With the New Year comes a return list of tasks for every camp. An item that is at the top, or close to it, is “Find good summer staff!” With a dozen or so new job listings on the Alberta Camping Association’sjob board, and twice as many ‘we are now accepting staff applications’ posts from camps on Facebook and Twitter, camps have their summer staff recruitment well underway. We’re hoping.
Everyone in the camp industry knows the importance of having an energetic, qualified, safe, and responsible team for the summer. Good camp counsellors, cabin, and activity leaders can inspire campers to do things they never thought they could. They’re the teachers of games, the removers of slivers, the referee of arguments over second helpings of dessert, and most importantly they are responsible for the safety of your campers. This job is not for the faint of heart.
Ask them what they consider to be their most significant accomplishment. This question could tell you a lot about their character, skills, learning abilities, teamwork, attitude, and potential. Be interested in their answer, encourage details, and you’ll get to know your applicant a little better.
Find out if they have ever worked at another camp before. Discuss their experiences there. If it is not listed on their resume you should find out why. This could be a red flag.
Ask them why they want to work at camp. What specific activities or aspects of camp are interesting to them and why. Questions like these can show their excitement, passion, and potential commitment to your camp. You want staff who are 100% invested in your camp and understand the importance of their committment.
Of course there are the obvious background and reference checks, evaluation of their experience and attitudes.
Remember, if a red flag goes off or if you are not quite sure about a candidate...move on. As you might already know, a bad seed can create headaches for an entire summer. Take as many precautions as possible.
The success of your summer can be determined by who you have on staff. The summers we remember the most are usually the ones with the most successful team of staff and building those relationship at camp can be a very rewarding experience. Best of luck!
Check our JOB BOARD for updated job postings. If you are a member of the Alberta Camping Association please submit your available staff positions to the job board. We would love to help you find your staff for this upcoming season!