FARMINGTON — Maine Summer Camps (MSC) recently held a job fair at the University of Maine Farmington to connect camp recruiters with potential employees.

MSC is a membership association for Maine youth camps. The non-profit organization has 130 members offering days or overnight camps of various types.

The job fair was a joint project between that organization and the UMF Career Services Department & Internship Program. A similar job fair was also held at the University of Southern Maine.

Maine Summer Camps in collaboration with the University of Maine Farmington held a job fair on the Farmington campus recently. Seen are some of the recruiters from 30 youth camps speaking with UMF students about job opportunities and the benefits of working at a summer camp. (Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden)

Ron Hall, executive director of MSC, said to his knowledge this was the first job fair held specifically for Maine summer camps. In Farmington there was a steady flow of students coming through.

“This is a really unique collaboration between MSC and the university,” Hall said. “Camps are looking for young people, students, as counselors. They also need adults as cooks, nurses, directors. We have camp directors here from as far away as Florida that came up just for this.”

Andy Sangster, director of Camp Wawenock on Sebago Lake said, “As a Maine camp with a long history of developing staff and approaching camper development from an educational perspective, having access to a very strong education school as well as a broad range of other majors is important.

“There is a strong 4-H tradition and a lot of Maine kids have grown up in the outdoors. They’re comfortable in a more rustic camp environment. They can help us with teaching. Our focus can be on staff development rather than entertainment so it’s a natural fit for them.

Maine Summer Camps in collaboration with the University of Maine Farmington held a job fair on the Farmington campus recently. Seen at left is Andy Lilienthal, director of Camp Winnebego in Fayette, speaking with UMF student Chris Ouellette of Otisfield about the skills gained by working at a summer camp. (Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden)

“The leadership and independence they are asked to develop prepares them for life experiences. They gain a lot.”

An information sheet provided by Camp Wawenock lists communication, conflict resolution, collaboration, decision making, problem solving, leadership and management skills as transferable skills that can be built while working at a summer camp. Working at a camp also provides opportunities to learn more about yourself and training for future endeavors. A variety of perks often comes with the job.

Elizabeth Standen and her husband, Mark Standen, are the owners of Camp Kawanhee in Weld.

“Working at a summer camp is the most important job you’ll ever have,” she told one student.

Some 190 boys, between the ages of seven and 17, attend the camp each summer. Boys from all over the United States and abroad spend part of their summer at the camp located on Webb Lake.

Maine Summer Camps in collaboration with the University of Maine Farmington held a job fair on the Farmington campus recently. Camp Alsing director Emily Chaleff is seen speaking with Camp Wawenock director Andy Sangster during the fair. (Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden)

“This is the camp’s 99th summer. We’re looking forward to a big centennial celebration next year,” Standen said.

Visit the Maine Summer Camps website, https://mainecamps.org, for information about camps in Maine or employment opportunities.

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