11 Reasons Why You Should Be A Camp Counselor
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11 Reasons Why You Should Be A Camp Counselor

I have found my happy place.

11 Reasons Why You Should Be A Camp Counselor
Nadia Clark

I spent my summer at Camp Ton-A-Wandah in North Carolina, with the most interesting, loving girls. Here’s twelve reasons to be a camp counselor:

1. You can be yourself

Coming into camp I was terrified what the other counselors and even my campers would think about me. I was scared to be myself and show my crazy, clueless side. I didn’t want to be laughed at and I wanted everyone to like me. But, I found out that everyone is as crazy as you are. We come in as quiet as a mouse, then after a week everyone is dancing their butts off and saying the funniest things. They were like me and I couldn’t care less what others thought about me.

2. It's a chance to step away from the real world.

At first it was the biggest challenge to take myself away from the world. I didn’t want to lose contact with my friends and family. I wanted to know what was happening. When weeks passed, I spent my time writing letters to my friends and family-- I didn’t have my face in front of small bright screen 24/7. I got to see what was around me and enjoy my life even more. I didn’t have to worry about negative stuff that was happening around the world. I didn’t have to worry about missing out because I was living it already.

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3. Inside jokes that only camp friends know.

Every single day, my friends and my campers were creating funny jokes or even memories. If we came home, people wouldn’t know what we would be talking about because it’s a camp thing. I was a lifeguard and we had so many inside jokes that I can’t even begin to explain them to my home friends and family, simply because they weren't there. I guess its just a camp thing.

4. You are a role model

I walked around camp every single day with my head held high, saying hello to everyone I saw, seeing how my girls' activities were that day, and if they needed anything. In the back of my head I always told myself, if you are having a bad day, then shake it off because your girls will notice, and feel the energy. They will follow everything you are doing. They want to grow up to be like you. You are at camp for the girls and other past things get put in a file for a different time. My girls gave me happiness and I sure gave it back

5. Don’t have to impress anyone

There is no reason to impress others around you, because they are the same way. All day everyday I was either in my lifeguard suit or a XL T-shirt and shorts. My hair either down and puffy, or in braids. Camp is a way to not care about your body, or how your hair and make up have to be. You are around girls who are happy to just be with their friends.

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6. The scenery

Everyday I took a deep breath in to smell the mountain air while hearing the birds chirping and the echoes from the other end of camp.I was always hearing thunder before even seeing it. Morning fog was covering the mountains and the sunset was touching the tip of the hill. Those are some of the most beautiful sights and sounds I have ever experienced.

7. You have a sense of Responsibility

You are responsible for every kid at camp. You keep the kids safe, you tell them the rules. Your eyes are awake, your ears are alert, and your body is moving. You are responsible for having he kids walk with a buddy, to never leave them alone, and to always help them when they are unsure. The biggest part for me was life guarding. I couldn't fool around, I couldn’t take my eyes away from my post, because, if I did, I could have missed something. Someone could have drowned or hurt themselves, so I couldn't play around. I had the responsibility to keep my kids safe, and to help them have fun.

8. That summer glow

As a life guard I got a pretty nice one piece tan. Even if you're not a life guard, being outside the majority of everyday leads to some pretty interesting tan lines. But hey, a farmer’s tan is still a tan. My personal favorite is the Chaco tan lines and the competitions that the whole camp would have to see who had the most tan feet.

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9. Making a difference

Being with 7-8 year olds 24/7 for three weeks changes them and you so much. These kids come to camp, shy, confused, scared, and homesick. Many of the girls know each other but lots are new to the environment. After a week these girls' eyes open, ready to wake up and start their day with the friends they’ve made as well as spending it with their counselors. They make them smile, feel loved, confident, and like they can do anything. We only get them for three weeks, but the impact they have on us and the impact we make on them is one that will last a lifetime.

10. It’s your safe place

One of my camp best friends always told me “camp is your safe place.” I will always remember that. If I had a bad day at camp, or something was happening, I knew I could talk to anyone. No one would be disappointed. No one would judge you. Camp is my safe place, I knew I was safe, I never had to worry about bad things. Camp is your safe place, with the loving people that you are surrounded by.

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11. You find your life time friends

Saying goodbye was, and always will be, the hardest thing I had to do. But, by coming to Camp Ton-A-Wanda, I have found my friends that will be at my wedding, and who I will see again as we drop our kids off at Camp Ton-A-Wandah someday. I have found my friends that understand me, that will always be there for me, even if we are hundreds of miles away or even across the world. I know I have found my life time friends. I wouldn’t change anything in the world. I will never forget the amazing girls I met this summer. It might have been my first year at camp, but camp and all of the amazing people I met there in just those few short months will always have a special place in my heart.

Camp has changed my life for the better and I would live it all over again in a heart beat. I was at a sleep away camp ten hours away from home. A new area of my life where I was surrounded by hundreds of loving, emotional, joyful, and crazy girls ages five to fourteen year olds. There were so many thoughts being thrown at me. Is this really a good idea? Am I going to make any friends? I can’t be myself. My dream job is working with kids, this is perfect.

People said I was crazy for working at an all girls camp, that I was going to lose it with just girls, and that there would be way too much drama. But, I will say something, this was the best summer job I have ever had. Yes, it was an all girls camp and yes, there were no boys-- but that was the best part. No one worried about who goes with which boy to sneak off to the corner. I made memories with my girls, I took them on adventures, I made them laugh, and they made me laugh. I found myself a home away from home. I got the chance to be a kid again, and at the same time I got the opportunity to grow.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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