Spring Training – Hitting a Home Run in the Job Market

We’ve all read about the parenting style of the Millennium Generation. Following the Millenniums is Generation Z – our current teens are Gen Z children. These parents have parented in similar ways.  Here’s a hint to parents about how to help your children: let them figure out some stuff themselves.

Parents who try to help their teenagers by contacting businesses for jobs for their children should recognize that that child is the least likely person to make the team.

On the other hand, teens who contact businesses directly, act confident, carry their resume or email a resume ahead of time before they call, ready themselves with references, have the chance at hitting a home run.  Feel free to coach them but let them play the game themselves.


Here’s ways you can help coach your children for the job market and not have them sitting on the bench:

  1. Ask your child to make a list of businesses she/he is interested in working with to help build her/his skills
  2. Discuss together how she/he will safely get to and from work. If it’s a resident job, help them come up with a list of good questions to ask a prospective employer and resident director.
  3. Encourage your child to contact her/his references for the job application BEFORE they are contacted.
  4. Practice, role play if possible, interview scenarios (phone and in person)
  5. Ask your child what they think they should wear and how they should clean up to look presentable for the interview.
  6. Other hints: A strong handshake, eye to eye contact and a smile go a long way. A smile while talking on the phone improves their tone of voice.

As a business owner whose organization hires 55-60 people under the age of 25 every summer, having a parent contact us about a job for their children is a strike out.

And parents, when your child, as a young adult, goes to work a professional job at a camp, please know that if they are over 18, we won’t talk with you about their job, the interview, the details of the process, etc. Obviously we will contact you if there is any kind of emergency but otherwise, they are an adult working at their job. You can find out that Camp Runoia is an accredited camp by the ACA, Runoia has employed many teens, young adults and 20-somethings over the years. Runoia’s website has an FAQ page for staff and our policies and handbooks are on line. Read them to help ease your own anxiety and know that we will help guide and coach your child to be a great camp

Summer Camp Work is Wholesome and Skill Building!
Summer Camp Work is Wholesome and Skill Building!

counselor.  Working at sleepaway camp is a hard job and it’s a great, healthy outdoor living experience that will ready them for many things in life. Let them get up to

bat and hit the ball. If they strike out on their own, they might actually ask you for your help! If they hit the ball and make a home run on their own, they will be happier and more connected to the process.

Beware, if you, the parent, step into the batter’s box, the umpire may have to throw you out of the game!

A journey to camp

Is it a torch or a flashlight?

Perhaps the greatest adventure of my life was my first trip to the US.  I had just finished my second year of college and having spent the previous summer living back at home and working retail full time had I was in search of a different opportunity.  Luckily my college was  a big early proponent of ‘abroad’ experiences and the being a ‘camp counselor at American summer camp’ was a popular choice for sports science majors.

AJ 1995I have vivid memories of the planning, packing and journey.  Remember this was back in the dark ages before the internet so I had little clue what the place looked like and had honestly never heard of Maine!  My entire knowledge of American culture had been absorbed from the limited US TV shows on British television.  It was likely some combination of ‘Fame’ and ‘Starskey and Hutch’! This was also before the time of the super Walmart and I thought I needed to pack every item I could possibly need for the next 3 months in my human sized backpack it never dawned on me I could shop when I got there!

I was giddy with enthusiasm, met a random girl who was working at the same camp at the airport and headed out into the wide blue yonder.

What a trip it has been! While I have traveled to many countries and had many experiences that trip to the US was truly a life changer.

AJ office (2)Now over 20 years later summer camp has become my career, the journey has taken many twists and turns and I have met so many amazing and interesting people along the way.  I could never have imagined that I would have ended up living and raising my children in Maine.

Having the courage to take the first step of the journey can lead you to places you never imagined. Be daring and go for it.