Camp Job vs. Internship

Camp Job or Internship?

Which is a more valuable experience?

  • This post was written by Brian M., a long time camper, counselor and division leader at Ramaquois. *

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.”

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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…

Applicant A:

  • Created daily agendas and debriefs for conference calls.
  • Picked up any supplies the department needed.
  • Picked up coffee and breakfast for team members.
  • Walked CEO’s dog when needed.

Applicant B:

  • Cared for and nurtured a group of 15+ children.
  • Created and maintained long-lasting emotional relationships.
  • Displayed skills such as communication, time management, and risk management while maintaining a safe and fun environment.
  • Learned how to lead in a professional and effective manner.

For this Account Management role, the ideal candidate will:

  • Operate as the main point of contact for all matters specific to your accounts.
  • Be able to effectively communicate with your accounts to maintain a positive, long-lasting relationship with them.
  • Provide any customer service needed for your accounts.
  • Collaborate across various departments, exhibiting teamwork to its greatest potential.

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.

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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.

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