In our hiring of over 150 camp staff each summer to support our 3:1 camper to staff ratio, we are acutely focused on finding the best possible staff to meet the needs of our organization by keeping the needs of our campers priority #1. A genuine interest in working with children is the most important aspect of the hiring process. That interest cannot be faked, it has to come through as sincere and integral to the applicant and who they are.
When hiring, we aren’t hiring babysitters or passive guardians. We are hiring role models that our campers will look back on as shaping their path of growth and development. Does the applicant have integrity, what is their life experience, are they independent, can they problem solve and communicate well? If the applicant doesn’t smile or come across as warm or engaging, our campers won’t relate to them or feel attached to them. And if I find them boring when interviewing, our campers will surely be bored.
We look for a variety of skills when hiring our camp staff. While some applicants apply for a specific specialty and therefore need a specific set of skills, the right applicant can be hired with the proper enthusiasm, eagerness to learn, and genuine warmth. There are a number of camp positions where the cultural fit of being an asset to the Pali community makes hiring an easy decision.
While not essential, an applicant with prior child care, teaching or summer camp experience is viewed favorably. Working with children prior to taking a role at Pali Adventures is a plus.
Most importantly, we look for candidates that will adhere to our policies and procedures, making camp a safe experience for all of our campers. While this sounds serious (and safety is of the utmost importance at camp), our procedures also include fun. Staff who are able to not take themselves too seriously and go outside of their comfort zone by acting silly and being foolish are the key to making camp the magical place it is for our campers. Camp staff set the tone for camp and lead by example to make camp the accepting, non-judgmental, safe, and fun environment it is intended to be for the best summer ever.