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10 Ways Working at Jewish Summer Camp Will Transform Your Career

10 Ways Working at Jewish Summer Camp Will Transform Your Career

We know that today’s college students have lots of choices for summer jobs – but here are 10 reasons why working at a Jewish summer camp is the absolute best opportunity for someone who’s starting to think about a professional career.

1. You’ll gain valuable leadership and training skills.

Regardless of your college major, working at a summer camp puts you in a prime place to develop job-marketable skills. As a counselor, you’ll be overseeing large groups of children, and that work translates well into excellent management and personnel skills. You may also qualify for college credit, so check with your college adviser!

2. You can change campers’ lives.

Campers love coming to summer camp, which many consider a second home. Summer camps hire fun, energetic people who are motivated to give campers the best summer ever and to make them want to come back, year after year. There’s no question that campers look up to their counselors more than anyone else. You’re directly responsible for helping young people learn about themselves, challenge themselves, and explore their Jewish identities. During this formative time, you have the chance to become a camper’s hero.

3. There’s no better office space than the great outdoors.

Most summer camps give you access to the best of nature. Set among the trees with an expansive view of the sky, you can hike, swim, mountain bike, zip line through the forest, stargaze, kayak, and so much more. As far as work locations go, it doesn’t get much better than that!

4. You’ll have the opportunity to grow and improve.

Camp staff become a community within itself. You’ll end up inspiring and learning from one another, experiencing much of the same joy and wonder as the campers. Plus, you’ll make friends from people who live across North America and even abroad, as many Jewish camps hire summer staff from Israel.

5. Camp connects to something bigger than yourself.

Jewish camp works. Those who attend and work at camp are more likely to feel a strong connection to their Jewish community, which can mean lighting Shabbat candles, feeling a personal connection to Israel, and attending a synagogue. Camp gives you the skills to change the world.

6. You’ll save money.

Think of how much you’ll save when food and housing are provided for you!

7. You’ll be nurtured and cared for – just like our campers.

Camps take the health and wellbeing of their counselors and campers very seriously. For example, URJ Camp Newman applies the “C.A.R.E.” philosophy to everything they do: The philosophy is based upon the principles of community, acceptance, role-modeling, and that each and every individual is created b’tselem Elohim, in the image of God

8. Camp staff takes your goals and interests to heart.

Because there are so many roles to fill and because you come with so many additional strengths and skills, camp directors will strive to match your passions to your role at camp so that you get the most out of your experience.

9. Camp is for the career-driven.


10. BuzzFeed agrees with us.

If you need even more reasons to apply for a camp counselor position, BuzzFeed has 20 more reasons working at a summer camp will be your best job ever.

Convinced? URJ Camps’ 16 Jewish summer camps across North America are still seeking summer staff. Apply now!

Alaina Yoakum is the director of marketing & communications at URJ Camp Newman, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Santa Rosa, CA. The mom of two longtime Newman campers, Alaina taught sculpture and mosaics to teens at Camp Newman’s teen Hagigah program before accepting this position. She was formerly the festival and program manager for the Center for Jewish Peoplehood at the Osher Marin JCC. She has extensive experience in event production, marketing, and communications; she managed the social media campaign for Goodwill’s boutique store launch, planned events for Genentech and Hilton Hotels, and served as Marketing Director for Bay Area and New York firms. Alaina received her B.A. in English from San Francisco State and her master’s in journalism and communications from the University of Oregon.


Alaina Yoakum

Published: 3/03/2016

Categories: Jewish Life, Jewish Camping
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