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Top Three Camp Skills For The Job Market

I learned so much at camp, but right now, a year out of college, I am faced with the question of how to go from orienteering in woodsmanship to navigating the job market. As it turns out, transferring camp skills to marketable skills is easier than it seems. These are just three of the invaluable benefits and skills that campers or staffers get to take with them into the job market.

1. Networking

Camp is where I met my best friends forever and I can say with absolute certainty that writing our names on our cabin walls (like we definitely weren’t supposed to) meant a lot more than posting on their LinkedIn page. Because I went to camp, I have contact with a community of enthusiastic and caring people across the country working in all sorts of fields. Chances are, if there is a job that you want to know more about, somewhere in the vast camp network, there is a trustworthy friend already taking on the industry with the same sort of fervor with which they took on the Tug of War on summer Fridays. I have gotten help and support from camp people who I have never even met. It doesn’t matter, because at one point or another, we all held our breath walking down the camp road and were a part of a place where helping people is just what you do.

2. Confidence and Determination

Camp is where I started getting up on stage, playing wacky games and making new friends away from home. Sometimes I shined! Sometimes I excelled! And sometimes I didn’t. But at camp, I realized that it didn’t matter if I did something outlandish or embarrassing because I always wound up ok in the end. I found that there are a lot of ways to feel like you’re failing when you are looking for a job. There is a lot of work and even more rejection. It makes filling out another application feel like a pretty scary task. Fortunately at camp, I tried enough new things to get good at dusting off my knees and trying again. I learned how to take something away from my successes and my mistakes, which makes a long shot feel a lot closer and makes a hard hit feel a lot softer.

3. Hard work and Volunteerism

Being at camp means being a part of a community and it also means hard work. When we went to our overnight, I carried heavy crates of food. When I was walking around camp, I wouldn’t even think of walking past a piece of trash without picking it up. As I started to more involved in the Lodges of Ondessonk and Tekawitha, I started going to service weekends where I built retaining walls, blazed trails and wrangled an entire autumns’ worth of leaves into one monstrous super leaf-pile. And no one was making me do it. I wanted to work hard. I wanted to help. I learned how work in a team to do big projects and I also learned to sing and laugh and play while I was doing it. I wait for the moment in an interview when the employer asks me about working in a team or serving my community. A resume can’t hold the hours of enjoyment that I’ve gotten out of doing crazy work that I never would have been able to do if I hadn’t gone to camp, all because I was in a place with a culture of dedication to excellence.

Trying to find a job can be hard and scary, but these are just three of the gifts I got at camp that empower me to try hard, to think strategically and garner the courage to be successful in the professional world. If someone had told me when I was stomping through Shawnee creek on my way to a waterfall or a split rock that I was learning essential on-the-job skills, I probably would have laughed and smeared them with rock paint, but now I know that at camp you learn things that you can take with you everywhere for the rest of your life.

 

Top Three Camp Skills For The Job Market   By Patrick Moseley –  Former Camp Ondessonk Staff Member and Camper.

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