Summer Projects: Work

At Summer Projects, the daytime summer job is not a mere means to an end. Rather, as a genuine means for sanctification, work is an integral element of our students’ preparation for lifelong Catholic mission. Every holy life involves the suffering and reward associated with career; the work experienced by students at Summer Projects is intended as preparation for this career. Every student attending Summer Projects is expected to work with excellence for 30 – 40 hours a week, depending on the job and location.

The exact nature and compensation for work will vary from location to location and job to job. Nevertheless, all three 2020 locations feature similar roles, so a few general observations hold true across the program:   

1.   JOB SPECIFICITY. Applicants should realize that, while securing a spot with summer projects guarantees a job with an employer, it does not guarantee any particular job. After being accepted to Summer Projects by FOCUS, students will be directed to fill out a secondary application with their assigned employer. Students will not know their specific job until after the processing of this secondary application, and employers are free to assign students in accord with the current needs of their company. Students should not accept an offer with Summer Projects unless they’re also willing to accept any position offered by our partner employers.

2.   JOB DIFFICULTY. As explained above, students will not know their specific job until after committing to Summer Projects. Some jobs are recreational in nature, but this is not the norm. Most students will work an ordinary, full-time job at a difficulty level one might expect for an entry-level position in the tourism industry.

3.   COMPENSATION. Student workers will be compensated by their employer through food, lodging and salary. All locations feature ordinary, cafeteria-style dining. Lodging is dorm-style rooms with roommates (most locations offer students the option to request roommates). In addition to food and lodging, employers also provide modest financial compensation. Overtime is often available, but you can expect a base salary for ten weeks at around $2,000 – $2,500. 

The exact nature and compensation for work will vary from location to location and job to job. Nevertheless, all three 2020 locations feature similar, so a few general observations hold across the program:   

  1. JOB SPECIFICITY: Applicants should realize that while securing a spot with summer projects guarantees a job with an employer, it does not guarantee any *particular* job. After being accepted to Summer Projects by FOCUS, students will be directed to fill out a secondary application with their assigned employer. Students will not know their specific job until after the processing of this secondary application, and employers are free to assign students in accord with the current needs of their company. Students should not accept an offer with Summer Projects unless also willing to accept any position offered by one of our employers.

  2. JOB DIFFICULTY: As explained in #1, students will not know their specific job until after committing to Summer Projects. Some jobs are recreational in nature, but this is not the norm. Most students will work an ordinary, full-time job possessing the requisite difficulty one might expect for an entry-level position in the tourism industry.

  3. COMPENSATION: Students workers will be compensated by their employer by means of food, lodging, and salary. All locations feature ordinary, cafeteria-style dining. Lodging is simple, dorm-style rooms with roommates (most locations offer students the option to request roommates). In addition to food and lodging, employers also provide modest financial compensation. Over-time is often available, but one can expect a base salary for ten weeks between $2,000-$2,500. 

FOCUS Summer Projects will host three programs in 2020. Each location is different, but all locations feature employment opportunities with YMCA resorts. A sample (but non-exhaustive) list of positions is provided below:

Conference Setup and Services (CSS)
YMCA resorts move hundreds of thousands of people per summer, and a large fraction of that is a result of conferences. There are numerous lodges and presentation rooms throughout, and they all need to be flipped and cleaned for each conference. CSS is usually the largest department and is the best way to meet a lot of people. You may drive trucks/golf carts and work closely in teams. CSS workers may occasionally be asked to work a night shift; CSS often involves ample opportunity for overtime.

Food Service
Despite being one of the messier jobs, food service has a great perk: access to more food! As a college student, you know that eating at the same place every day will make you extremely tired with your school’s cafeteria, no matter how good it is. The YMCAs are no different. If you want some different food every now and then, maybe from the fancier cafeterias, you’ll at least want to know someone in Food Service. Food Service is a difficult but fun job involving ample opportunities to get to spend conversational time with other students. 

Hospitality
All resorts need someone to clean their facilities. Most YMCA resorts will need to clean hundreds of rooms and cabins each day, and it’s the hospitality crew that gets the job done. Hospitality is tough job, but it ordinarily involves spending the entire day with other students, so hospitality workers usually become great friends. 

Guest Registration
Customer service is huge in the tourism industry, and the YMCAs are no different. This job requires one to be mentally sharp for most of the day. Guest registrants are the smiling faces at the front desk of their respective resorts, ensuring that guests have a smooth transition into their stay. These jobs usually involve working with people all day, so if you are someone who gets flustered easily or you are not a “people person,” there may be better jobs. Most students enjoy guest registration positions, but personality is a must!

Hot Shot
This is the most flexible job on offer. A Hot Shot serves as the multi-purpose employee. Hot Shots may be called to personally follow around a conference coordinator and relay their requests via the radio; they may be asked to sell ice cream; they may be asked to drive a handicapped guest on a golf cart; etc. Nothing is outside of your job description, and you may be a fill-in for other jobs. These positions are perfect for anyone interested in variety from day to day.

Adventure Activities
As the employees with the best tans, Adventure Activities is the most recreational of all departments. Duties for such employees include leading hikes, running repelling walls, checking recreational equipment and much more!

Day Camp
Every YMCA resort hosts a non-overnight day camp in which grade school students can enjoy outdoor recreation. Camps require camp counselors. Day camp positions are fantastic opportunities for anyone interested in working with children.

Specialized Jobs
The aforementioned jobs do not constitute an exhaustive list of the jobs available at each resort. Every resort offers several specialized jobs, including internships, and FOCUS students are generally able to apply for any full-time seasonal position offered at their location.