Camp Counselors: What it Takes

Our website says that we hire camp counselors who are 21 or older, "with a passion for teaching art, swimming, waterskiing, rock climbing, orienteering, or hiking. Counselors must be good role models for campers and enjoy the energy of children." But talking to Camp Spring Creek co-founder Steve van der Vorst, it's clear there's a lot more to the job than that. "They’ve got to be able to show initiative," says Steve. "That’s one reason we conduct many interviews by phone or Skype. I can usually get an idea for how energetic someone is, and also, how enthusiastic. A lot of young people want to work at a camp, but most camps in America are large and hire counselors that focus on one specialty. We look for people with skills across the board and we're a small camp, so we want someone comfortable with our family-style dynamic."

In addition to hard skills such as a background in art our outdoor activities, Steve also looks for a sense of humor, experience traveling and being away from home, and a willingness to work hard.

This year's Camp Spring Creek counselors were recently featured in our Spring Newsletter. Before camp starts, they will travel from all over the globe to join us in Bakersville at the camp for a week of training. By the time our first campers arrive, the counselors have received certifications in lifeguarding, first-aid, and CPR. They've received training about social and creative concerns specific to children with dyslexia. And they've been given "the talk" from Susie about Orton-Gillingham and the educational aspects of our camp.

Stay tuned for words of advice from some of our returning counselors later this month!