College students today struggle with making sure they have used every opportunity during college to ensure that they are the most prepared they can be to enter “the real world.” During my time at Wheaton College, I felt pressure to get internships and create networks in order to secure my future. Instead, I chose to work at Camp Cedarbrook during the summers. I have worked at camp for eight years as a Counselor, Division Director, Waterfront Director, and Counseling Team Leader. Working for camp in these roles gave me the life skills that I needed to succeed beyond my undergraduate degree. Without my experience working at camp, I would not be the leader that Christ has called me to be today.
If you look at some of the top qualities employers look for in an ideal employee – problem-solving, teamwork, communication skills, leadership, work ethic, initiative, adaptability – these are skills that Cedarbrook staff members use every day! Cedarbrook counselors develop each of these skills as they walk through life with a cabin or tent group. As a counselor, I had to supervise my campers and help them build relationships with each other. It’s not always an easy task. Camp counselors learn how to problem-solve not only the logistics of a rainy day plan or activity lesson, but they also help campers navigate what it means to live in a Christ-centered community with one another.
The Cedarbrook staff thrives on teamwork. There is no greater mission than raising up the next generation, and it takes a team to accomplish. Each member of the Cedarbrook staff team comes with a unique perspective to help solve the challenges that occur during the camp season. Working at camp creates an environment where you have to think on your feet and jump in wherever you are needed to help the team accomplish a goal.
What about internships?
For my undergraduate degree at Wheaton College, I completed a month-and-a-half internship at a political office. I spent my time making phone calls for campaigns, putting mailers together, and putting together fundraising reports. As I left college and walked into interviews for jobs, I realized that the stories of my teamwork and problem-solving abilities came from my summers at Cedarbrook. The skills I learned in my internship were ones that, while helpful, could be taught on day one of any job I landed after college, but the leadership, relational, and problem-solving skills I developed at Cedarbrook have made me a stronger leader in my workplace.
Why camp? Why Cedarbrook?
Camp is a fantastic way to spend a summer. It is a blast! Just ask any former camp counselor. We have lots of stories to tell. Cedarbrook is a special place because girls come here to escape from the pressure of the world around them and refocus on what matters, their relationship with the Lord and what that means for their life. As Cedarbrook staff members, we get the true blessing of walking alongside these campers in their search to know God more truly. We get to do it while singing in the dining hall and making lanyards. We get to do it while teaching archery, cooking over fires, and sailing on the lake. And while helping these girls seek the Lord, you will find yourself growing more in the knowledge of who God is and the amazing leadership skills He has placed in each one of us.
Hannah “Scooter” Taetzsch grew up at camp. She graduated CILT in 2009 and has served on staff as a Challenger counselor, Explorer counselor, Challenger Division Director, Explorer Division Director, co-waterfront director, and the Challenger/Explorer Counseling Team Leader. (She was also Ellie’s birth coach during Owen’s birth!) She is currently a graduate student at Wheaton College, studying Christian Formation and Ministry with a concentration in Outdoor Adventure Leadership while she works for Honeyrock, Wheaton’s Outdoor Center for Leadership Development, as one of the Residential Camp Coordinators.