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I typically conduct interviews first thing in the morning while the steam from my fresh cup of coffee is still visible to the applicant through our Skype connection. For many, their interview with AO is their first professional one, and the adjectives I’ve heard to describe it, such as ‘intense’ and ‘rigorous’, I wear as a badge of honor. After all, caring for other people’s children in a residential setting is probably the most important job they’ll ever have.

After spending a few minutes talking about camp, and the position they have applied for, I dig in my heels for my first, and favorite interview question: ‘There are a lot of ways you could work not nearly as hard as you have to work at camp, and make significantly more money, knowing that, why do you want this job?’

I hold my breath in anticipation of their answer and love the warm feeling my cold office gets when through the delay and crackle of Skype an applicant talks about things like: providing quality experiences for campers, being a positive role-model, creating a safe and inclusive community at camp; or talks about their passion for working with children and being in nature (yes, the fact we are in the Colorado mountains is typically not lost on applicant).

Being a Director at Camp is kind of like being the mayor of a small town. You need to make sure the water runs, the heat works, the food is served on time, and that your constituents (campers) are happy. There is no more important way to influence that, than to make sure my city council (counselors) are the right ones for the job.