For years, outdoor enthusiasts around the world have been leading groups on adventures to show them fun experiences. Some of these enthusiasts have worked at summer camps, leading and inspiring young people to pursue outdoor goals. Many folks in the outdoor community directly attribute their passions to their experiences at summer camps and the role models who showed them the way, but what about the other side of the coin? Being an outdoor leader at a summer camp is one of the most rewarding and unique experiences in our job world—here are a few reasons why.
Plain and simple. The reason we immerse ourselves in the great outdoors is to have fun and share our experiences with others. Oftentimes, the things that don’t go as planned make for the better stories. Having fun in the outdoors keeps you coming back for more, and it encourages curiosity of and seeking out the next big adventure.
After a certain amount of time, a lot of outdoor educators and enthusiasts reach a point where they are ready to pass on the skills they have learned. Passing on these certain skill sets at a summer camp is one of the best ways to sharpen your leadership skills. Kids are highly curious about their world, especially about activities they perceive as fun (and there’s no shortage of fun activities at summer camp!). Trip leaders will learn a lot about themselves and their teaching habits because they receive honest, direct feedback from the campers they are educating.
Being a trip leader qualifies you as a specialized worker, meaning a lot of your time at camp will be spent teaching a specific activity. As with anything, the amount of time you spend running your activity will simultaneously progress your skill set. At the end of the camp season, you’ll leave with much-improved hard and soft skills.
Spend Your Summer Outdoors
Working outside will immediately change your appreciation for nature. As you lead your activity, you’ll be immersed in the great outdoors and become exposed to spontaneous weather, local wildlife, and breathtaking scenery. Teachable moments in the woods are some of the most formative experiences someone can have because it exposes nature in its unhampered ways, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
There are few things more rewarding than watching a camper or staff member develop a set of skills that will last a lifetime. In past five years I’ve been teaching campers and staff about the outdoors, I’ve been able to look back and see the progress they’ve made. Being able to cultivate a passion for the outdoors gives you a sense of pride and makes you feel like you’ve given back to the close-knit outdoor community that has given to you.
Ready to become a trip leader? Learn more here!