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Frank Kasunic explains how you can get work as a YMCA camp counselor.

First, please tell me what you do.

I’m the recruiter for the YMCA of San Diego County, which serves 390,000 members and participants and has 14 branches, two social service departments, and nearly 4,300 staff throughout San Diego County.

What kinds of positions do you have open for summer 2014?

We have many positions open for summer 2014. Most come with flexible schedules and great benefits such as working outdoors, relaxed attire, and free membership to the Y. Currently we are hiring for day camp leaders, swimming instructors, lifeguards, bus drivers, and other positions for our summer programs.

What are the basic requirements for those seeking work as camp counselors?

We recruit candidates who have previous experience working with children and a sincere interest in and ability to work with youth. At the Y we look for individuals that are interested in joining a team environment focused on nurturing the potential of kids and making an impact in the community.

As safety is a priority at the YMCA, our staff are required to have CPR for the Professional Rescuer and First Aid certification. Approved certifying organizations include American Red Cross, American Heart Association and American Safety & Health Institute. Certain positions, like aquatics, require additional certifications that can be found by visiting our website. If you need to obtain a certification, you can get certified at the Y.

And what you looking for in the ideal candidate?

The ideal candidate would have the ability to lead campers in at least four of the following areas: recreational games, drama, crafts, outdoor education, songs, sports, aquatics, team building or science.

Are there any personality traits best suited for this work?

People who exemplify our four character values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. We also look for individuals who have strong interpersonal skills, a proactive, and positive attitude, and enjoy a fast paced customer focused environment.

What are some of the unexpected challenges that an inexperienced counselor might have to face? Day camp staff serve as role models for our youth and ensure they have a great experience at the Y. This means keeping up with the energy level of groups of excited campers while following all of the safety practices and processes that are in place. It’s an important job.

How about the unexpected rewards?

The greatest reward is working with the kids, introducing them to new experiences, and watching them grow as individuals. Our camp leaders gain invaluable life skills such as leadership and teamwork. Our staff members have the opportunity to have a life-long career at the YMCA and use acquired skills learned at the Y to reach their fullest potential.

What is the time commitment for these positions?

Day camp positions are seasonal summer positions that start in June and end in August.

What is the pay?

The salaries vary based each position. For example, camp program leaders make $9-$11.63 per hour and camp coordinators make $12.10 to $16.33 per hour. Our website (ymca.org/jobs) shows current positions available as well as salary range.

Please explain the application process.

Applicants will need to complete an on-line application. When you apply please include the most recent copy of your resume – and make sure that it has been updated and all of the grammar and spelling has been thoroughly checked.

Can you provide any bits of advice for those seeking to apply?

If you are selected for an interview, please dress for success, do research on the Y and come prepared with a few questions to ask the interviewer. Most importantly let your personality and passion come through during the interview process. Practice your interviewing skills with a friend or family member. Remember, we are looking for people who want to make a difference in our community.

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