So you are thinking about being a camp counselor for a summer? Do you want to spend a summer working in a stunning setting in the mountains with fresh air and beautiful weather and travel to new parts of the world? Are you looking to expand on your experience working with children or coaching? Do you want the ability to meet people from all over the world and make everlasting friendships? Do you want to make a difference in someone’s life?
Being a camp counselor is one of the hardest jobs that you will love. The relationships you create and the impact you make with campers and staff members will give you memories and friends that can last a lifetime.
The job of camp counselor is very challenging and demanding (along with being a lot of fun!) While working as a camp counselor you are constantly engrossed with the campers’ experience. You rarely get a chance to check facebook, you barely get a chance to check your phone, and you have kids full of energy begging for you to play cards, play games or shoot hoops with them. On top of that, you live and sleep in the same room as these campers.
But why do it? The reward of being a camp counselor stays with you for the rest of your life. Helping a camper shoot his or her first bull’s-eye in archery, having a camper conquer his or her fear of heights on the high ropes course, help teach a camper how to start his or her own lanyard knot only to hear they were able to do it on their own. It is the little things that as young adults and adults we take for granted. It is the ability to create fun and lasting memories.
To be a successful camp counselor in any camp environment, you have to be a mature goofball. When you come to work at a summer camp, you need to check your ego at the front gate. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and allow others to laugh with you. It shows the campers and other staff members that you are here to have fun and nothing is going to stop you, but you are going to do it in a mature and safe manner. You have to be able to create games on the fly, play these crazy games and enjoy them like it is best game you have ever played. Finally, you have to be able to put the camper first, no matter how quickly they can push your buttons (which may happen.)
One of the best qualities a great counselor has is being able to listen. Listen to what your camper has to say; whether it is talking about their arts and crafts activity, of their pets from home, or their crazy stories about family vacations. If you actually listen to the campers, they will learn to respect you as a counselor and a person.
The one quality we always see in the great counselors we have worked with is their ability to put the camper before him or herself; no matter the issue, no matter the time, no matter how tired you might be. What happens when a camper has a problem? The GOOD counselor makes sure someone is there to resolve the issue and leaves… The GREAT counselor sits with that camper until he or she is feeling better again, even if that means leaving late on your night off, and checks in with them over the next couple days.
The difference of being a good counselor, to a great counselor, can also have an impact on whether the campers have just a good summer, or the best summer ever.
The best summer ever starts with you. When a camper goes home for the summer and begins to tell his or her parents about the great summer they had, YOUR NAME will be said within the first ten words in that child’s story of his or her summer.
You have an opportunity as a summer camp counselor to make a difference in child’s life. Whether it is life skills, social skills, or just having fun, you have the option to create that for the camper.
Think about a time in your life when someone helped you achieve something you are proud of. You get a chance to be that person. That is why we are here. The work is demanding; that is why being a camp counselor is one of the hardest jobs that you will love. With hard work comes great reward, and there is not better reward than a happy child. It is an experience you will never forget.