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Many college students seek out internships and employment over the summer to grow professionally and personally. Students who choose to work as summer camp counselors are gaining transferable skills and are in environments where they can develop (Tessman et al., 2012). There are nearly 14,000 camps across the United States and majority of the camp counselors working at these camps are college students (Schelbe et. al 2018). With this seasonal work being such a demand and a common summer job for college students, it is important to consider the role that a supervisor plays in the development of their counselors. The purpose of this study is to identify what experiences are being provided by summer camps to aid student development and how supervisors are incorporating professional development throughout the summer. Data for this qualitative study emerges from 10 camp supervisors across the United States and Canada. The data collected has shown college students who spend their summers working at camps have a deep understanding of who they are, what strengths they have and how to apply skills learned to other jobs and environments. Supervisors concluded that summer camp jobs offer students an opportunity to grow in leadership, communication, decision making and critical thinking. The findings of this study not only can inform camp supervisors of the professional development opportunities provided to college students at varying camps, but also can inform higher education professionals of a field that provides students with a meaningful and impactful summer experience.
Graham F. Hunter
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences
"Professional Development in Summer Camp Employment" (2022). Stander Symposium Projects. 2689.