This summer, the Belmont Day Summer Camp administration team welcomed two college students to launch new roles as business and marketing interns. Katey Finnerty ‘17, a rising junior at Denison University, and Gaby Namouni, also a junior in the fall at Tufts University, are both veteran camp counselors and were looking for new opportunities to advance their studies through work experience while staying connected to and helping a summer camp they love.
“I was hoping for some new experiences this summer, but I also wanted to continue working at BDS,” said Finnerty, a member of the Belmont Day community since 2007, when she entered the school as a kindergartner. “I spoke with Zach [d’Arbeloff, director of summer programs], and he suggested a role in which I could assist with business operations and run the camp’s social media.”
Namouni also reached out to d’Arbeloff before the season in hopes of finding a new way to engage with the camp community.
“As a film and media studies major and entrepreneurship minor, I wanted to find an opportunity that would allow me to further my interests in these fields,” Namouni said. “Through this position, I am enhancing my marketing skills and gaining a better understanding of the logistics behind running a business.”
The two interns’ daily responsibilities include a mix of back-office accounting work as well as outward-facing communications and marketing.
“In this position, we are responsible for helping with the payroll process and expense tracking,” Finnerty said. “I have become a lot more comfortable with spreadsheets and have a newfound appreciation for all that human resources entails.”
“On the marketing and communications side, we are running the camp’s social media and have launched a weekly newsletter [Summer Scoop] that’s sent out every Friday to all camp families,” Namouni added.
From counselor training during the week before pre-camp through the busiest camp sessions right now in mid-summer, the two interns have pushed themselves to capture and share the spirit and unique joys of camp at Belmont Day. That hard work and a greater emphasis on video are quickly yielding strong results.
“The Instagram account has gained more than 200 followers so far this summer, and our number of ‘likes per post’ has risen significantly. We also created a TikTok account [featuring the lives and insights of the camp staff], and videos on that platform consistently get thousands of views. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, especially from parents.” Finnerty said. “They love getting a look into the day-to-day at camp and the activities their kids are participating in.”
The summer is far from over, but Finnerty and Namouni are already aware and appreciative of the gains they’re seeing for themselves as well.
“This internship has allowed me to work on my marketing skills, specifically how to engage audiences best,” Namouni said. “I feel I’ve also learned how to manage different business logistics and how to manage various financial aspects efficiently. And lastly, by getting to work with a large group, from staff members to campers, I’ve grown in my communications skills.”
“I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned this summer is about the type of professional community that I want to be a part of after graduation,” Finnerty added. “The collaborative, supportive, and fun environment of Belmont Day Camp will be hard to beat!”
For d’Arbeloff, who sees the duo hard at work each day, this internship has been a huge success for the camp community.
“One of our goals this year was to make camp more visible and show families what happens at BDS Summer. Gaby and Katey are fantastic team members who bring their creativity and drive each day,” d’Arbeloff said. “Their work is greatly beneficial to our campers, families, and staff. It’s also awesome to help driven young people learn new skills they will use after they leave summer camp.”