In my experience, I have been a camp counselor for the last two summers with kids aged 9-12, and have learned a lot of positive things, many of which employers look for.
- Flexibility & Adaptability—These skills are very important for a dynamic work environment. Being able to handle anything that is thrown your way with grace and ease is essential to make a well-rounded employee. Adaptability and flexibility are amazingly important when working with kids because of their unpredictability and random decisions that can change all your plans in a blink of an eye.
- Leadership—Leadership is always a skill employers look for. Leading kids is vastly different than leading adults. All the kids look up to you and challenge you to be a better version of yourself while you challenge them to do the same. Leadership is important everywhere, but as I’ve learned when leading kids, sometimes you must change your leadership style a thousand times before you find something that works for everyone.
- Listening to the Needs of Others—Sometimes being heard is the most important thing in a conversation. As a camp counselor, I learned that there is a big difference between listening to listen and listening to reply. This quality is important in the workplace, but also in everyday life. Being able to determine what others need and in turn help them accomplish that need will also help you grow as an employee and a person.
- Patience—Patience is a skill that many overlook when they go into t
he workforce, but is tremendously important. Individuals need to be able to take their time and wait for problems to resolve without becoming frantic. As a camp counselor, sometimes patience grows thin, but you learn very quickly that it is an important skill to be a successful leader.
- Creativity—Lastly, creativity is more important than you think. I never considered myself a creative person, but after being around kids for months, I realized that everyone is creative in their own ways, and it brings different perspectives to the group. Throughout your job, you will have moments where you need to be creative in how you handle situations or come up with solutions. Just remember that being creative does not limit
you, but opens a lot of possibilities.
Overall, kids have changed the way I vary many different aspects of my life. They teach you lessons that you may not receive elsewhere and they remind you to find joy in all the little things in life. They may drive you crazy, but it is worth it in the end. If you are interested in learning more about Youth and Social Services Careers, come down to the Career Services Office in the School of Public Health and talk with one of our career coaches!
“Living life one adventure at a time!”