What happened to Summer Jobs?
I was at my local coffee place last week waiting for my latte and I couldn't help eavesdropping on the conversation being had by two dads on line behind me. Dad #1 "What is your daughter doing this summer?" Dad #2: "She's going on a community service trip to Bolivia. What's your daughter doing?" Dad #1: "She's hiking the Himalayas, then interning in a forensics lab." Wow--I thought to myself. Impressive. I am assuming these girls are in High School and that they attend one of three all girls private schools that surround the coffee place.
One summer sounds more "worthwhile" and "stimulating" and frankly "college preparatory" then the next. I couldn't help but think back to my high school summers and recollect what I did. All four summers consisted of working, of that I am sure. I was a camp counselor; bus girl (it was girl then, definitely not "person"); I worked at Bamberger's, our local department store and also babysat for a few local families. No trips to Bolivia (only to the Jersey shore); no cool internship; no hiking unless you consider getting 20 five year old girls from "free swim" back to the bunk a hike--which it sometimes was.
Worthwhile?? I think so. Stimulating?? Not in the traditional sense. College Preparatory? If that means did I take any of my summer jobs because I thought they would look good on a my resume, definitely not. I took these jobs for two reasons: one, because I needed to earn my own money to pay for gas, dinners out and clothing that my parents wouldn't spring for and secondly, because I thought they would be fun.
And fun they were. My summers as a counselor at Blue Rill Day Camp were some of the best of my life. The memories of those summers are so vivid. I loved my friends and adored the campers in my group. I was a counselor for five year old girls one summer and ten year olds another. I loved taking care of the campers and enjoyed watching them interact with each other. I learned how to have patience, and keep my sense of humor. Working at Bamberger's I learned how to use a cash register, do inventory, and work with customers At Szechuan Gardens my best friend and I were the only girls in a workplace full of men who worked in the kitchen and as waiters. I learned how to hold my own in an all-male environment and how to carry heavy trays --sometimes without success.Continued on the next page