Why Your Child Should Attend a Career Exploration Summer Camp

May 1, 2024

If you’re a parent, much of what you do for your child comes from a desire to nurture them and keep them safe and healthy. Your parenting duties also include preparing your child or adolescent for the next steps in their life — and for a future as a successful adult. Naturally, a major part of adult life is choosing a career path. After all, the first thing adults typically ask each other when they meet for the first time is, “What do you do for a living?” In many ways, occupation is identity, yet many Americans receive little guidance in this area.

In order for your child to thrive in the world, they need adequate opportunities to explore possible professions and how these careers relate to their personal abilities and interests. This can and should involve activities outside the classroom and in the real world.

Here’s why children, tweens, and teens need more career exploration opportunities and how you can ensure that your child gets them.

Why Kids Need More Exposure to Possible Career Paths

Historically, kids’ intentional exposure to various occupations consisted of a school-sponsored career day in a classroom setting, in which various community professionals would give short presentations about their jobs. While career days for kids still hold value, they are necessarily limited in scope. Simply put, young people need more opportunities to develop their professional interests in an informed way. 

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, exposure to a wide range of career options from an early age is crucial. Given that the short (and often overwhelming) years of high school are those in which teens are tasked with qualifying and applying for college admission and other forms of job training, it’s only logical to present kids with a wide array of possibilities — and the time to research and consider them — before they reach high school and effectively begin narrowing down their options. 

Studies indicate that the first college and career readiness milestones for kids can start as early as middle school. Early exposure to job options helps shape a child’s perspective on their future and enables them to develop a clear sense of direction as they progress through their life’s journey.

Engaging Activities That Help Kids Think About Their Futures

There are plenty of fun, hands-on ways kids can learn about possible career paths and begin contemplating theirs, and they go way beyond the old-fashioned career day at school. Some examples of these activities include:

  • Career-related scavenger hunts
  • Job-shadowing days (as part of the school curriculum or extracurricular programs)
  • Mock interviews (for specific career roles)
  • Projects that allow kids to research roles they’re interested in and present their findings
  • Career trivia games
  • Career exploration summer camps

Why Summer Camp Can Be the Best Way for Your Child to Explore Careers

Career-oriented summer camps are one of the best possible environments for providing exposure to careers for kids because they offer children a wide range of developmental benefits in a single program, including the following:

  • An immersive, multi-day experience that gives them time to properly absorb and process information about various professions
  • A relaxed yet structured environment in which they can learn without the pressure of grades or a formal curriculum, affording them freedom to explore interests and experiment with career-related activities without judgment 
  • Presentations by professionals in various fields who provide real-world insights on different careers
  • Hands-on activities that help bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application in meaningful ways
  • Opportunities to build valuable workplace skills such as communication, teamwork, personal accountability, creative thinking, problem-solving, and goal-setting
  • The chance to develop important social skills and grow physically, intellectually, and emotionally at their own pace in a low-pressure setting
  • Fun, traditional camping activities that help them adapt to people and environments outside of home and school

The Scouting America Offers Excellent Summer Career Camps

In addition to its main program offerings — including outdoor exploration, wilderness emergency training, community service projects, sporting events, and much more — the Scouting America provides high-quality opportunities for kids to gain exposure to various careers. Enrolling your child as a Scout and signing them up for summer career camps allows them to explore professions in small groups in a direct, hands-on way, which means they’ll get individual attention and more out of the experience. 

A major example of how Scouting doubles up on value in this regard is the fact that kids can learn about careers that interest them while also gaining valuable life skills that will make them more capable adults, such as trade skills. Given that there is currently a major shortage of skilled trades workers in the US, kids can prepare for a lucrative career with plenty of opportunities and job security — all without the expense or time required for a college degree. 

At summer career camp, Scouts can learn about useful areas of knowledge such as:

  • Aviation
  • Automotive maintenance
  • Law
  • Railroading
  • Veterinary science
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical systems
  • Home repair
  • Masonry
  • Plumbing
  • Small engine repair
  • Welding
  • Radio
  • Search and rescue
  • Computer programing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital technology
  • Fish and Wildlife
  • Forestry
  • Horsemanship

Career-oriented Scouting summer camps offer a dynamic and engaging environment for children, tweens, and teens to explore a multitude of career options and build important skills. Scouting equips young individuals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to navigate their future careers successfully — and have fun in the process.

Explore Careers at Camp With Laurel Highlands Council

If you live in the western parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, or West Virginia, enrolling your child in the Scouting America, Laurel Highlands Council, is an excellent way for them to get all the benefits of attending summer camp — including the chance to explore career opportunities at the one and only Scouts @ Work Camp!

Scouts @ Work Camp is not your traditional summer camp. This camping experience puts a strong emphasis on physically and visually experiencing various trades and careers. It gives Scouts an opportunity to DO career-related tasks by working with professionals in specific fields. Scouts will have an opportunity to experience over 20 careers and take home skills that will save them money as they transition into adulthood. Come join us for home cooking and a truly unique experience.

Register today!

The Scouting America, Laurel Highlands Council, serves youth members and volunteer adult leaders throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania and portions of the Potomac region in Maryland and West Virginia. We aim to beneficially involve every eligible child and their families in the fun and adventure of our programs. We provide extraordinary youth development programs that teach and strengthen the values of the Scout Oath and Law. 

Contact us to learn which of our summer camp programs is right for your child and join now!


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