A student camp is a form of a summer camp that combines work-based learning with spending your free time being active. Student camps have been run in Estonia for over 50 years. The main objective of the camp is to combine work and community activities and to offer young people their first work experience. When the camps were first organised, they were run nationwide, but now each municipality can run its own camps according to their ideas and young people’s preferences. Activities can be carried out with or without an overnight stay, subject to the participants’ preferences and the means at their disposal.
For many young people, it will give them their very first work experience. Each camp has its own group leader who, in addition to coordinating the camp, guides, supports and helps young people. The jobs are provided by the municipality or by different local companies. In addition to work and leisure activities, participants will receive training in labour law, CV writing and career planning. It gives young people an insight into the world of work and hopefully helps them make better choices in their adult lives.
In this way, a young person will gain experience that is helpful when applying for jobs in the future, as they have already gone through the entire process of recruitment. To apply for a job, you must send in your application or fill in a form. It is also a part of developing young people’s IT skills. You will be required to attend a job interview before you can join the camp. During the interview, young people introduce themselves, outline their motivation for participating and can also make suggestions on how to plan the camp.
It brings young people into contact with different people, helping them to develop their interpersonal skills. One needs to liaise with employers, group leaders and peers. As there are at least ten members in a team, it is important to be considerate of others – it is important to make a contribution as a team. You will learn something new every day. As young people are paid at least the Estonian minimum wage, they can develop their mathematical skills. Getting paid for their work is very important – both daily and monthly wages are explained. Through work and careers information, young people can find out more about the taxes associated with their work, and decide which occupation would suit them in the future.
Many camps held in Estonia are innovative, offering young people the chance to acquire knowledge that is entirely new to them. Participants will take part in exciting new workshops, visit innovative companies and sometimes innovative companies will also offer jobs to young people.
As well as getting the job done, spending leisure time in a fun and active way with new friends and camp mates is, of course, also an integral part of the camp. The camp helps develop social skills and after work participants can take part in a variety of exciting activities with their camp mates.
It is a great way to gain new experiences, both in terms of work as well as leisure. It is also a great way to develop your entrepreneurial skills, build up your courage and have a great summer!
This article is published on the youth information portal Teeviit in 2022.