North Star Camp for Boys

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The New York Times on the Value of Working at Summer Camp

"As first jobs go, camp counselor is close to ideal," says an article from the March 8 issue of the New York Times:

When reviewing job applicants, Doug Herzog, the president of the MTV Networks Entertainment Group, said he would light up if one had experience as a camp counselor. “College is great; everyone who has the opportunity should go to college, but I learned everything I needed to know at camp.”

Working as a counselor at Camp Scatico in the Upper Hudson Valley, he said he realized early on that “you can force people to do things, or tell people to do things, but if you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to get them to do things and feel good about it.”

Seth Godin, an entrepreneur and author of the best-selling book “Linchpin,” considers his work as a counselor at Camp Arowhon in Ontario a major influence on his life and career. “People who have been transformed by summer camp never forget how it felt to have responsibility without a rule book,” he said. “They seek to achieve that again in their professional life — and for an underprivileged kid, it’s doubly important, because you’re not necessarily surrounded by role models who’ve had experience of leading with responsibility without being told precisely what to do. If a transformation’s going to happen, it’s going to happen in an environment like that.”