The Camp Ramah Staff Experience: The Best Management Training Program I’ve Seen!
Noam Neusner, a long-time Ramahnik and current parent to Ramah staff-members and campers, has written a wonderful article extolling the incredible management training aspects of the experience of working on tzevet (staff) at Camp Ramah in New England.
Here is an excerpt:
Over the summer, I spent a week helping provide some leadership training at a rigorous management training program. The attendees were all college age, and it was clearly an intensive program: They had programmatic and oversight responsibilities throughout the day, held frequent meetings to review team priorities, conducted regular reviews of their customer service priorities, and worked tirelessly, often from 7 a.m. until about 9 p.m. at night, including – and especially during — mealtimes. They enjoyed one day off per week – otherwise, they were on call.
This is what it looks like to be a summer camp counselor these days. Far from the image created by goofball movies such as Meatballs and Wet Hot American Summer, today’s summer camp counselors have to be unbelievably organized, mature and capable. At the camp where I volunteered for a week this past summer, Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts, I rarely saw counselors doing anything other than working.
And if employers are smart, they’ll soon recognize that veteran counselors of summer camp are capable of doing far more than leading campfire sing-downs or calming a homesick child (though, to be sure, those skills are pretty important in life). These are work-ready young adults who have been entrusted with far more responsibility than they’re often given credit; you’d be wise to hire one (as I have recently).
Noam Neusner is the Principal at the strategic communications firm 30 Point Strategies. He served as President George W. Bush’s principal economic and domestic policy speechwriter for nearly two years. He managed all communications and media relations for the Office of Management and Budget and twice oversaw the editing and production of the federal budget. He worked for nearly a dozen years as an award-winning financial journalist at U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg News and the Tampa Tribune.