Crystal Lake Camps is accepting applications for Summer 2012! Yes, it’s competitive and yes, we are looking for the very best you have to offer. We are specifically looking this year to hire people who can show what skills they have been building on throughout the year.
So here are 8 great things you can do NOW to stand out, potentially increase your pay this summer, and add value to your skills set to boost your chances of being hired:
1. Get certified in CPR/First Aid, Wilderness First Aid (WFA), or as a lifeguard*. (These links are a good place to start, there may be other places to get certified. Oftentimes colleges and schools will offer these classes as well.) These certifications help at camp BIG TIME, and we are always looking for lifeguards on the waterfront, as well as folks with WFA to lead some of our adventure programs (Eagle Rock, LT, etc.)
*If you are already a lifeguard, make sure your certification is current (valid for 2 years). If it’s not, you can look into renewing it, which is often less expensive and takes less time.
2. Keep a record of any outdoor recreational activities you have been doing at school, at home, or with friends. For example: if you went on a backpacking trip over spring break, make a note of it. If you use your school’s climbing wall, write down how often you go, and start building on those skills. And don’t forget to submit all of this information with your camp application!
3. Get certified or get the experience needed to teach these essential CLC classes:
- pottery – experience includes knowing how to operate a kiln, use a pottery wheel, throw clay, etc. A few essential resources:
- crash course for beginners
- teaching clay art and pottery
- Ceramics: A Potter’s Handbook, by Glenn C. Nelson
- Finding One’s Way With Clay, by Paulus Berensohn.
- mountain biking: experience includes: knowing how to repair bikes on the trail, joining a local mountain biking club or chapter of the IMBA, joining a race, and keeping track of rides you’ve done.
- swimming (WSI certification)
- archery (click here for certification course)
- horseback riding (CHA certification).
4. Take classes at school that you love and relate them to your camp skills. For example, if you would like to be the camp photographer, tell us about that photography class you took at school this year, or spend some time now volunteering on the school newspaper.
5. Take some sweet professional courses. There are many programs out there that really give you a deeper knowledge base of essential outdoor skills like rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, mountaineering, etc. Not only are these some seriously fun courses, they give you the kind of experience that takes your camp skills to the next level. These are especially good to do if you’re interested in becoming and adventure program leader (like LT, CIT, Trailblazers and Eagle Rock).
Some courses to get you started:
6. Graduated from college? Go work at an outdoor education center! They usually hire seasonally – fall, winter, spring, and provide some fantastic hands-on experience leading kids, learning new games, learning group management, and a sense of professionalism. Here are a few recommendations: Nature’s Classroom, Leelanau Outdoor Center, 100 Elk at the AU Ranches.
7. Think about what you already know how and love to do. How can you turn that into a class? For example (this is a real one from last summer): You love all things Harry Potter. How about teaching a Quidditch class?? Yes, it’s a real sport now played at colleges, with a rule book and all – and was a hit this summer! Tell us about your creative class ideas now – having some classes in mind that you can teach is music to our ears when we’re doing interviews – it shows that you’ve taken the initiative and given thought to what you have to offer, and won’t rely on camp to simply place you in whatever class is open (which usually isn’t as fun for you anyway!)
8. Get kid-friendly. Start babysitting, volunteering at a day care or preschool, or help coach a kids’ sports team. It’s essential to know how to relate to kids and to have some experience under your belt in this area, ‘cuz you’re gonna be spending a loooooot of time with these awesome kiddos.
Don’t forget to include these experiences in your application and interview! Sometimes it’s not enough to say “I know how to be a leader”, or “I have lots of outdoor experience”. You need to give examples to prove your point.
We look forward to another amazing summer at CLC with you!
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