February is a great month for job searching, especially if you are interested in working with children and youth. Buried deep in the cold, winter winds and snow, are a bounty of upcoming job opportunities. Summer camps, workshops and recreational facilities are, right now, finalizing their planning calendars for the summer months. Public and private agencies are seeking summer staffing in anticipation of the thousands of youngsters who will need and want fun, new experiences and learning opportunities over the summer. Working parents are feverishly combing websites for locales for excitement and affordable summer supervision for their children. There is a great demand and literally hundreds of summer camps, activities and childcare programs are eagerly awaiting the last day of school to ramp-up their slate of summer activities to serve these families.
In Virginia, each County, the Parks and Recreation Division operates full and/or partial day summer camp for the 6 to 8 weeks of summer. Job seekers should search job titles, such as, Site Director, Camp Leader, Camp Counselor and others on government websites listing current openings. Check the local County job opportunities websites to view specific openings and to access the application process.
Similarly, there are privately operated camps. The YMCA is a perennial and well-known favorite. Local churches, Christian schools and private schools are also good resources from which to seek openings for these temporary, summer hire positions.
There are a few hurdles one must overcome in order to work with children. Generally, childcare organizations and after-school programs require a State Criminal Record Background check, as well as, TB and drug screenings to be qualified. It is a good idea to be proactive in obtaining these clearances, however, be aware, some organizations will still choose to obtain their own results. Most often, the employer pays the nominal fees.
Job seekers will find there are still the traditional outdoor, adventure camps; one who likes the outdoors and is skilled in fishing, boating, nature or swimming will do nicely here. Sports camps for every grade level, as well as, boys and girls separately are offered. The job seeker whose skill-set includes sports and recreation, this is a great outlet for your skills. The explosive introduction of martial arts after-school programs has created a generation of tiny, white-belted enthusiasts. The job search should include these schools and programs, as most will extend their operations throughout the summer to provide services for working parents.
If the high jinx of the high-kick does not suit your tastes and abilities, there are a plethora of special interests and skills training camps from which to choose. Here is a partial listing of the many areas in which your skills can be put to good use:
Recreation: There are numerous choices for sports and recreation camps, such as those listed below:
Acrobatics and gymnastics Tennis Swimming All sports, including: football, basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, volleyball and flag football Chess Legos Video-gaming
Creative Arts: there are a growing number of choices in this area, including digital arts expression
Art Dance Music Theatre Arts Writing Digital Photography and Videography Vocals
Academic: summer is a great time for children to catch-up some of their academic prowess besides summer school
Math Science Technology Reading Language Arts Writing
In addition to these specialty themes, don’t neglect to consider special needs programs.
Some helpful links:
Prince William County http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/park/Pages/default.aspx
For camp fairs in other locations: http://www.acacamps.org/camp-fairs