13 Signs You Were A Camp Counselor This Summer
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13 Signs You Were A Camp Counselor This Summer

Don't say I didn't warn you.

13 Signs You Were A Camp Counselor This Summer
Mariah Lotts

As 20-something-year-olds, we are bombarded with questions such as, "What are you doing for the summer?" "Did you apply to any internships for the summer yet?" "Are you taking summer classes?" If you're anything like me, you did none of these this summer. Instead, you decided to spend six weeks of your precious summer working as a camp counselor. In spirit of this job coming to its end, I have decided to share with you 13 things that inevitably happen to you as a camp counselor, and don't say I didn't warn you.

1. You have an overwhelming amount of friendship bracelets.

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As camp progresses, the friendship bracelets, lanyards, and pictures multiply every day. Your campers like to show their love for you by making you things, and the more you have, the more you loved you are (or so they say).

2. You start to call your coworkers by their nicknames even when there are no kids around.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F05%2F636060266305942869-1080697383_You-come-up-nicknames-other-people-office.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=439&h=af93ffd49e6087d78e9b54f39a6131d5500b48d5461b1fb93606f5de0b14645e&size=980x&c=509875380 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F05%252F636060266305942869-1080697383_You-come-up-nicknames-other-people-office.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D439%26h%3Daf93ffd49e6087d78e9b54f39a6131d5500b48d5461b1fb93606f5de0b14645e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D509875380%22%7D" expand=1]

The amount of times I did this to my coworkers was ridiculous. From personal experience, try to not say their "real" name, because if you do, your campers won't let it go.

3. When camp ends, you suddenly have a burst of followers on your social media accounts.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F05%2F636060271921255348-1759180198_8.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=331&h=591820eb243645da93d9e6f0703b80b2cad618fcf65adace2c5e47654c09f082&size=980x&c=2487206560 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F05%252F636060271921255348-1759180198_8.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D331%26h%3D591820eb243645da93d9e6f0703b80b2cad618fcf65adace2c5e47654c09f082%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2487206560%22%7D" expand=1]

Believe it or not, these kids look up to you and want to know everything about your life. So, when your job is ending, they will follow you on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat... Beware of the spam.

4. You got tan in the weirdest places.

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This part of the job is inevitable. Whether you're lifeguarding, playing soccer in the heat, or going camping, you will get tan. (But it will be a weird splotchy tan, so don't get your hopes up.)

5. The bags under your eyes are so real.

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From waking the kids up in the morning to supervising the activities and going on different trips, constant activity will definitely take a toll on you, as well as your sleep schedule. Wear those under-eye circles with pride, because they will most likely never go away.

6. If you didn't drink caffeine before, you will now.

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This job will consume your life, as well as your sleep, so make sure you have that caffeine ready to help you combat the day.

7. You won't want to pick favorites, but you will anyways.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F05%2F636060358775829519-514643112_442fde4e5276e8bd686f2570f3a7fff686a97fbd3fe25a97669d6be561a69a2f.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=16&h=fdf73b5c0d5cd64f97a99c707bd9e7bb0332f2eae8026dc952b9c3776155d029&size=980x&c=2705000683 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F05%252F636060358775829519-514643112_442fde4e5276e8bd686f2570f3a7fff686a97fbd3fe25a97669d6be561a69a2f.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D16%26h%3Dfdf73b5c0d5cd64f97a99c707bd9e7bb0332f2eae8026dc952b9c3776155d029%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2705000683%22%7D" expand=1]

As much as you will probably hate admitting it to yourself, picking favorites is a real thing. There will be those campers you do not necessarily like, and the ones whom you do like. There will be the easy ones and the ones who give you a hard time; it all depends. So try your best not to pick favorites, even though it will probably happen anyways.

8. You will be reminded how different summer camp is now vs. when you were a kid.

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I had the privilege of working at the summer camp that I actually went to when I was younger. Coming back 10 years later, I have realized just how different it is from when I was here. The kids would rather play computer games than be outside and be on their phones than interact with other campers. With this job comes a lot of nostalgia, which was one of my favorite parts.

9. The bonds you form with your coworkers are unlike any other bond.

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You will laugh together, cry together, get mad at kids together, and vent about the kids together, and I think that's the beauty of this job. These are the people who support you and love you through this process, and it's only natural for your friendship to grow over the course of this job.

10. Your stern voice is a work in progress.

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Even if you are a quiet, timid person, develop your stern authoritative voice ASAP. There will be children who do not follow the rules at times, so this stern voice will be much needed. You will be surprised at how effective this really is.

11. You will get really good at telling people no.

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Whether it's kids asking if they can have their phones, shower, eat food at a certain time, and no matter how many times you say no, they will still ask. Get used to saying no because it will forever be ingrained in your vocabulary.

12. You'll probably never want kids after this job.

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Working with kids is hard. I now have such a profound respect for all the parents out there, so shout out to you people. If anything, this job has made me halt my biological clock by at least 10 years.

13. But despite all of these inevitable things, the relationships you make with the campers make it all worth it.

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No matter how boring you think you may be, you are acting as a role model for these children, and seeing the relationships blossom was one of my favorite parts of working as a camp counselor. Yes, this job is time-consuming, yes, you will break at some point, and yes, you will be sleep
deprived and take out your frustration at times -- but the friendships and lasting impressions you make on your campers' lives is by far the most meaningful part, which makes it all worth it.

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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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