Camp closed last month, and everything here reminds me of you. The stools in my office bring me back to mid-day chats with Line Heads and Activity Heads, and I’m still surprised every time I drive in or out of Camp that the steps in front of Wit’s End are not sprinkled with Anna, Margo, and their blue-shirted JCs.
You are the pulse, the heartbeat that pumps this place into action in May and keeps it strong through the summer. You care for the campers and for each other with such attention and passion, and you do your best despite conflict, sun burn, and sleep deprivation. Let’s be honest, the work that you do is hard even on a good day, but you make it look easy.
In thinking about each of you during the past few weeks, it occurred to me that now is the time to update your resume while your summer job is fresh in your mind. You and I both know the importance of camp, but how are you going to communicate that to a future employer? Ultimately, you spent your summer caring for other people’s children, and there is no greater responsibility than that, but not everyone understands your work.
It almost goes without saying that language is important. You know this from every interaction you have with campers and fellow staff members in the summer. Think back to that moment when you coached your cabin on how to respect each other’s space or when you expressed your pride when a camper conquered her fear while learning a new skill. Language has power, and what you did this summer deserves to be explained with as much clarity and gusto as possible.
So, while updating your resume, consider the hard skills and the soft skills associated with your job. Future employers don’t necessarily want to know how you taught kids to swim, but they do want to know that you are adaptable, a multi-tasker, dedicated to your work, a good team player, and adept at handling challenges. Show, with precise language and grammar, all of these soft skills that will help you succeed in whatever job you pursue.
Sure, I could go on about adding your camp job to your resume, but I believe Dr. Chris Thurber says it best in his article, “Writing Camp Jobs on a Resume: Tips and Templates to Help Staff Shine on Paper.” Read the article, play with your format and wording, and let me know if you need another set of eyes to look over your work. Your resume is the start of your future work relationships, and despite the fact that I wish you could all work at camp forever, I hope each and every one of you will go out into the big, wide world and land your dream job. Have a great school year and happy writing!