Welcome to 2019! Summer Camp will be here before you know it. In the camp world, it is never too early to start planning. I am going to give you a couple of tips that have helped our programs, and hopefully help you in your plan to have the best Summer ever.
Recruiting: If you are doing residential camp, you may have already started the recruiting/hiring process. If you are doing day camp, I recommend starting today! Have the job posted now, so when you start recruiting, people can apply immediately. I have learned that it is never too early. When I was 16, I didn’t know how to do a job search. I just talked to other people, and asked them where they were working. I was not actively looking online or at job posters. Same is true for 2019. You need to go meet the staff where they are. Get out of your office and into the community. The job posting is not the finish line. I repeat, the job posting online is not the finish line. We have had great success in getting to the schools, churches, clubs, and working with our current and former staff. Work with the schools to get on campus so you can speak with them. The more high school and college aged staff hear about the job, the more success you will have with applicants. These future staff need to be educated first. What is the job, how is it fun, and explain to them why this looks good on a college application or on a resume. In the age of texting and social media, old school face to face conversations are the way to go.
Social Media: I still think it is important to use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Twitter has tons of school accounts, club accounts, and ways to reach them once that user retweets or likes the post you have. Utilize your networks on Facebook. You may be older like myself, but there are Moms/Dads on there that can share your post with their kids, or with their friends that have kids. Most high school and college students are not using Facebook that often, but it is still another source to spread the word. It is a great tool to announce that you are coming to their school as well. Instagram is great to use, as your network will share your job post and create buzz there. This age group loves videos too. If you create a small video clip of your staff, and the job experience, this will create some excitement as well. We did this before, and had great success.
Group Interviews: Group interviews are key when trying to select the best staff from a large group of applicants. We usually post a job for 2 months, giving the applicant ample time to make a decision to apply or not. The group interview can be held in multiple sessions depending on the size of your applicant base. You can then narrow down and have the staff you are interested in learning more about move to the final interview held at another date/time. This will give you time to be more intentional. I have heard sometimes that group interviews can be overwhelming and intimidating, but my opinion has always been that camp is like this on day 1 and throughout the Summer. We need the best staff, and this is a tough job. Find ways for the applicants that don’t pass the group interview process to re-apply for other positions. Summer Camp isn’t meant for everyone! It takes time to build the skills. We are all different, you can compare yourself to other people. This becomes even more true as the applicant gets older and applies for full time positions. Also the last tip, avoid SAT testing dates and Spring Break. You will have low turnout to your group interview sessions. Give the applicants options during the week and weekend. Many of the applicants are involved with sports, clubs, etc…
Staff Training: Go ahead and plan the dates for this. Staff will be excited once you offer the job, and you will need your plan ready. If staff training isn’t fun or planned out, you will start the Summer off on the wrong foot. It is all about the excitement and creating the buzz for your team. More details for staff training in future posts. This is one of my favorite things to do!
I have given you a few tips. Go get your staff, the time is now. It is officially 2019!