Some ideas for summer jobs

Now that things are starting to finally thaw out and the end of the school year is in sight, it’s prime time for students who like to be outdoors to find a good summer job.
When I was in high school and university, I worked at a number of resorts and fishing camps around Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, and even at a couple of fly-in outfits.
I wanted to be a fishing guide and would work as many days as I could over the season at these places.
Throughout my time in school, I did not work anywhere else but at these various resorts.
Though I would have liked to, I was not able to guide every day. There always were more experienced guides higher up the list than I was, or sometimes there simply weren’t enough guests that wanted to hire a guide.
If guiding was off the table, I still wanted to work so luckily the work at most of these fishing camps is never-ending. Everything from fixing docks and cabins to cutting grass to cleaning boats, there is always something to do.
The best story I have about doing camp work happened out at Ash Rapids Camp when I was in high school. It was late May, a week or so before the prom.
The owner at the time, Roger Clinton, had me running the weed-eater, trimming all the long grass where the lawn mower couldn’t go.
If you have never been out to Ash Rapids before, there is a lot of poison ivy around. I got it a few times when I was a young kid, so I knew what it looked like and was careful not to cut it with the weed-eater, knowing the result would be bad.
Well, a couple of days after my weekend of “weed-eating,” my face and neck broke out in the worst case of poison ivy ever. Evidently, I must have trimmed a few plants unknowingly.
I looked great for my prom date and I think she may have even ditched me at the door.
Getting started as a guide usually takes some time because there are several things you must be competent in before a camp will send you out with their important guests.
You need to know the water that you’ll be fishing, including how to navigate and where to fish. You also need to know how to clean fish and cook a shore lunch, and you need to be able to entertain in the boat.
If you are going to a new body of water, most guides start out by doing camp work and then getting out on the water in the evenings to learn their way around, eventually getting their foot in the door.
Working at these camps is great because there is a lot of variety in what you’ll get to do, so boredom is seldom an issue.
Beyond working at these types of places, students who like to work outside have other options, as well. The Ministry of Natural Resources usually has a few job opening available.
And I know when I was in school, my friends that worked as summer firefighters always were the ones who had the most money.
The boat dealerships and marinas across the region are busiest during the summer months, and usually can use some help with cleaning boats, as well as picking up and delivering boats that are in need of some work.
I’ve been very lucky in my life in that I’ve always worked in places that made me happy. I encourage anybody looking for a job to reach out to the camps, marinas, or whichever organization interests them to find out if any jobs may be available.
And with summer coming up soon, don’t waste any time.
Today, I continue to make my living in the outdoor industry through guiding, competing in tournaments, outdoor writing and photography, and through several activities I do to promote fishing and the outdoors.
Get out there and find that job that will make you happy this summer!

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