When choosing the best summer camp job, think about the closest match between your skills and the particular program. While details such as the camp's location, overall programs and number of campers are important, your experience is mainly going to revolve around completing expected job duties within a certain department or area of the camp. For instance, if your interest and skills in helping kids at camp are related to a summer music job, you should investigate the different music-related programs at different camps before choosing the best possibilities.
When you have a list of camps narrowed down to about five or six that best suit your interests and skills, speaking with the program supervisor before applying for a summer camp job can be a good idea. You'll be able to ask questions to discover more about whether a particular camp job is right for you as well as show the supervisor or director your interest in the program. If you're unable to conduct this type of informational research before a formal interview, then asking good questions of the interviewer can allow you to become more informed about the seasonal job as well as make you stand out.
If, after researching summer camps, you find that a position you'd really like is a bit out of your experience range, you might want to consider interning or taking a related junior position at that particular camp. This could be worth your while if a summer intern job or junior position could lead to paid work or senior level employment in a few summers. If a paid summer camp job is your main goal rather than specific experience in a particular program, then comparing salaries at different camps and applying to the best paying ones may be a more relevant strategy for your needs.
If you're trying to gain experience, it's a good idea to apply for many different summer camp jobs. Experience may help you get the best summer camp job the following year if it's out of your range for the current season. For most seasonal job types, it's often best to apply as early as possible. Many summer camp job applications are accepted in the spring, but you'll have to check the dates within each organization. If the application has a space for the applicant to list his or her choices of job in order of preference, such as for a certain activity like art, music or kayaking, the earliest applicants are likely to receive their top picks.