By David Johnson
Sep 16, 2014

Summer Camp Staff—is it Right for Your Teen?

staffYou may have asked yourself at some point “why should I let my teenage son or daughter work as a Council Summer Camp Staff Member?”  I know I’ve had to answer that question hundreds of times to parents. While I always thought I gave a sound answer, it never came out as quite as eloquently and effectively as this answer I received from a former camp staffer who is currently serving an LDS Mission.  He recently wrote:

“Thank you for your trust in me.  You could never know how much my experience working with and under your direction has prepared me for this mission.  I’ve had more people than I can count over the past few years ask me why I continued working at camp, especially as I had plans to serve a mission, and staffing at camp really doesn’t pay well.  Over the past 5 years my response has always been: Maple Dell is my home.  It is where I learn, grow, and mature.  There I am blessed with a chance to change lives, be nearer to God, and discover life-long friends.  There I learn how to teach, interact, and lead.  On top of that, I’ve learned how to keep a strict schedule, organize, and work hard.  Maple Dell is, for me, the greatest mission prep that there is.  Thank you for all you’ve taught me.” Sincerely, Elder _________”
Staff members help a Scout with Pioneering Merit Badge

Staff members help a Scout with Pioneering Merit Badge

Staff Flag Ceremony

Staff rise early every day for flag ceremony

It is certain that this young man could have made more money working at McDonald’s for the amount of hours he worked at camp each week.  The question becomes, is the growth experience and preparation for, not only a mission, but also for adult life, worth the lower pay and large time commitment?  Is being isolated away from the world, living by high ideals, working hard as a valued team member, teaching skills to others, and being a role model to boys and their leaders valuable?  According to this former camp staffer, and many others, it is.

Go to jobs site to apply to work at any of our Council’s Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and High Adventure Camps for summer 2015.  We have 12 camps located all around Utah that are hiring this winter for next summer.

Dave Johnson


Author: Dave Johnson | Camping Director, Utah National Parks Council

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