We do great things to empower our girls and prepare them to face a future that they have a hand in creating, that hasn't always been the case throughout history. We endeavor to teach all girls everywhere that the past has influenced the present but allows for growth, understanding and change for the future. The future is theirs and they should own it!
This was the most demanding and most rewarding job I have had. I did not know that I would be any good at it, but I gained a lot of self confidence through it. As a unit counselor you lead and supervise a group of kids throughout their activities at camp. Since you sleep in the unit, you remain "on call" and are responsible for them excepting 2 hours of break time a day. Success is heavily dependent on the attitude and effort you're able/willing to give. This was also the only job where I have made friends, since maintaining good rapport with the staff is necessary in such a social environment. My fellow counselors and ad staff were very supportive of me as a new staff member and stepped in wherever their help was needed. The main disadvantages are in life balance/benefits. Pay for new staff is low, though housing and food is provided during the contract. During camp, you are also very disconnected to the outside world, as devices have little service and may not be used near campers. Giving children a great experience at camp was the mission, and I felt highly responsible for it. When it's achieved, the staff are proud of themselves and one another. That, along with the fact GSOSW reliably rehires, is why I plan on returning for summers to come.
Free housing and food, great staff culture, job security/rehiring, positive community
Demanding schedule, physically taxing, full commitment
Non-profit work always presents challenges when it comes to work load (too much) and compensation (too little) so I cannot say that experience is unique to Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington. I can say that the leadership team has made efforts to listen to staff about raises and pay grades and the work culture tries to balance other forms of benefits like flexible scheduling, participation in fun GS events (camp visits), and an overall embrace of Girl Scout like values.
This is not a good place to work if you want guidance and support to learn new skills, this is a place for go-getters to figure out what resources are available and make things happen. Departments vary widely.