Feeling pressure to pick the right camp counselors? Good – you probably should.
It’s extremely important that the children/teens at your camp are around trustworthy counselors whom they respect. It’s also essential that parents feel safe leaving their kids with the counselors you choose.
So, how do you narrow it down and find the counselors of your dreams? Start by checking off all the qualities below.
Your counselors must have…
Working with kids can be exhausting. The right counselor candidate will love kids and have the patience to prove it.
To determine if your candidate has the required patience, ask them questions like:
- Tell me about a time someone really tested your patience. How did you respond?
- How would you handle it if a camper was not being uncooperative?
- People say patience is a virtue. What does that statement mean to you?
A camp counselor must be respectful not only to you and other staff members but also to the campers they work with. It’s easier for kids to show respect if they’re respected first, and a good counselor will know this.
Ask these questions to learn about a counselor candidate’s views on respect:
- How do you show respect to people younger than you? Give an example.
- What would you do if a camper was being disrespectful toward you or another counselor?
- How will you earn the respect of campers? Of fellow counselors?
Being a camp counselor requires leading small groups and knowing how to take charge. Determine a potential counselor’s leadership skills with these questions:
- Tell me about your favorite leader. What did they do to show their leadership?
- When you’re in charge of a group, how do you handle internal conflict?
- If a camper or another counselor did something wrong, how would you give them feedback?
Positive counselors will create a positive atmosphere for campers. This atmosphere will be happier, more collaborative, and easier to manage.
Ask candidates these questions to gauge their level of positivity:
- Tell me about a time you turned something negative into something positive. How did you start thinking about it differently?
- Pretend there’s a day at camp where everything seems to be going wrong. How do you make the campers feel better about it?
- Do you see yourself as optimistic? Why or why not?
No matter how much you plan, something surprising will always happen at camp. Counselors should be flexible and able to adapt to whatever circumstances (or campers) throw at them.
Use these interview questions to determine adaptability in a potential counselor:
- Give me an example of a time when something unexpected came up at school or work. How did you adapt?
- How do you feel about learning new things?
- If a camper was having trouble adapting to a big change, how would you help them?
#6: High energy
Camp can involve long days and not much social downtime. Your counselors will need to have the energy to keep up with the campers and all the activities you have planned.
Here are some questions you can ask about energy levels:
- How do you balance your work and/or school life with extracurricular and social activities?
- What do you do when you feel like you’re running out of energy?
- Describe your ideal daily routine. How would you fit in everything you want to do?
Last but not least, all of your counselors should be open-minded. Your campers will come from various backgrounds and have widely varying personalities, as will the other counselors. Getting along with and accepting others is a must.
To gauge open-mindedness, include these questions in your interview:
- Give me an example of a time when you changed your mind. What made you think differently? How did you react?
- Why is it important to you to work with people that have backgrounds different from your own?
- If a camper was going through something that you didn’t personally understand, how would you react?