By William Garrison
There’s one question that every parent asks when they pull up to Camp Skylark: “Where do all these awesome summer staff come from?” At Skylark, we believe that our staff are the backbone of our program. After all, they’re the heroes who make sure that each and every camper has an amazing summer filled with memories that will last a lifetime. That’s why we work so hard throughout the year to recruit and train the best staff out there for summer camp.
First, let’s talk about recruitment. We know that there are a lot of summer job options out there, so we want to make sure that we’re attracting the best of the best. That’s why we start recruiting staff months before the summer begins. Our team visits colleges, churches and events to meet potential staff face-to-face and connect personally with each individual we hire. We have fun and intentional interactions to see if they might be a great fit for camp! We’ve already made 1,000 connections with potential staff this year and we are still actively searching for the perfect candidates!
However, just because someone applies to work at Skylark doesn’t mean they’re automatically hired. We have a rigorous process for each candidate that includes interviews, reference checks and background checks. We work diligently to ensure our summer staff are experienced, responsible, reliable, and have a heart to serve campers and their families. These dedicated young adults are the primary reason that day camp is a place where every child can have a blast in a safe, engaging environment and can experience the love of Jesus through Skylark’s ministry.
We take training our staff very seriously. Even our all-star returning staff attend rigorous instruction and certification courses so we can be confident that each member is prepared to lead campers. Our training includes how to make activities fun (and safe!), how to be a hero to kids, and what it looks like to tell campers about Jesus. We also cover essential topics like child development, behavior management, and abuse prevention. Each team member is required to read the “Compass” during staff orientation. This manual of policies and procedures has been curated over many years of camp administration and is continually reviewed and improved by Ashley Sink, Skylark’s Chief People Officer (she’s incredible). We also utilize written tests during training to ensure 100% of our staff understand policies, procedures, guidelines and safety standards and they’re ready to facilitate an incredible camp experience.
But training isn’t just about lectures, training manuals and tests. We make sure that our staff receives hands-on experience before campers arrive. Skylark believes that the best way to create a fun, safe culture is to live it out and practice it even before camp starts. During our week of pre-summer training, we set up activities, act out the camper experience, practice safety measures and check our team’s work to ensure that camp is a place where parents can feel great about leaving their kids.
By the first day of camp, our summer staff are excited to make a difference in the lives of our campers and they’re ready to make sure that each and every child has the best summer of their life! But we don’t stop there. We also make sure that our staff is supported throughout the summer with regular performance evaluations, staff discipleship, and team time to develop staff culture, which builds lasting a community even beyond summer.
We can’t wait for your children to meet the heroes on Skylark’s staff this summer! If you (or a young adult you know) is looking for an exciting summer opportunity to work with kids and share the gospel, Skylark is the place to be! Apply today and join our team of passionate, dedicated, and fun-loving camp professionals.
We can’t wait to see you!