I always look forward to the end of January and then February because it means travel for staff recruitment as well as the American Camp Association National Conference. You can check out the different stops that Andy and I will make over the next several weeks. On this current road trip Andy will join me in St. Louis on Friday, but I am flying solo to our college staffing fairs. Stop #1 was Athens, Ohio and Ohio University.
This is my first visit to Athens and Ohio U. Many of my campus visits are staff fairs or info tables, but the folks in the Outdoor Recreation and Education Department gave me a special opportunity. One of the instructors in the department invited me to speak to a few of her classes as well as a few other classes in the department. I was excited about gaining the additional exposure and the opportunity to sell a captive audience on the values of working at camp. When I was sent the schedule of classes, I was told that not only could I make an announcement, but for two of the classes, I was being asked to speak for the entire class period.
I pondered the idea of wearing a tweed sport coat and doing my best professor impression. That aside, It was really neat to be able to speak first to a senior seminar and then to a primarily freshman/sophomore intro course, telling them about the summer camp industry. Only one person during my four presentations fell asleep, so I felt that it was a success.
Over the course of the remainder of the day I had an info table set up in the Baker Union. Campus visits are always a bit of a roll of the dice and sometimes several people stop by, other times you sit there and figure out creative ways to pass the time, because no one is biting. Thankfully today was one of those days where we have some serious candidates as well as others who wanted to learn more about jobs at camp.
One of the things that Andy and I truly believe is that while some folks are going to do a great job at a camp, it may not be at North Star. It may be that the job seeker wants something closer to their home. We also talk to lots of female students who want to be cabin counselors. We are happy to do all that we can to help them find their fit. Selling the value of working at a camp was a great honor, and hopefully we'll have a few OU Bobcats working at North Star this summer.
My time in Ohio continues through Wednesday before heading to Western Illinois and then Mizzou at the end of the week. Keep an eye out for more reports from the road!