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Camp Counselor Interview Questions

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  1. Being a camp counselor means dealing with kids, so what kind of experience do you have working with children and preteens? See answer
  2. What would you do if a parent accused you of mishandling a situation regarding their child while at camp? See answer
  3. What would you do if it rained on a day you had planned a hike? See answer
  4. How have you dealt with a situation at camp that was harder than you thought it would be at first? See answer
  5. While at camp, have you ever stopped to help someone in trouble when it was safe to do so? See answer
  6. Would you rather work with an overly-energetic group of campers or a quiet and withdrawn group? See answer
  7. What would you do if two of the children in your cabin were having a disagreement that was impacting their participation in activities?
  8. What strategies would you use to support a child who complained of being homesick?
  9. As the main person supervising the group, you may be required to respond in an emergency. Are you certified in first aid and CPR?
  10. Camp counselors lead activities based on a camp theme. Do you have experience planning crafts and games, then teaching them to others?
  11. Camp counselors are responsible for keeping campers safe during outdoor exploration. Explain the important safety measures you should take when going on a hike.
  12. How would you engage and inspire a camper who didn’t want to participate in activities or interact with others?
  13. What would you do if you had more campers show up to a camp activity than you expected, causing a shortage in supplies or equipment?
  14. How would you start building trust with a new group of campers to establish respect and leadership?
  15. What would you do if you had an activity planned that some of the campers are unable to participate in?
  16. How would you get all of the campers’ attention when supervising an activity in a large area, like a field or swimming pool?
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6 Camp Counselor Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Being a camp counselor means dealing with kids, so what kind of experience do you have working with children and preteens?

A:

Although not all applicants may have had formal employment such as teaching or full-time child care, a preferred camp counselor will possess some experience working with children. Prior involvement such as baby-sitting, caring for siblings or working in a day care would be highly preferred. Previous experience demonstrates a genuine preference to working with young people. Candidates should demonstrate familiarity with one or more of the camp’s specific age groups, typically ranging from 6-12 years of age.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Formal child care experience and training preferred but not mandatory
  • Informal employment including baby-sitting is desirable
  • Caring for younger siblings is a plus

Example:

“I have three younger siblings. I used to work at a trampoline play gym for kids aged 7 and up, and I also baby-sat the kids in my neighborhood.”

Q:

What would you do if a parent accused you of mishandling a situation regarding their child while at camp?

A:

Conflicts of interest can arise between camp staff and parents. Ideal answers should reflect the importance of communication and sympathetic listening to an objection. Rather than being defensive, the candidate should stress the importance of responding professionally. Their answer should focus on seeking a mutually satisfactory resolution. Experienced counselors may also refer to the importance of observing medical needs such as allergies in dealing with all camp attendees.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Focus on sympathetic listening
  • Knowledge of campers’ special or medical needs
  • Resolution rather than defensiveness in the candidate’s answer

Example:

“It’s important to hear parents out thoroughly and professionally. See if there is an issue being misunderstood or misinterpreted, especially if it is a medical need.”

Q:

What would you do if it rained on a day you had planned a hike?

A:

Camping, especially in summer, can involve unpredictable weather. Even without climate events, plans may have to change abruptly. Counselors need to possess the ability to adapt to unexpected changes at any time, keeping the focus on making camp a fun and memorable experience for the kids. The ability to generate a new plan of activities to engage children of various age groups is a crucial skill that an applicant should possess.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility in adapting to an unexpected change
  • Focus on making camp a fun experience for children

Example:

“I always have a what-if plan in case an activity falls through, but sometimes, it’s fun to improvise, especially when kids lend their ideas.”

Q:

How have you dealt with a situation at camp that was harder than you thought it would be at first?

A:

This question addresses an important part of the camp counselor position. Unexpected weather, individual personalities and health concerns can be stressful for new or experienced camp employees. An ideal candidate’s answer would demonstrate a willingness to accept a difficult situation with good humor and patience. Their response should suggest any combination of an optimistic outlook, willingness to seek help and a sense of responsibility resulting in a positive outcome.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Positive, optimistic attitude toward setbacks
  • Focus on responsibility and commitment to a task despite obstacles
  • Willingness to seek advice

Example:

“I’ve learned that a sense of humor goes a long way. So does getting help, especially before you get too overwhelmed to see a problem through.”

Q:

While at camp, have you ever stopped to help someone in trouble when it was safe to do so?

A:

This question addresses the willingness to put others’ needs first in a responsible way. Nurturing is a crucial camp counselor quality, but a willingness to help should be balanced by common sense. The counselor should know when to assist an injured or endangered camper and when to call for professional assistance, balancing nurture with safety.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Desire to put the needs of others first when appropriate
  • Understanding the importance of safety first
  • Common-sense understanding of the larger picture

Example:

“I once helped an older person get into his car when his walker broke and he almost fell. I made sure he was safe to drive.”

Q:

Would you rather work with an overly-energetic group of campers or a quiet and withdrawn group?

A:

Camp counselors have to supervise anyone signed up for their camp, which means they interact with many different types of personalities. They need to be able to get along with all kinds of kids, some of whom may be more outgoing while others are quiet. Regardless of their personal preferences, camp counselors should understand how to interact with all campers.

Look for these attributes to indicate a strong response:

  • Tolerance and acceptance
  • Strategies for interacting with campers
  • Self-awareness of personal traits

Here is one example of a possible response:

Example:

"Personally I find it easier to guide the energy of an outgoing group, and since I'm naturally outgoing I love working with energetic students. However, I also enjoy the challenge of connecting with shy students and helping them become more confident. "

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