10 Reasons Why You Should Be A Camp Counselor

10 Reasons Why You Should Be A Camp Counselor

Serving as a camp counselor has hands down been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.
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As the summer comes to a close and the beginning of school is just around the corner, I'd like to talk about something summer related that is near and dear to my heart: being a camp counselor. If I could describe working as a camp counselor in one word it would have to be "life-changing." Seriously, though, if you ever have the opportunity to work as a camp counselor, you need to take it. Not only is it an amazing experience, but it's also fun! Here are my top ten reasons why:

1. The friendships you make with your fellow staff (and sometimes even campers) will last a lifetime.

You can't help but count down the days till the start of the camp season next year to spend the whole summer with your best friends.

2. You get to spend your summer feeling like a kid again.

I mean, what could be better than hanging around with kids all day? Just because you're a counselor doesn't mean you can't join the fun and games the campers play.

3. The campers look up to you as their role model.

They may ask your advice or confide in you or even ask you to do their hair when time for council fire rolls around. They hope that when they get older they can be camp counselors as well.

4. The endless memories to be made.

You'll find yourself telling your friends at home, "This one time at camp..." and even if it may annoy them, it could never be annoying to you.

5. Technology doesn't rule your life.

You get to spend a few weeks for the most part disconnected from the social media world and it never gets better than that.

6. You are making a difference.

Instead of spending your summer at some boring job you can't stand, you are spending it making a difference in campers' lives and learning lifelong lessons.

7. You'll learn to appreciate the small things.

Such as chatting and playing games with your cabins at ungodly hours of the night.

8. Camp is a judgement free zone.

You won't feel pressured to get all dressed up or put on makeup for the day. No one at camp will care or even notice if your hair isn't brushed or you have your glasses on.

9. It helps with leadership skills.

Whether it be running your own class or just being in charge of an evening activity, you will gain experience and confidence in being a leader.

10. Camp will become your home away from home.

Most people would argue that Walt Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but I beg to differ, and would have to say that camp is.

My last few summers as a camp counselor have been some of the best summers of my life and I have my directors, co-counselors, and campers to thank for that. I truly hope I've encouraged some of you to work as a camp counselor (at least once in your life) and if you already do, I hope you feel the same way about it as I do: life changing.


Cover Image Credit: Emily Canavan

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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