you gained on your resume for a future employer? The interpersonal and collaborative skills learned and practiced at camp are invaluable.

“Soft skills” like resilience, emotional intelligence, patience, teamwork, judgement, risk management, communication, responsibility, cognitive flexibility, empathy, and ethics aren’t able to be memorized in a classroom. These 21st Century skills are exactly what employers are looking for. So how do you translate all of these experiences to a resume? Start by following these tips from the American Camp Association (ACA):

When describing your experience as a counselor, ACA recommends the following: “Using active language, amplify the job title with descriptive terms that detail your duties, as well as the nature of time commitment you dedicated to your summer camp employer and the results you achieve.” Active language means using words like, “manage,” “collaborate,” “facilitate,” and “train,” to enhance the core qualifications you possess.

For example, don’t just put on your resume, “I worked at a summer camp as a cabin counselor and taught hiking.” Describe what you actually gained from the experience, and demonstrate the skills you can offer: “While working at a residential summer camp for three months, I supervised and mentored a cabin of 8 campers, facilitated daily hikes on camp property for boy aged 7-16, and collaborated with my coworkers to lead safe and educational multi-day trips off camp property each session.” If you had a leadership role at camp, don’t just mention the title - write what you did in active language! For example, the head of waterfront might say, “As Waterfront Head, I managed a 12-member aquatic team while coordinating schedules, instructing swim lessons, and supervising waterfront activities at a residential summer camp for boys.”

You worked hard to practice communication, responsibility, maturity, and dedication all summer - now’s the time to share that!

Networking with the camp community!

Once you’ve got your resume polished and it’s time to begin the career search beyond camp, the networking opportunities that come from the Falling Creek community can’t be underestimated. Being a Falling Creek alumni connects you to a network of former staff and parents who are successful business owners and employers across the world. Former staff are able to join our Alumni Association group and call upon this network for advice, job connections, and more. We are frequently asked to refer our talented staff members to alumni looking to hire. Our alumni network understands the broad set of skills you possess, because they realize what it takes to be a good camp counselor.

Let’s Go!

Ready to join us for a summer that will set you up for success, all while making a difference in the lives of others? You can learn more and apply to join our staff team here.

If you have any questions while crafting your resume, feel free to for wordsmithing advice, grammar checking, general input, or to just talk. We’ll help you show how working at camp is more than just another summer job!