How Come the Best Job I Ever Had Was When I Worked at a Summer Camp?: Understanding Retention Among Camp Counselors

Jay Whitacre, James Farmer


When attempting to discover a manner in which to maintain employment during the summer, many individuals have realized the job of camp counselor. What begins as a seasonal position may transform into a lifelong commitment to both person and place. For years, individuals have come to appreciate and understand the experiences that occur when approaching particular places. Data, for this study, was collected via in-depth interviews from twenty-four camp counselors from three separate, but similar camps. Phenomenological analysis on the qualitative data was performed to explore the staff retention amongst counselors. This study links sense of place as a salient component of employee retention among camp counselors. By developing a strong sense of community amongst staff, camp administrators may be promoting a deeper, more long-term, commitment among the staff and towards the camp.

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