Hi everyone! Welcome to Week #4 of my new Gen Y Girl Career Series. Today, my friend Donna is sharing some of her work experience with us… and I’m pretty jealous! Her job sounds like so much fun! Let us know what you think 🙂
What did you want to be when you were growing up and why?
Growing up I really wanted to be an author. For years and years and years I had dreams of spending my days filling notebooks and word documents with stories. And then traveling to book signings and whatever else I thought authors did to get a paycheck. I wanted to be an author for the very simple reason that I loved to write and from a very early age I was determined to do something I loved.
What is your current job?
Today I work as an Assistant Camp Director at a summer camp for children, youth and adults with disabilities.
How did you land that position? (What made you want to pursue that?)
I grew up going to summer camp and I absolutely loved the time I spent at camp each summer. I always knew I wanted to be a camp counselor when I was in high school/university as a summer job. I grew up at a very small church camp and it wasn’t until I was in high school and started Googling and reading about summer camps that I learned there were bigger camps out there that operated for more than two months. I did a lot of research and learned that there was such a thing as a Bachelor of Recreation. I minored in Religious Studies because I was interested in working at a Christian camp.
In some ways I ‘fell into’ the Assistant Director at my current camp. I was looking for something different and the camp was just beginning a big transition after a few difficult years. I knew it was a great opportunity to have a big say in the programming and restructuring of camp.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
The first thing most camp directors will tell you is there’s no such thing as a typical day at camp, every single day is different, which is part of what makes it such a great job! For the sake of answering the question though, I’ll do my best to give you an idea of what a day looks like, I live on site during the summer so my daily schedule is a lot different from most would consider a typical work day!
10:30 p.m. – Most days the camp/work day ends here, although anything can happen and the day could last a long longer if there’s work that needs to be done!
What do you love most about it?
I love that I’m helping to provide a place where campers are exposed to an environment full of people who are there to support and encourage them. I love that I get to facilitate new experiences (often for both campers and counselors). I love that no day is ever the same and there are constant opportunities to learn and be creative.
What do you hate most about it?
The biggest downside to my current position is that because I work for a non-profit organization the budget is tight. I work on a contractual basis based on current budgets and grant money. I am guaranteed work beginning in mid May lasting until the end of August, but after that I could (and have) found myself essentially unemployed. Last year the organization received a grant that allowed me to work from February until October but then I was laid off until this coming May. It has nothing to do with shortage of work and everything to do with budget constraints. Even when I’m not officially employed by camp I still spend some of my spare time working on camp related things. I have been really fortunate to be able to work other contract jobs during the periods of time away from camp. This allows me to pay the bills but still keep working towards my goal of working at a camp full time.
What’s the coolest thing that ever happened to you at work?
I could go on for days sharing camp stories! It’s impossible to pick a true favorite.
What strengths do you think are necessary for someone to be successful at this job?
The best camp directors are people who enjoy problem solving and work well under pressure.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone who’s looking to pursue this as a career?
The camp community is very close knit. Start volunteering (or working) at camps in your area and making connections. So often I hear of job or volunteer opportunities through other camp folks that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about because they were not publicly advertised. When it comes to directing a camp knowledge is power become certified in anything that might give you a leg up. In addition to my degree in recreation I also have certifications in first aid, canoeing, healthy childhood development, food safety and program evaluation.
Connect with Donna on any of her social media accounts:
Blog: Grace & Galoshes (http://graceandgaloshes.
Thanks for checking out Week #4! If you’d like to participate, fill out the contact form HERE and let me know why you’d like to be a part of this adventure!
Other stuff you might like:
- Career Series No. 1 – Accountant
- Career Series No. 2 – Craft Beer
- Budgeting Tips For Your 20s
- How To Be Rich in Your Twenties
- The 5 Most Valuable Lessons Grad School Taught Me
- Pursue a Lifestyle, Not a Job
- Why It’s Okay to Be Excited About the Awesome Stuff You’re Doing
- Why We Need to Get Over Our Fear of Rejection
- Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now
Follow me on: