Every summer thousands of children who are out of school attend summer day camps. Hosted by many child-focused organizations like YMCAs or Boys and Girls Clubs, these camps provide a fun and safe summer experience for the children they serve. These organizations face the monumental task of hiring and training many seasonal staff members to provide this experience. In recent years, finding qualified staff members has become even more challenging. Employers everywhere are feeling the pain of trying to find qualified employees. As a result, summer camps may end up with staff members with less experience than they would normally choose. In this case, training will be even more important to get these staff members up to speed.
Hiring quality staff members
The American Camp Association (ACA) has a blog post titled, “Lawfully Recruiting and Hiring the Best Candidates” that contains ten helpful tips for camps looking to find the best employees. Their tips include utilizing job descriptions, which can be important for attracting candidates to your jobs by being specific about what will be required of them. The blog also includes ideas for using social media to recruit candidates and tips for developing good interview questions. By taking the time up front to find the best possible candidates, camps will save themselves the headache of hiring the wrong person.
Training new staff members
Once camps have done the work to find their summer staff members, the next step is providing proper training. This is such an important step and one that camp directors must take seriously. Staff members must be trained in all aspects of their summer job, including camp routines, supervision requirements, playground and field trip safety, emergency procedures, and more. If a camp has hired a lot of new staff members with limited experience, if possible, it’s best to pair new staff with a more experienced staff member for the first week or two of camp. This will allow new staff to learn while on the job. It’s also important for camp directors and supervisors to be available to help newer staff whenever they have a question or need assistance. By finding and training the right staff members, camps will set themselves up for a safe and fun summer.