by Matt Kaufman
on November 28, 2018
When people think of camp, they think of it as an amazing experience for campers – which it certainly is. But it’s also an invaluable experience for counselors. Many college students weigh the benefits of returning to camp to be a counselor against the prospect and the pressure of searching for and accepting an internship opportunity in the “real world.” Much of this pressure is exerted by the parents of these young, aspiring adults. “You can’t go back to camp again. All of your friends have internships – their resumes are stacked.”
What many people don’t understand is that camp is as “real” as it gets. Ultimately, the value of summer internships boils down to practicality, or “real world” applications. Let’s take a look at two hypothetical applicants for a full-time Account Management role at Company ABC…
For this Account Management role, the ideal candidate will:
Who would you choose for this job role? Who would your parents choose? If you haven’t already guessed, Applicant A went the internship route, while Applicant B chose to return as a camp counselor.
Throughout your career, you will meet thousands of people, ranging from business to education. At camp, you get to be a businessperson, strategizing how to most effectively run a “team” of 15+ people, leading and working with your co-counselors, and communicating with your higher-ups to continually learn. At camp, you get to be an educator, teaching young children the importance of friendship, how to be a team player, and how to respect those around you.
At camp, you get to be YOU – and the best part is, it WILL prepare you for that “real world” everyone talks about.
Matt has spent his summers at Camp Ramaquois since 1984 — as a camper, counselor, and in various administrative positions, including his current role of Associate Director. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University. At camp, Matt works in program development, staff training and camper engagement. He has served as the program chair of the Tri-State Camp Conference and authored a book about summer camp staff training entitled The Summer Camp MBA. Outside of camp, he enjoys hiking, reading, website development, and spending time with his wife, nieces, nephew and dog.