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Best Job Ever: 5 Reasons Why You Should Work at Trail’s End Camp!

At Trail’s End Camp we like to say “you’re better for having been at TEC”, and that adage doesn’t just apply to our campers! We strive to ensure our staff family is happy and thriving throughout the summer and beyond.

Now, if you’ve never been a camper or worked at a summer camp before you may be asking – Why should I work at Trail’s End? What makes the TEC Experience different from other camps?  We asked your questions to our TEC staff family who couldn’t wait to tell you why they love working at Trail’s End. Here are some of their answers!

You’ll be part of traditions that began in 1947!

Even as we prep for our 72nd camp session, we still hold on to traditions from Trail’s End’s first summers.  From Sing, to Olympics, to the creation of bunk plaques, and more – Trail’s End Camp wouldn’t be the same without these special traditions.

Trail's End Camp counselor takes part in Olympic Tug-o-war

When you enter the gates of Trail’s End, you’re immediately part of a long history. When you take part in the Opening and Closing Campfires, run the bases on College Day, or cheer for your campers as they sing on stage during the 4th of July show, you quickly see how you’re now part of the fabric of Trail’s End Camp. It’s an amazing feeling to be part of something so special!

You’ll make lifelong friends with people from all over the world!

Mycha Owens, basketball specialist, put it best when she told us about her experience coming to Trail’s End Camp for the first time:

“From the time I stepped into the Newark Airport, I knew I was about to experience the most crazy summer of my life. TEC does an amazing job at hiring employees, how do I know this? Because of the bonds I formed with other staff in the airport. From the moment I stepped off that plane, before we even got to camp, it was like we were family.”

Trail's End Camp Lifeguards

You may enter your first summer not knowing anyone, but after Staff Education Week you will have developed friendships that last a lifetime.  Just take a look at all the #TECreunions we post on social media. You’ll find pictures of TEC staff visiting each other, going on vacation together, and in some instances, even getting married! You never know who you’ll meet while working at Trail’s End Camp!

Once you start working at Trail’s End Camp, you become a part of the TEC family. James Gardin, our Rock Band Director, told us:

My favorite parts of working at TEC are getting to come back home catch up with my summer family and picking up right where we left off from the previous summer.”

You’ll make a positive impact on a group of campers!

Of course, what would working at  camp be without the campers?! As soon as your campers step off the bus, you start to build a special bond. You’ll surprise yourself when just after one week of knowing your campers you’ll be enthusiastically cheering them on as they perform in a talent show, or taking pride in the new skills you taught them at their favorite sport. There’s no feeling quite as great as knowing you’ve made an impact on a camper’s life. James Mayden, Flag Football Director, touched on this when we asked about the best part of his summer:

“My favorite part about camp is being able to give back to something bigger than myself. I was able to positively affect the kids by spreading my knowledge of football and my love for music and dancing.”

You are better for having been at TEC!

Yes, you’ll improve the life of the campers you work with, but you will experience some self improvement of your own. Working at a summer camp helps you develop vital skills that will help you throughout your life, such as leadership, teamwork, and communication. Maybe this is why more and more people are championing camp jobs over traditional summer internships, or why businesses see the benefit in hiring a former camp counselor!

You’ll have fun!

We can tell you all the ways working at a TEC will benefit you as a person and allow you to become part of a camp family that stems all the way back from 1947, but there’s one important thing we can’t forget — working at Trail’s End Camp is tons of fun!

A day at TEC can involve playing sports, dressing up in wild outfits to perform in a lip sync competition with your co-counselors, taking part in a giant food fight, doing your craziest dance moves in the dining hall, and laughing till your stomach hurts. How many other summer jobs can boast all of that?!


After all of that, we know what you’re going to ask next!

How do I join the Trail’s End Camp staff family?

If you’re interested in working with us this summer, check out our staff page on the TEC website for more information and to apply! Also check out our Staff Experience video. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at: sara@trailsendcamp.com

Trail’s End Camp Reunions: Celebrating camp friendships all year long

While camp lasts only 51 days, the bonds we make at Trail’s End extend well beyond the day the buses depart. Throughout the off-season, we love seeing and hearing about all your TEC get-togethers.  

As 2018 comes to an end, we feel very grateful for all of the wonderful Trail’s End memories and friendships that we made this year. This past weekend, campers came together to reunite with old friends and to start to form bonds with those new campers that will be experiencing TEC for the first time next summer.Boys hanging out at a Trail's End Camp Reunion

On Saturday, our 2019 Debs, Kadets and Lowers reunited at Bounce Trampoline Sports. From the moment they arrived, it was as if we were back in 18405 with lots of smiles and laughter all around us.   

The youngest TEC campers met up on Sunday for bowling, pizza, and group games – the boys started off the day and the girls followed in the afternoon. The bowling party is one of our transition events which allow new campers to get comfortable and start to develop friendships that will help them to succeed next summer.  For our returning campers, we are amazed how welcoming they are as they help the first-time campers become a part of the TEC family. We also want to thank our staff who play such a large role in facilitating the ice breakers and helping to make the connections of new and returning campers.Girls hanging out at Trail's End Camp Reunion

Of course, there’s no better way to end a Trail’s End reunion than with a few raffles! Some lucky campers went home with brand new TEC swag, while others won great prizes for their bunk.  Winning bunks will be enjoying pizza and ice cream parties, counselor clean-ups, and late wake-ups with breakfast in bed.

Please mark your calendar for the next get-together in Florida on Sunday, February 17th. We will also have the Varsity Reunion for our oldest campers in NYC on Saturday, February 3rd. Invites for both events will be sent by email next week.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.

Only 27 Saturdays until Opening Campfire!

TEC and SCOPE: Giving Children the Gift of Camp

What does it mean when we say “Better for Having Been”? There are so many ways spending summers at Trail’s End makes us the best version of ourselves. Anyone who walks into the gates is forever changed for the better.

At camp, children gain emotional, social and physical skills while learning from positive role models. Now, imagine a world where every child can go to camp, regardless of background.  This is exactly what SCOPE is trying to make happen.

SCOPE – Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education

SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education) is a nonprofit organization that provides “camperships” for children from low income families and underserved communities.  These camperships let children who need it most experience the magic of summer camp. This past summer, 750 campers between the ages of 7-16 were able to attend camp through SCOPE.

Trail’s End Camp and SCOPE

Trail's End Camp members of the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council

Trail’s End Camp members of the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council

Trail’s End Camp has partnered with SCOPE for years. Marc was previously the president of the SCOPE board, and Sara is currently a member of the SCOPE Associate Board.  We’re proud to say we even have Trail’s End campers on the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council!

We caught up with Taylor Seid, Leadership Trainee ‘18 and member of the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council, to see what inspired her to help kids experience the magic of summer camp.

“Camp and the experiences and friends I have made there have shaped me into the person I am today and allowed me to learn and grow so much. I feel like many people in my community take for granted the experiences we get by going to camp, so I wanted to help out with SCOPE in order to give those opportunities and unforgettable experiences to kids who are less fortunate. Kids who might have not even thought about attending camp are now able to go and learn due to SCOPE.”

Trail’s End Camp partners with SCOPE as part of our TEC Cares program. TEC Cares works to give back to the broader community, while instilling the values and importance of giving back in our campers.  We’re better for having been at Trail’s End Camp, and we want to help more kids be better for having been offered opportunities through SCOPE camperships.

How you can help!

Want to help children experience the magic of camp? SCOPE is launching their Smore4SCOPE campaign this Giving Tuesday! On Tuesday, November 27 you have the chance to help give even more children the summer camp experience.

Playing with Attitude Over Aptitude at TEC!

Think back to your favorite summer camp memories. Now, how many of those memories take place on the fields and courts of TEC? Playing an intense game of European Handball during Olympics, competing in an out-of-camp tournament, or even laughing with your friends during a wacky relay; there’s just no denying it, sharing these moments with camp friends is a huge part of the Trail’s End Camp experience!Trail’s End is an all-around camp with a strong sports program. For us, sports take on a number of different forms, from team sports, including basketball, soccer, hockey and baseball, to individual sports, like gymnastics, golf, tennis, outdoor adventure, water skiing and more. We want our campers active, and through our combined structured and elective-based program everyone gets the chance to take part in a wide variety of athletic activities.

To celebrate this, and in honor of May being National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we’ve decided to have a chat with some of our returning athletic directors: Mo, Baseball Director; Dani, Gymnastics Director; Becci, Movement Director; and Carson, former Hockey Director!

Attitude Over Aptitude

We can’t talk about sports at TEC without bringing up our motto: “attitude over aptitude.” We asked our returning directors what this means to them. Simply put, Dani describes attitude over aptitude as “enjoying a sport even if you’re not a sporty person.” You might not consider yourself the most athletic person outside of camp, but at TEC you’re encouraged to “try something new and be proud of yourself for taking the next step at your own pace.” Trail’s End offers an incredibly supportive environment as you try something you never had the courage to do before.

Even avid athletes can find something in this motto! Carson sees it as “putting your best out there, no matter the circumstances.” Becci adds, “this vision is transferable into everyday life, not just in sports. Striving to achieve a present, positive and willing attitude to reach success for both yourself and others around you!”

Mo believes “having the right attitude will help you and those around you to be better, work harder, and have a goal in mind.” Our sports program allows even the most skilled player to be challenged and encourages them, during both electives and our specialty camps, to bring their game to the next level.

The Best Part of Coaching at TEC

It’s obvious campers have tons of fun while playing at camp, but who knew our athletic staff were having just as much fun coaching them?! We asked Becci, Carson, Dani and Mo about the best part of coaching their sports at TEC.

“My favorite part of being Movement Director at TEC is observing the campers letting go and being themselves. Viewing the campers relax into meditation in yoga, to being creative and working as a team in dance, to calling imaginative cheers in the pavilion or “Zumba-ing” their hearts away in aerobics. They manage to put aside all outside issues and focus on having a good time!” – Becci

“My favorite part of coaching hockey was the people and relationships you could build through the sport.” – Carson

“For me, it’s getting to see all the campers, from Lower Rangers to Girls Varsity, coming to gymnastics, having fun and trying something new each period!” – Dani

“It’s getting to know each group and each kid individually. Every group and every kid is different, with different abilities. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and I try to bring that to camp. When I coach in other places it is more serious with a winning goal in mind. At camp, I want the kids to improve and have fun at the same time. Seeing kids that couldn’t hit the ball actually hitting in a game and seeing their faces is priceless. That’s what I love about camp.” – Mo

A Summer Full of Sports Moments

Remember those memories from previous summers we discussed? Well, our returning directors have their own favorite sports memories they’d love to share!

“My favorite moment as Movement Director is when the Buddies performed at a dance competition last summer. They were given a very fun but difficult dance, with limited time to rehearse. The girls used every spare minute they had to practice their movement together, and when they performed they blew me away. They came to the stage with energy, smiles and complete unity. Although they didn’t win, for me they won the whole competition!” – Becci

“My favorite memory from coaching was in a Lower Cavaliers game when we traveled to another camp. They shined and played great together, cheered one another on and pushed each other to do their best. Every boy scored in that game. One boy actually refused to get off the court, begging ‘I just want to be able to get him (the last boy to score) a goal.’ They cheered for every one of our goals, and even for the other team’s goals. Days like that made me proud to be at TEC.” – Carson

“My favorite moment was taking campers that have never performed in front of anyone before to a meet and seeing how excited they were when they placed in the Top 5 as a team!” – Dani

“I remember once after practice a camper came up to me and said ‘I never used to like baseball, but now I do. Thank you, Coach Mo.’ That really made my summer! Another moment was when a camper struck out and we lost the game. The camper was crying and the rest of the team came and gave him a hug, telling him that it was ok and lifting his spirits. That was awesome to be a part of.” – Mo

 

In this coming summer, there are many more memories to be made as we run around camp, trying new things, keeping it moving, and having fun with our camp friends. Who knows how many new favorite sports moments we’ll be making this summer?

Left My Heart in Beach Lake

It’s only been 6 weeks since the buses pulled away, but it feels like forever since the sun set on Summer 2017. It was an amazing 7 weeks of friendship, spirit and fun, making it even harder to say goodbye to our summer home. But if you close your eyes and listen closely, you can still hear the sounds of summer that instantly transport you back to Trail’s End. You can hear the crackle of the campfire at the Axelrod site, the opening notes of “Waving Through A Window” and the splash of lake water as you jump off the Aqua Park. If you concentrate hard enough, you can even smell the cookout cookies, feel the wind in your hair as you speed down the zipline, and see the smiling faces of your bunkmates and counselors. 

As your school year kicks off, and the sounds of reveille are replaced by the buzz of your alarm clock, we hope the memories of this incredible two months don’t fade. And when you miss Trail’s End, put on this playlist, turn up the volume and dance like no one’s watching you in the dining room.

As we patiently wait for Summer 2018, we hope you keep the TEC spirit alive throughout the year: Write a snail mail letter to your bunkmate. Schedule a family line up after dinner. Wear a tutu to school. Plan a lip sync battle for your friends. Insist on s’mores for dessert (even if you make them in the microwave).

Only 36 Saturdays until Opening Camp Fire!