The Dilemma: Finding a summer job in your twenties that is meaningful and enjoyable.
So, you're in your twenties. Maybe you are in school, or one of your first jobs of adulthood. Regardless, you are likely feeling that special pressure reserved for twenty-somethings. Pressure to get just the right internship, add just the right section to your resume, or take a few classes to get ahead, ideally all in a way that feels authentic to who you are. With summer around the corner, it can be tricky to find a balance between getting paid and finding meaningful work.
I was this student, worried about how to make the most of my summer. I found the solution as a summer camp counselor at Farm & Wilderness. Here, you will do purposeful work and learn skills that will shine on your resume, all while experiencing a summer full of adventure, teamwork, and unforgettable memories.
You will learn skills to help you thrive wherever you go after camp: writing reports, creating activity schedules, Wilderness First Aid. You will be given the chance to facilitate conversations over complex topics like class inequality with campers, growing your ability to effectively communicate. You will work in teams of the most wildly different people you could put in a circle together, and the chemistry will be unreal. You will learn that when you have your dream afternoon activity planned, and the ONE supply you needed didn’t come through on the town run, you can suddenly improvise like a seasoned SNL regular.
Farm & Wilderness Vermont backcountry creates a space where you realize you are brilliant, resilient, and imaginative in ways you didn’t know before. Wild pleasure stems from the excitement of impromptu problem solving when taking on new challenges. The work environment encourages you to learn how to tackle adversity with confidence, supported by a team that empowers you to do so.
Before the campers arrive, we have Skills and Staff week, when the leadership team teaches you about the community spirit, how to build a fire, how to teach a camper how to build fire. Creating camp magic for our campers brings the magic alive for you. You quickly realize you can create something out of nothing, your brain a bottomless magician’s hat of wonder.
Campers bring joyous energy into your life in a way that is breathtaking and joyously exhausting. They have this whirlwind optimism and an innocent bluntness that fills you up, and you become a champion for your campers. You put them first, you anticipate their needs, you open a world for them, and they turn out to be your tour guide for an amazing summer.
If you get the chance to work at Farm & Wilderness, the relationships you build with your peers will quickly turn into lifelong friendships.
I was amazed to trust my coworkers just moments after our meeting. We relied on each other and laughed so much…like, so much. The leadership team became my mentors with support and guidance on how to navigate being a counselor. How I interact with people now is inspired by the Farm & Wilderness staff I have worked with over the years.
By necessity, we sometimes find ourselves in situations where a job is just a job. This is not one of those jobs. Farm & Wilderness is real, tangible, and fulfilling work. Every day, I went to bed with dirt under my fingernails and a heart so full it grew its own gravitational field. As a camp counselor between semesters, I found a new eagerness and confidence to approach “real life.” I had a toolbox of anecdotes to share in interviews that not only demonstrated problem solving skills, but also stood out from other applicants. I was able to manage interdisciplinary research groups with ease, and I had strengthened morale in moments of adversity in my academic, professional, and personal life.
The days are action packed and fun-filled, yet there’s time to reflect. Your resilience grows because you’re given support and encouraged to ask for help.
As a former Farm & Wilderness counselor and current twenty-something, I want you to know it is possible to have fun with your peers, have an outdoor adventure, mentor kids, and be paid for meaningful summer work. You don’t have to have it all figured out when you get to Farm & Wilderness. You don’t have to have it all figured out when you leave –– but you will be a few leaps and bounds closer, and in your twenties, that is what summer is all about.
Learn more about the summer job of a lifetime here (or apply now, if that's more your speed):