How to prepare for working at Camp

If you’re working at a camp for the first time this summer, or going back to work at camp and you want to make sure you’re prepared, then read through the list we’ve compiled of things that can help prepare you for working at camp. The camp you are working at may even have their own list of things for you to check out or do before you start, so be sure to check in with your camp director or hiring manager of your camp to make sure when camp starts you’re more than ready to have a safe, fun, and productive summer.


-Take a first aid course. A first aid course is always a good idea to have at the ready, but for some camps it’s a requirement. Make sure to check in with your camp to see whether or not a valid first aid certification course is necessary for your employment. If it isn’t you may want to consider it just for your own benefit, some companies even offer a specialized wilderness first aid course if you’re planning on attending a camp that centers around a lot of time spent in the outdoors.


-Get your police check. Some camps have this as a requirement to work with children- especially if you are over the age of 18. Check in with your camp director to see when or if they expect you to complete a police check. You should give yourself a good month before camp starts to get this done, as the waiting times for recieving your police check can sometimes be a few weeks.


-Learn how to deal with Homesickness. If you are planning on working at an overnight camp this summer it might be a good idea to read up on how to deal with children when they become homesick. It is a fairly common occurrence and it can be handled quite simply if you’re prepared and know how to provide the proper support. There are books and articles online you can read, and we’ve even got one on Canadian Adventure to help you out.


-Learn some basic wilderness skills. If the camp you are going to work at is based in an outdoor environment then they may offer some wilderness training to their campers. As a councilor it will be your job to make sure that everyone is safe and having fun while learning these new activities so it may be a good idea to read up on or practice some wilderness skills such as: fire safety, cooking outdoors, plant identification, orienteering, wilderness survival, and more.


-Have a proper packing list. You don’t want to be caught a week before camp starts not knowing what to bring with you. What you pack will depend on the type of camping you’re doing and it may be a good idea to check in with your camp if you have any packing questions. It’s always a good idea to jot down the things you want to bring so you aren’t forgetting anything when you start packing. If you’re stuck on what to bring with you we have a basic packing list on Canadian Adventure t help get you started.


-Do some activity Planning. As a councilor, you’re going to be responsible for keeping groups of kids entertained all summer. It’s always a good idea to have a few group activities and games in your back pocket so that you aren’t stuck wondering what to do once you start working at camp. You can go online and find some great resources for camp activities if you ever get stuck for ideas!


-Brush up on your area of expertise. If you are working at an educational camp or even if you have a program specialty that you are going to be working in this summer, then it’s a great idea to be ready to teach what you know. Brush up on any new facts or regulations surrounding your specialization, and make sure your prepared to teach it in different ways depending on your campers’ learning styles. Be ready and able to answer questions as they are asked of you.


There are, of course, many ways to prepare for working at camp this summer, here we’ve just listed a few to get you started. If you have any amazing tips for prepping for summer camp feel free to send them our way so we can add them to our list and help out your fellow new councilors in making this camping season the best camp experience possible for everyone involved!

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Manitoba Pioneer Camp

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