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Campus Recruitment Conundrum

I know we are not the only camp finding college campus recruitment days to be more stressful and less productive than ever. It's not just the tight labor market. Today, it is more. We aren't getting a fair chance to make our case to the students.

Twenty, even five years ago, colleges invited us to spend a day recruiting students for summer camp jobs in a definite win-win situation. Camp jobs were and are considered educational. That's how it got started. These old "Summer Camp Days" were productive and a good use of time. More recently colleges have been slipping in other summer employers with our camps -- and sneakily, one by one, changing the name of the event from summer camp to summer job days. These used to be segregated in two separate events. Not any more. We are gradually being choked out of what was once our own event. After traveling five hundred miles, we increasingly find our camp display wedged between employers like UPS and DisneyWorld. Some major resort recruiters literally stand in front of our adjoining table handing out greenbacks and bonuses and making crass recruitment promises sufficient to cause a YMCA person to blush and a church camp director to cringe.

I have heard many, many of you complain bitterly. How about we channel those complaints into something more constructive -- action? I urge all of you to join me in writing letters to those colleges that have corralled us into generic summer job days this year and urge them to resurrect the summer camp-only days or at least keep major corporations out of our designated events. Then, let's put our weight behind it. If they persist in putting our camp tables between Universal Studios and Atlantic City, then we should collectively agree to boycott the event and subsequent visits to that school in the future. Thank you.

Michael Peterson

CEO, YMCA Camp Ralph S Mason Hardwick, New Jersey


I love your magazine! There is always something to learn, something to order, something to share with staff, general enrichment, etc. You have a top-notch mag!

Judith Liddy (via e-mail)

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Great Staff Resource

I greatly enjoyed the September/October issue of Camping Magazine. I had several articles that were helpful to me as a resident camp administrator for our Girl Scout council. I would like my directors to read "Campers Speak" very soon and plan to share information from "Keeping Your Program Current" with all those involved in the planning process for both resident and day camps.

I particularly enjoyed reading "A Ride to Breakfast." I wonder if you could grant permission for me to send copies of this article to all of my 1999 resident camp staff. I like to do inspirational mailings throughout the year to help with retention and this is such a nice article.

Stephanie Winters

Tumwater, Washington

Editor's note: We encourage readers to use articles from Camping Magazine for staff training and to share them with staff and board members. Please contact the ACA national office for permission to reprint articles. Send a written request to: Camping Magazine, 5000 State Road 67 North, Martinsville, IN 46151-7902, or e-mail
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Publication:Camping Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Previous Article:A View from the Woods.
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