Brian’s Blog #2

A monthly update of the Hillel Community brought to you by our resplendent director, Brian Mitchell. Did you know he used to work on a cruise ship? If you know him at all, you’re not shocked by this.

Autumn Means One Thing: Time to Start Thinking About Your Summer

So it’s the middle of October in Columbia, MO.  The temperature is dropping. The leaves are changing colors. Attention is starting to turn from the underachieving football team to the hyped up basketball team.  And of course, now is the time for college students to start planning what they are going to do next summer.

Wait, what? It’s only October, right? Summer is still 7 months from now?  It hasn’t even snowed yet.

Yep, you read correctly. Now is the time to start planning your summer. Why so early you ask? Because now is the time the BEST and MOST rewarding summer jobs are being offered to college students. What jobs are those you might ask? Working at a Jewish overnight summer camp, obviously.

Now hold on, working at a Jewish overnight summer camp is the BEST and MOST rewarding summer job? What about a paid internship that gives a resume a huge boost? Or lifeguarding at a nearby pool and getting a great tan? Or even waiting tables and making a ton of money on tips? Surely, all of those MUST be better options than working at a summer camp, right?

Take it from me, all of those options don’t even come CLOSE to spending a summer at camp. Don’t want to take my word for it? Check out this blog post from a parent who agrees.

Of course, I am a little biased. I have spent a large chunk of my life attending/working at summer camps.  But during those times, I have seen the effect one summer can have not only on camper aged children, but also the college students and young adults who make up the staff.  The relationships that are formed with other staff members turn into lifelong friendships.  The memories created are ones that are remembered 10, 20, even 30 years after they occurred, making you laugh harder and harder as more time passes.  And also, in nearly every job interview I have ever had (And believe me, I have had several) I have referenced in some way, the amount of experience and knowledge I learned from working at summer camp, more-so than I would have gained anywhere else in the world.

Sure, maybe you have heard from friends who have had a job like this before. It doesn’t pay very well.  The beds you sleep on are unbelievably uncomfortable, and you won’t get much sleep anyway since you work ridiculously long hours.  You maybe get 5-7 days off for two+ months of work.  And don’t even get me started about how poorly behaved the kids usually are.

Why am I pointing out the negatives?  Because NONE of those points even come CLOSE to outweighing the positives you will take away from this incredible experience.  Think about it. Not only will you have the opportunity to shape children’s’ lives, but you also will get to meet other young adults JUST LIKE YOU from all over the world, who will potentially become the closest friends you will ever have. And what’s more, while your friends are sitting behind a desk all summer, gaining “valuable” experience that is supposed to help guide their careers, you get to play in the sun, swim or ski in the lake and basically have fun all day, all while living and breathing in a Jewish environment.  The intensity of living and working in an immersive experience like summer camp cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

Trust me on this one, this is the best decision you can make for your summer. Interested in working at camp this summer? Email brian@mizzouhillel.org for more information. Don’t wait, because summer will be here before you know it.

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