What I Gained by Working at Camp

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A few weeks ago we talked about how being a camper prepares you for college, and today we’re jumping a few years ahead to how working on staff prepares you for any job. After all, you have so many options for how to spend your college summers, and the pressure to get an internship or jump into the “real world” is huge. How can you justfying playing at camp for the summer in light of all of that?

Because it’s so much more than playing! The skills you learn at camp - things like leadership, adapability, creativity, and working on a team - are life skills that will benefit you in any career to come. It’s just icing on the cake that it also happens to be the best job ever!

Don’t just take it from us though. We asked a handful of rockstar previous counselors how working at camp prepared them for their future jobs. Scroll on to hear what they gained from their time in Tuxedo and why signing that camp contract may just be the best decision you make!

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I’m a great team member:

In our increasingly digital world, employees who can communicate well and work with people stand out!

Former counselor Macie says it so well: “Because I worked at camp, I learned how to walk into a room with confidence. Camp taught me how to relate to others, no matter where they’re from, how old they are, or what their like. Our similarities really are so much more important than our differences, and Greystone instilled that in me!”

Milly pointed out that it’s the relational skills that have taken her the farthest. If I had to choose the most valuable thing, it would probably be learning how to connect with, befriend, and relate to a variety of people that, before working at camp, I might not have talked to. Camp gives you the opportunity to see and understand people for who they truly are without the distractions of normal life.”

Lucy Banks noted, “In addition to forming connections with so many people in the real world because of the time I spent at camp, I truly think camp prepared me for the real world by teaching me to work alongside so many different people and have a positive attitude while doing so! Whether I was teaching Tennis, working Candy Shoppe, or planning a Group Night, I was constantly learning how to effectively communicate with other counselors. I continue to learn how important it is to be able to communicate in the workplace.”

Caroline said it so well: Greystone provides you the confidence and the courage to try new things and conquer your goals while being the BEST version of yourself. I tell my husband all the time that I strive for the sublime happiness that I experienced while at Greystone. I was my best self spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.”

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I’m the hardest worker in the room:

As fun as this job is, it also asks a lot of you! Camp allows you to grow your work ethic and teaches you how to push yourself and do your job well even when you’re tired.

Macie points out that at camp, I learned how to do any job or task with excellence. Every single thing you do at Greystone makes a difference, from sweeping in the dining hall after meals to tucking your campers in at night. Understanding the value of everyday, seemingly mundane tasks at Camp set me up to greater value what I’m asked to do in the working world. No job is too small or task too mundane when you realize that when you do it with excellence, Jesus is being glorified. And Greystone taught me that!

Jessica noted that camp taught her to be willing to do anything! In my jobs after camp, I stepped in to do things that “weren’t my job” because I was part of the team and it just needed to be done. Camp taught me to love serving others behind the scenes.”

Lucy Banks said, “My time on staff at Greystone also taught me the importance of working with a smile and positive attitude. While working at camp was the most fun and rewarding job I have ever had, it was also the most tiring. Learning how to maintain a positive attitude while being tired was one of the best things camp did to prepare me for the real world. While building a legal career can be tiring and stressful, Greystone prepared me for it by teaching me how to always wear a smile.”

Caroline wrapped it up: “Truly, one of the biggest takeaways that I experienced while at Greystone was the sense of selflessness. I learned what it means to put others first in everything you do and show empathy for others. This grace has gotten me to the job that I am today and I couldn’t’ be happier.”

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I grew as a person:

Our campers grow in the 4-Fold Way while they’re here, and so do our staff! We constantly pour into you while you are here and support you however we can so that you can focus on the job at hand, and grow through it.

Former counselor and Group Leader Katherine said that Working at camp teaches you to be creative and flexible. Internships just don’t throw you into situations like those you come upon at camp. How can you entertain 500 girls in the midst of a monsoon with limited preparation? Camp also gives you the freedom to try things out, and you get immediate feedback. Campers are the BEST at letting you know if they like/don’t like how things are going, and then you adapt!

Working at camp gives you a chance to learn and practice leadership. I mean what other summer activity lets you “manage 15 girls for 4-6 weeks” and teach “200 campers xyz activity”?? That‘a management and leadership and ability to enact change.”

Lucy Banks also pointed out that, Working on Greystone’s staff also teaches you to be a problem solver, which is truly one of the best skills you can take into the real world. Helping to solve something as simple as the long dish window lines or lights and music at evening program taught me to be resourceful.”

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Still on the fence? Here’s their advice:

“The Summer after my junior year, going into my senior year, I felt so much pressure to go “get a real job” for the summer, or search for an internship. But in all honesty, the lessons I learned at camp that summer and the countless hours I spent growing my character, independence and confidence were experiences I couldn’t have had in a traditional work environment. Anyone who is at all, remotely, relatively, slightly considering working at camp: DO IT. You’ll laugh. You’ll learn. You’ll be stretched. You’ll become stronger, wiser and more capable. You don’t want to miss this!!” - Macie

“In college, it’s easy to only think of yourself — when YOU want to eat, when YOU want to attend class, which clubs YOU want to attend, how late YOU want to stay up etc. Camp though forces you to think about literally every other person first. It’s a serving role and a chance to give up yourself and your preferences to make camp and the lives around you better and more fulfilled. - Katherine

The perspective you gain about life and what’s important (your relationship with the Lord and others) is invaluable. I would not give up my summers as a counselor at Greystone for ANYTHING, and I would work there every summer if I could.” - Milly

To work at Greystone is to experience and feel the love and warmth of God in ALL that you do. No matter if you are helping set up for lunch in the Dining Hall or hiking a sick camper into the Health Hut in the middle of the night or teaching classes for something that you’ve never done before (looking at you self-defense…), but you do it ALL because the spirit of Greystone moves you. The values and lessons that I took away from Greystone are still embedded in everything I do today as a working professional and even as a mother and wife!” - Caroline

“It’s the best job you’ll ever have and will bring you more abundant joy than you knew was possible. Don’t hesitate. Don’t second guess. Take the job. You won’t regret it! - Hilary

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