If you're the operator of a Christian summer camp, the beginning of fall marks the end of your busy season for the year. You can take a second and pause to reflect upon the previous summer months and assess all of the things you and your crew did correctly and some things you see need improvement for next year. This time of year is extremely valuable for you and your employees to regroup and take a breath or for preparations for next summer to begin.
And while this time is a brief season of rest for you, if you're like me, in the back of your mind, you're already planning your next recruiting adventure to find the best counselors for next year's crew. If you've been doing this for a while, you've seen it all when it comes to counselors, the class clowns, the responsible older sibling types, the ones who may be a little too reckless, the kind hearts, and those who you probably shouldn't have hired in the first place. It's that last group you know you must do your best to avoid in the coming summer. But how? Here are some definite qualities to be looking for in your next group of summer camp counselors to ensure you'll avoid the wrong hires.
First, some of the best camp counselors come straight out of college. The reason is because they're young enough and energetic enough to keep up with kids of all ages. However, they have still had some life experience and have developed a certain maturity to handle the responsibilities of being a Christian camp counselor. So, a great place to recruit would-be Christian college campuses nationwide, especially local colleges.
While you're at these colleges, it's best to set up a booth to make it easier for you to have one-on-one conversations with the kids who express interest in working for you during the summers. It would be good to have a list of questions to ask to ensure they align with your camp's values. Most importantly, they have faith in Christ, a good grasp of scripture, and enjoy interacting and being around children of all ages. These three things are crucial when it comes to finding a quality counselor.
Another thing to look for in a counselor is their ability to listen and follow instructions. As you are speaking with them, do they seem engaged in the conversation? Are they making eye contact while you talk, looking elsewhere, or down at their phone? These are important indicators of how a counselor interacts with you and the campers.
Good references are also a key to finding a solid counselor. Don’t rely on friends and family, but make a mandatory request for a reference from a previous employer or professor. These individuals will give you the most unbiased and honest review of the potential hire.
While there is seemingly an endless list of qualities you could make to ensure you are hiring the best counselors for your Christian summer camp, these things listed are a good place to start. Of course, no matter how hard you try to keep away the bad apples, they always seem to appear, but you can take steps to eliminate as many as you can to have the best experience possible. Good luck!