Sunday Snippet: Great Staff, Relevant Experience!
Having just wrapped up an incredible summer, we want to acknowledge that it was all possible due to our passionate, enthusiastic and skilled 2013 WeHaKee Staff that gave of themselves to our campers and community all summer long! It was an honor working with them and a blessing to have them come together at WeHaKee Camp for Girls. But the summer is now past and we need to look forward to Summer 2014 and we hope to see many of those amazing staff members at WeHaKee again next summer – so here is something for them to think about!
Thank you 2013 WeHaKee Staff ~ you were one of the best staffs we have had the honor to work with in our many years as camp directors. You embraced the mission, vision and values of WeHaKee Camp for Girls and provided our campers with a tremendous and enriching experience, an experience that will positively impact their lives for weeks, months and years to come! It was a pleasure and a blessing to work with each of you.
As remarkable as the experience may have been for you this summer, returning for additional summers will be even more empowering and meaningful. So we truly hope this is not a ‘one year wonder’ experience and you will consider returning to enhance your knowledge, skills and growth in even more amazing ways.
As you continue in your educational ventures, we know there will be pressures to look elsewhere next summer, perhaps with the hope of landing that critical internship or some other non-camp undertaking. We know it is only the beginning of the academic year, but we want you to begin considering the benefits and opportunities that continuing your camp committment can mean for you and your future – it can be far more beneficial than many can or will acknowledge!
Believe it or not, wearing crazy clothes, singing astonishingly silly songs and spending most of your day laughing and smiling may not seem the the ideal pathway to increased maturity, but in a relatively recent article, Erika Christakis with Time Magazine suggests that it does that and more!
The stepwise leadership structure… can create the impression that camp jobs are not real work on par with college internships in the financial industry or working in a lab, but something more like a nostalgic hobby.
If we are serious about developing young leadership, we should get over these parochial views and take steps to make camp counseling more common. Employers and college-admissions officers need to hear how the camp-counselor experience prepares successful young adults through teamwork, empathy, cross-cultural understanding, ability to work with subordinates and superiors, creativity, working under pressure and managing with limited resources. Excerpt from Summer Camp: Can It Make Kids More Responsible?, Erika Christakis, Time Magazine
Erika echoes what more and more employers are understanding – that the camp counselor experience is one of the most comprehensive experiences one can have, exposing them to and enhancing their skills in a vast array of what many are now referring to as non-cognitive skills.
Yes, you probably already get this, but the view still remains that the internship is the key to any success beyond college. Maybe so, but consider this ~ The camp community is just that, a community that needs to provide a plethora of services to keep the community operating efficiently, effectively and vibrantly. So, if your advisors are insisting on that summer internship, there is a mighty good chance that another summer at WeHaKee can provide you with just the experience you need! We have a strong track record of creating a variety of creative and inspiring internships for staff. We have done internships in business, communications, social work, education and more. So check in with us before you search elsewhere.
But the clinching argument came from my daughter’s impassioned defense of camp counselors, and her outrage that someone glancing at résumés would believe that a 20-year-old who fetches coffee at Google is more impressive than one who spends days and nights nurturing, teaching, organizing, comforting and inspiring. “What I do there matters,” she insisted. In several conversations, she told us about helping a camper cope with her mother’s debilitating depression and comforting others whose parents were fighting or separating, about aiding 11- and 12-year-olds who were coming to terms with their sexuality, battling anorexia, confronting body fear. She talked about the many hours devoted to water-skiing lessons, about instilling the confidence needed by awkward, gawky, painfully self-conscious 8- and 9-year-olds to stay prone in the water, hold on to the rope, then rise up and stay on their feet as the boat pulled away. “What’s more important than that?” she asked. Excerpt from The Camp Counselor vs The Intern, Dan Fleshler, The New York Times
So, what you have done at WeHaKee does matter and will continue to matter for a long time to come. So keep this in mind as you make your way through this academic year. Another summer at WeHaKee will most definitely make a huge difference in the life of a child, but it will also impact your life in amazing and lifelong ways as well!
Thanks for reading and have a great week!