Why I’m at Camp for Summer 2024

Anna TempleSummer Staff

Anna Temple joined Camp Mini-Yo-We’s year-round staff as our Team Development Coordinator at the end of Summer 2023. During the year, she connects with potential summer staff members to form the best possible team!

I could write a whole post about why I keep returning to work at Camp. Like me, our staff members have plenty of reasons for choosing to serve at Mini-Yo-We. My aim is to show you why so many young leaders are joining our team this summer. I think you will see that we offer something for everyone!

1. Gain Experience With Transferable Skills

Working at Camp provides opportunities to develop transferable skills such as organization, responsibility, time management, and so much more. Brianna and Riley will be Site Directors in 2024. They both mentioned how working at Camp helps them in their plans to become teachers. Brianna looks forward to getting experience communicating with parents and Riley is excited to spend more time with a wide age range of children and develop her skills in working with them.

Our other Site Directors are in school for engineering, politics, pre-law, psychology, business, and ministry. Each of them has noted transferable skills that apply to their program and future goals.

2. Make Future Career Connections

You can make connections for your future career while working at Camp. In 2023, Isaac was a Section Head after completing the Mini-Yo-We Internship program. During the summer, he interviewed and was offered a job as a full-time children and youth ministry associate. He learned that one of the campers in his section lived close to him, so Isaac talked to his mom about Awana. Now Isaac is building relationships with them in his new role.

Even if you do not plan to work with children or in ministry, Mini-Yo-We has a lot to offer. El is currently in a Media Communications and Production program. After serving on our Promotions team for the past two summers, El is excited to come back. Promo team members spend a lot of their day capturing amazing photos and videos, editing them, and posting them on social media for parents to see. El’s gifts and passion are put to good use while gaining experience and being immersed in the Mini-Yo-We community.

3. Try Out Camp for the First Time

Maybe you are completely new to Camp – we would love for you to join us! We have other first-timers signed up for the summer already. Blair heard about Mini-Yo-We through stories told by a high school friend and new friends at university. Now she is excited to make memories and share her own amazing stories with others in the future.

Josh is also new to Camp. He heard about us through a friend while looking for a way to get back into camp ministry. After his interview, his excitement level has grown. Josh will use his camping and canoe trip skills on our Out-Tripping team, ensuring our trippers are prepared for life-changing adventures.

4. Go on an International Adventure

If you are imagining how much fun Camp could be but think you live too far away, I have some great news: Mini-Yo-We hires international staff! Zak from England has joined us for the last two summers. He loves going on adventures and also inspiring others, such as touring campers around Mini-Yo-We by bike while sharing great stories. He is excited to spend a third summer in Muskoka.

Last year, we created more opportunities to host international staff members. For example, Emily is from England but is currently teaching in Switzerland. She has loved working at different summer camps in the past and came to Mini-Yo-We for the first time last summer. Emily was an excellent addition to the leadership team at Enterprise and she looks forward to returning to reprise her role as a Site Director.

5. Progress in Your Leadership Journey

We talk a lot about leadership development at Mini-Yo-We. One of the ways we develop tomorrow’s leaders is through gradually increasing the amount of responsibility that a staff member has. Amaza did the Leaders In Training (LIT) program in 2021 and then served as a Cabin Leader for the past two summers. She did an incredible job and wants to take what she learned and apply it in her new role as a Section Head, supporting new and returning staff members.

Andrew was a Cabin Leader and an Activity Leader this past summer. At the end of the season, he talked with his Site Director about taking the next step as a leader. He has been diligently working on specific skills and is excited to show what he has learned as he joins the Program team this summer.

 6. Focus on Faith Development

If you want to grow your faith and take steps to learn about, live like, and talk with Jesus, working at Mini-Yo-We is a great choice. We intentionally focus on those three aspects of faith as a guide to frame conversations and craft goals to work toward. Madi looks forward to working at Camp each summer because it is the place where she can dive deep into her faith and learn in a community that genuinely cares about one another.

Andrew wants this summer to be a transformational one after completing the LIT program last year. He plans to take the next step in his faith and is looking into being baptized at Camp.

7. Form Friendships

Camp is a great place to make friendships that last a lifetime. Quinn was a camper for many years and invited his friend Ethan to join him for the LIT program. They both served as staff in 2023. At the end of the summer, they didn’t want the strong community they found at Camp to end. They kept in contact with their friends and got involved in a youth group together at home. This helps them stay connected and strengthen their faith during the year.

If you are new to Mini-Yo-We, you will meet people during our staff training before campers arrive. Jimmy was on staff for the first time last summer with a goal to have fun meeting people. He ended up making strong connections that helped when he started his second year at a new university.

8. Learn and Make Mistakes in a Safe Place

Mini-Yo-We typically hires people aged 17-21. This is many young leaders’ first job. We believe that developing new skills includes making mistakes – they’re opportunities to learn in a supportive setting. Kya has been on staff since 2022 and has taken on a few different roles. She has learned to take initiative to try new things and is not afraid to make mistakes. This summer, Kya is challenging herself with another new role by joining the Program team.

Ben was a Cabin Leader for the first time last summer. He worked with the youngest to the oldest campers and helped lead our Northwoods canoe trip – learning a lot along the way. This summer, he will be a Section Head helping other leaders make the most of their summer in the same way he did.

9. Benefit From a Flexible Environment

Our hope is that we can find a way to help you achieve your goals as a staff member. Gavin was on the Program team last summer, but he wanted to try something different halfway through. A Section Head was taking a week off, so we shuffled roles to give him that opportunity. He ended up loving it and is coming back to spend a whole summer as a Section Head.

Elena wanted flexibility in her role last summer as well. She hoped for opportunities to work with different groups of people. She ended up serving on the Out-Tripping team, which meant working with campers, programming, other staff, and LITs. That flexibility reignited her love for all aspects of Camp! She is excited to join the Program team this summer.

10. Be the Leader You Looked Up To

One great thing about Camp is learning through observation. Staff are exposed to many types of leadership and discover which traits they value most. Ava has been around Camp for many years. She started as a camper and has done Enterprise, LIT, cabin leading, activity leading, and a few Lead team positions. This summer, she will be a Site Director. Ava can use what she has learned about being firm in your faith while leading a team, and be a role model to other staff.

Leaders have so much influence. Working at a summer camp highlights how to use it well. To finish off this post, I would love to share one of the reasons I keep choosing to work at Mini-Yo-We. When I was a camper, my most memorable Cabin Leaders were those who intentionally took time to get to know me. As a staff member, I had the privilege of learning from amazing leaders but the most memorable were the ones who spent time with me. As I lead at Camp now, I get to know as many people as possible. I do this in hopes that other people will feel valued the same way I did.

Join the Team!

Apply online to be on summer staff at Camp Mini-Yo-We in 2024! In addition to the Program and Promo roles mentioned in the post, we have a variety of Operations positions on our Administrative, Camp Store, Dietary Specialist, and Facility teams. For details, visit our Summer Staff webpage. Fill out the interest form on that page to get more info or email Anna at anna@miniyowe.com.