Blog 2: Work Culture

At Camp Michigania work culture is very important. Working at camp is supposed to be guided by core principles. Each staff should go about their day aspiring to be All in, a Serving Heart and a Solution Seeker. To be all in you have to believe in the mission at camp, be loyal to the Alumni Association, and go above and beyond what’s expected of you. To be a serving heart, a staffer will be open and willing to listen to others, dedicated to “treat others the way they want to be treated”, and be willing to put others needs above yours. And last to be a serving heart you have to be a creative problem solver, find a way to always say yes to campers and be collaborative, flexible and adaptive. To me, all of these ask each staff to be the best they can be. Making each summer the best summer for all the campers and having a great summer ourselves. While working here I have noticed that every staff is working as a big machine to do this for our campers. When kids camp staff bring 5/6’s to the nature center, they help facilitate different activities we plan. And we’re all working together to make the time go by smoothly for all of us, while still being fun for the campers. Other requirements of staff include: Putting the guest first, being self motivated, professionalism, developing personally and stewardship. I think for camp specifically, an ideal work culture is where everyone is embodying what they signed on the contract (all these rules). Running camp works best when everyone is  ideals and values are the same. And everyone is putting the campers before themselves when it’s still safe to do so.

The physical workplace says that my employers environment has high standards for always being “on.” We are expected to continue to run activities all day, and keep the energy going until 11pm on some days. Fortunately unlike most camps we have nights off (after 11), and one day off during the week. Three years ago when I first started working here, I found it hard to live up to their expectations. I’d be constantly moving all day and continuously bombarded by questions from campers. As an introvert it was hard for me to keep my energy up all week, as I was physically tired and mentally tired all the time. But in my second year I really got my groove. It was much easier to always be “on.” I guess I subconsciously evolved in my first year and adapted to the situation. I think the skill I’ve learned here will help in a real world career setting. I’ve learned how to communicate with others, engage them and how to overcome my introvert tendencies. I think in a real career I will be working fewer hours a week, but I will still have to interact with others just as much.

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