Going the Extra Mile:
Training and Certification
Summer camps hire lots of different people for lots of different jobs, and in some cases you may have the edge on other applicants if you have special training or certification. In fact, sometimes it is required for you to even be considered. Consider going the extra mile to prove that you really are the best candidate. These things should be listed on your resume and highlighted during an interview.
First aid training: Summer camps usually take place outside during much of the time, and when you’re dealing with physical outdoor activities, injuries are bound to happen. As a staff member at the camp, being trained in first aid is usually required for counselors. However, even if you are applying in a different position, like as a cook, this training may still help you get a job. The more people on-site trained in first aid, the safer the entire camp will be.
CPR certification: Like with first aid training, knowing CPR is crucial to keeping campers safe. If you’re applying as a lifeguard or as part of the medical staff, CPR training and certification is necessary, and many camps require this of other staff members as well. You can get certified in CPR at local hospitals, usually for free, and even if you don’t get the summer camp job, it is a valuable skill to have.
Background checks: In this day and age, a parent can never be too careful when it comes to trusting their children with strangers. Most camps require staff members to undergo a background check, but if you’ve already had this done, you might be a shoe-in for the job – it’s less of a risk for the camp to hire someone they know is cleared than to hire someone whom they might have to fire if he or she doesn’t pass the background check.
A Degree: If you are applying to be on the administration staff, a camp nurse, or a staff member at a boot camp or special needs camp, a degree may be necessary. Usually it will state is the job ad, but you can call and ask about requirements before applying if you are unsure.
Specialized Training: For themed camps, sports camps, boot camps, and some other types of camps, if you have taken classes in the field in which you’re applying, this is definitely a plus. For example, if you’re applying to be a counselor at a soccer camp and have undergone professional referee training, this is definitely a plus. Look for a job that maximizes your specific skills.