Camp Work: Can you be a professional camp counselor?


I’ve been posting about the benefits of camp counseling can have on someone being a professional counselor. So I decided to check it out and see what are the professions and job titles out there that would allow themselves to be considered a professional camp counselor.

The first place to look is the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics which tells us that the camp counseling job description falls under that of a recreation worker. The following link shows the exact nature of what a recreation worker is considered to be:

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/recreation-workers.htm#tab-1

The general idea however is that a recreation worker can help design and lead leisure activities for various types of organizations and under this umbrella falls being a camp counselor.

At the same time however there is professional development that can occur through the American Camp Association. For information about these professional development opportunities follow this link:

http://www.acacamps.org/professional-development-center

Where does this leave us? It leaves us with the understanding that according to the American Camp Association it is possible to be a camp or youth professional. Meanwhile the United States National Government puts camp counselors under the umbrella of recreation workers which if you check the New York State Office of Professions is not a licensed profession. What is the reason for this?

Camp counseling and recreation workers only need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree generally and the degree can be dependent on the organization putting out the job opportunity. As a result, camp counselors can eventually become camp professionals and work in camps on a year round basis but having an officially recognized title of being a professional camp counselor is not here yet.

It is for this reason that I highlight the skills and opportunities that camp work has given me and can give others that want to work in the mental health or other human service jobs and professions.

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