November 6, 2020
Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.
Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they've learned and apply it immediately.
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
The American Camp Association’s
The American Camp Association’s
Tom Rosenberg: Thanks to all the research and learning from the 2020 season and the newly revised "Field Guide for Operating Day & Overnight Camps in COVID-19", the outlook for overnight and day camps in summer 2021 is strong. Most day and overnight camp operators are carefully planning for a busy summer season, in the midst of another summer of COVID-19, and the Field Guide provides a well-researched and tested path forward in summer 2021. Due to COVID-19 requirements, camps are expected to seek increased staffing for camp counselors, activities specialists, nurse, food service, and maintenance staff.
As we prepare to see more camp in 2021 after a COVID summer 2020, we expect the camp job market to call for camp nurses, maintenance workers, and cleaning professionals. In addition, camps looking to operate in 2021 will need to recruit staff in the form of camp counselors, counselors-in-training (CIT's), program/activity directors, etc. - much like in a normal summer.
Tom Rosenberg: In COVID-19, camp parents and camp staff are expected to undergo additional pre-camp screening, as well as frequent testing (where applicable), and daily monitoring and surveillance. Camps have been employing innovative technologies to assist with communicable disease prevention and management, and we see this trend continuing and expanding. In summer 2021, the improvement of PCR, antigen and antibody tests will increase in their efficacy, availability, and pricing; making them a very helpful nonpharmaceutical intervention. The ACA Field Guide for Operating Day and Overnight Camps in COVID-19 has a new chapter on Technology and Controls, as well as a new chapter on Testing. For many of these nonpharmaceutical interventions (or layers of protection), there continues to be new research on relative efficacies, technologies that will influence the development of innovations.
Environmental Health, Industrial Hygiene, medical technology and public health research science helped in the development of the ACA Field Guide for summer camp operations - available to all!
Computer programmers and tech professionals for virtual camps (especially among camps who serve immunity compromised camper populations). Between sessions of camps, we see camps continuing to offer supervised connected online programming for camp friends to enjoy together during the off-season. We expect to see considerable improvements in safety and security components of these platforms, as well as program innovations. Just today, I was on the phone with a VR technologist who is interested in helping camps creating VR experiences to help prospective campers taste camp activity experiences.
We have seen our camps who needed to operate their programs online or in a virtual format really make impressive innovations. Zoom, YouTube, social media and more, were just a few of the ways that camps were able to interact with their camper communities in unique ways. This was especially the case for camps in states and localities where their in-person camp programs were not permitted to operate due to public health official ruling OR for camps who served immune compromised camper populations. While most camps will likely shift back to in-person programs (albeit covid-19 adapted) in summer 2021, we see camps continuing to employ various online connectivity platforms to engage campers, families, and staff members in additive, year-round community building and learning through the use of these technologies for years to come.
Tom Rosenberg: We expect to see increased demand for seasonal camp staff and professional camp director opportunities. We expect most college students to want to stay closer to home this summer but seek employment opportunities that are more engaging and impactful. Camp counselors and other staff members gain professional skills and experience enormous social and emotional growth while working at summer camp. They learn to lead, communicate effectively and think on their feet to resolve issues ranging from the health and safety of children to helping 12 campers learn how to take positive risks, learn from mistakes, and have fun. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, for parents across the nation, that every child, teen, and young adult need in-person, immersive camp programs in supportive environments. Summer learning is a critical part of a person's year-long learning landscape. At camp, children, teens, and adults have endless opportunities to build social and emotional competencies, learn to build healthy relationships, appreciate diverse thinking, be in the moment, and enjoy the opportunity for a measure of independence from their parents under the nurturing supervision of caring adults.
After so many months of sheltering in place at home, with greatly reduced human interaction, adults are excited to get outside and work in a fun and adventurous summer camp setting. Thanks to the ACA Field Guide and all of the important research conducted on summer 2020's camp experiences, camps have learned how to consistently and diligently follow the required nonpharmaceutical controls, such as pre-camp screening and daily at-camp screening, masking, physical distancing, cohorting, testing and more. Campers and Staff learn how to employ the necessary controls diligently to be as safe as possible while having fun, living in nature in fresh air, and making new friends.
It will certainly be unique this year, given the COVID-19 guidelines implemented by the public health authorities and highlighted in the Field Guide. However, future camp professionals will be entering this wor force in a time when kids need camp and quality camp leaders, counselors, etc. - now, more than ever!