Interview questions to ask Camp Director

  1. I have been in nursing since 1996. I have worked in Pediatricians' offices, a community health clinic, day camps, and now am in year two of being a school nurse. My two kids attend an overnight camp for 3 weeks each Summer. Every year the camp director asks if I have any interest in working for one or both sessions. I have always said "no" but am actually considering it for the Summer of 2017. I do know that if I work there, my kids would get free camp tuition, but other than that, have no idea the salary (though I assume it is negligible). I know there are 3-4 nurses, each gets one evening off and one day off every 8 days, and they are housed in the infirmary in small, private rooms. There is a camp MD who comes once per week but is available by phone during the week/weekends.

    So to all you seasoned camp nurses, what should I ask about? What should I make sure I ask/have in place?

    Any "red flags" that would make me NOT want to work at the camp?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Alex Egan
    I have really been thinking about your question. All the resources written to nurses about selecting a camp don't quite apply to you. I have two suggestions.

    One, make sure you understand just what they want to barter. As you know there is tuition and then all the fees, and stipends that your kids need. Just make sure your not thinking about a 100% ride and they are only thinking tuition and not the whole thing.

    Two, I would actually ask to speak to another nurse rather then or in addition to the director. Another presently or formally employed nurse will give you a better perspective on the real job, and not the job the director thinks he's hireing for. There can be a big difference between what the director thinks and what the actual situation is.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
  4. by   zzisaac
    That's a great idea Alex mentioned about asking to speak to another nurse. They will speak your language. Also working there while your kids are campers brings a whole different set of things, such as are your kids ok with you doing it? Are your kids allowed to see you during the day, some camps are very strict others not so much. It can be an issue with homesickness for the kids who don't have parents there to see yours get to see you.
    You might find out more than you want to know about your kids counselors.
    my daughter and I started at camp when she was 10, and now she is off to college and I am still going! We worked the camper/parent thing pretty well.
  5. by   MHDNURSE
    Thanks for the advice. I met with the director and it sounds like a LOT more work than some of the other camps I have spoken with. He says the nurses are basically "ON" 24/7 and when there is any sort of emergency it is "all hands on deck". While I understand that mentality, it seems crazy to me that no one gets a set day off ever. My friend works at a camp up in Maine and she says it's really low-key because they are so well-staffed with RNs. She gets to do what she wants and carries a walkie talkie and just needs to remain on campus unless it is her day off. Just interesting the differences in different camps.
  6. by   tining
    A lot of the recruiter's play down the amount of time you actually work. They make it sound like a mini vacation, but unless you have the staffing it will be many hours (at least 15/day) and 1 day off a week. If the lead nurse has any power she will make a schedule that includes a night shift and/or time off during the day. I personally loved night shift. Our night shift started at evening sick call through morning sick call. If I did not have any calls during the night I could do what I wanted during they day. If night shift was rough, I was excused for morning sick call. The medical director decided that inpatients did not need q4 hour vitals during the night unless ordered.
  7. by   Alex Egan
    I actually saw an ad for a camp nurse job through a local agency that used the phrase "like a vacation and job in one!" I rolled my eyes so hard. I have met some pretty relaxed camp nurses but they all work HARD no matter what.
  8. by   JustbeRN
    do your nurses generally come back the following year? (that way you know if its high turn over). How many campers per session, etc?Where do you sleep? air conditioning? wifi?
    background of other nurses that you will be working with? Medication policies- Camp Meds? or can they just bring them ? what type of chronic health conditions do the campers have? protocols for emergencies on camp? and are you on for 24/7 or is there shift work? Do they reimburse you for your travel/ RN license? these are just some of the examples I ask.

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