22 Things Any Camp Counselor (From Camp Canadensis) Can Appreciate

22 Things Any Camp Counselor (From Camp Canadensis) Can Appreciate

There's no place else I'd rather be, than on the shores of Lenape...

Maybe I’m biased, but Camp Canadensis is one of the best overnight summer camps in the nation. Located in Northeastern Pennsylvania among the Pocono Mountains, Camp Canadensis is the summer home to about 500 kids and 250 staff members. I had the great fortune to work as a lacrosse activity specialist this past summer, and I highly recommend anyone who is looking for a job this summer to consider spending it working at an overnight camp. Whether or not you worked at Camp Canadensis or another camp, here are 21 things that any camp counselor can appreciate from summer camp!

1. Reveille

That 8 a.m. trumpet call is the most dreadful thing to wake up to in the morning. It’s loud, it's obnoxious, but every time you hear it you know it’s going to be another great day of camp.

2. Camp Cheers

Whether it was screaming your head off, yelling out your bunk number in the Dining Hall, or cheering for your team in color war until your voice goes hoarse, there is nothing like a good camp cheer.

3. Nights Off Duty

During the summer, you get about three nights off per week and the question always was where do we go, Walmart or the PourHouse? Walmart has everything you could possibly need for the week and sharing a $5 tub of ice cream with your friends is always a great idea. But the PourHouse has delicious food and wings that are just as great, and you can always count on an intense round of pool to bring everyone together.

4. Nights On Duty

When you weren’t off, you were on. On Duty nights or OD nights were always eventful. Maybe you were going to be at Canteen with your campers until 11 p.m., or maybe you were going to get into an intense bracket of rafterball, staying up past midnight, until finally a winner can be declared.

5. Sunglasses

The most coveted and most important item to have in your possession. It's always sunny at Canadensis and you’re going to lose at least three of them over the course of the summer, so you always have to make sure you’re stocked up when you go to Walmart on your off nights.

6. Morning Lineup

GOOOOOOD MORNING!!! There's no better way to start your day than by having a dance party with all your camp friends and counselors up on the stage, or by hearing your favorite baseball team has beaten the Yankees.

7. The Lake

Three words: Sunrises and sunsets. Hands down, the sunrises and sunsets on Lake Lenape are like no other. Besides being the most beautiful sight in the morning and night, every counselor can relate to how difficult it is to get your campers into the water or to go down the Ice Mountain! And you can’t blame them, the, freezing water, squishy lake floor, and green algae that stays on you when you come out, doesn’t really make you want to go in!

8. Off Days

You only get five days off during the summer but when you had one you always used those 24 hours to your advantage. These were some of the best days of summer because it was time you could spend not only doing whatever you want, but also really building your relationships with the other staff at camp. From New York City, to Philadelphia, to the Jersey Shore, every off day was more exciting than the next.

9. Rest Hour

Rest hour is a one hour period after lunch where your campers can play rafterball, or shower, or write letters. For the older campers this period was often used for napping and catching up with the other bunks and their siblings at camp that they hadn't seen all day.

10. Color War

Apache. Rope Burn. Counselor Feats. There are too words for Color War. As a new counselor you get thrown into it just like the new campers and if you’re lucky, you’ll survive and come out victorious at the end. But until Color War breaks again, the winners have ENDLESS bragging rights. (Go Blue team till I die).

11. Camp Food

If you like chicken and carbohydrates this is the place for you!! But honestly, the food isn’t really half bad and we get three meals a day and dessert after dinner so there’s nothing to complain about but… c’mon… it’s not like anything would pass with Gordon Ramsey…

12. Trip Week

The most exciting week besides color War for the campers. The oldest campers travel to different places such as Lake Placid, Baltimore, or Washington D.C., or Disney World and the middle division of campers take a trip to Hersey Park. The youngest kids stay in camp get to take over for a week, it's chaos but everyone loves it. As a counselor, if you’re a general counselor, you get to go on the trip with your kids and explore anywhere they go. If you’re an activities counselor, you stay back at the camp and get to work with the young campers all week. Either way it’s always a fun and exciting week.

13. Prom

The CIT's big night. Prom is planned by the Super Seniors for the CITs to enjoy, but the rest of Senior camp is allowed to attend as well. It's crazy and hectic if you're on the planning end of Prom, but it's one of the most special nights of camp for the CITs since they have dates, great food, personalized invitations, and special announcements.

14. MTV Night

So. Much. Fun. MTV Night is when the whole camp comes together to watch each bunk showcase a dance they've choreographed and been practicing since, virtually, the end of last summer. Warning: MTV Night comes late in the summer, so your campers will propose all kinds of conspiracies about possible Color War breaks and fake breaks happening that night, so stay alert and be prepared just in case they're right!

15. Activity Periods

There are six 45-minute periods throughout the day where the campers can go to different activities of their choice. It’s amazing how many options the kids can choose from. They can play lacrosse, drive Hondas, ride horses, sail, or compete in archery, mahjong, rocketry, and if arts is their forte, they can hone their skills in ceramics, woodwork, or even glass fusion! And seriously, that’s just a fraction of what they can choose from. Like I said: Amazing.

16. Off Periods

Once a day, for 45 minutes a counselor has the opportunity to use their phone, sleep, eat, and basically do whatever they want. These short periods were so important to keeping up with the busyness of the camp experience. Most often, you’d find yourself slumped in the Staff Lounge trying to catch up with your friends or co-counselors, or going through all your social media trying to get the latest news.

17. Canteen

What can’t I say about Canteen? Well first of all, it’s different for Middle Camp and Senior Camp. For Middle Camp it’s a much shorter time period where the campers can receive candy and soda and spend time socializing with the boys and girls in their division. For Senior Camp, they also receive candy and soda but they also occasionally have raves and parties during Canteen. As a counselor, it’s a huge time for your campers to mingle with each other and start some summer lovin’.

18. Rak Dan

Crazy. Exciting. Colorful. 80s. Dancing. Rak Don can best be described as the summer camp version of a rave. As a counselor this is a great opportunity for you to dance with your campers and dress up in the brightest, craziest outfits that you can find.

19. Visiting Day

Visiting Day is the halftime of summer camp. Four weeks in and three weeks to go. The kids spend the day with their family eating sushi and receiving huge bags full of enough candy and food to last them through the next Ice Age. But don’t be fooled, it’s not a walk in the park for counselors. It’s one of the busiest and most exciting days of the year because you get meet all of your campers’ parents and siblings and sometimes even their best friends. And if you think you’ve got some wild campers, just wait till you meet their parents!

20. Bunko

Bunko gets called when it’s rainy, nasty weather outside or when the campers deserve a day to relax. It basically means all your campers and co-counselors get to spend the afternoon together in the cabin and around camp playing games or rafterball or practicing their MTV night dance. It’s always fun and you never know what to expect!

23. Alma Mater

Going into the summer, you have no idea how important the Alma Mater is to the camp experience. Every time there is a whole camp event, it will be closed with singing the Alma Mater. Color War ends with everyone coming together to sing the Alma Mater. Never will a song touch your heart as much as the tune of Lake Lenape will.

22. The Friendships

It doesn’t matter what kind of counselor you are or what division you have; it is guaranteed you will have one of the most unforgettable summers of your life. The memories you make with the friends and the people you meet from all across the nation and world will be something you will remember for years on end. I am confident in saying I have made some of the best friends from working at summer at camp and I look forward to the day when I can visit my friends from all over the US, across the pond in Europe, and down under in Australia and New Zealand.

Cover Image Credit: Camp Canadensis

Popular Right Now

34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.

Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Remember To Live In The Present, There's No Reason To Be Concerned About The Past

Constantly thinking about the future will cause you to neglect the present.


Everyone pretty much does this. During a moment when you're bored and you suddenly start daydreaming about the glamorous life you'll have in maybe five to ten years is not a problem in my eyes. It's normal to think about the type of life you want in the future. However, if thinking about the future causes you to ignore and miss out on what is happening at the moment then that kind of is a problem. Even though I know that constantly thinking about or worrying about the future is not good, I still seem to do it. It's a habit that is hard for me to break.

I have read many blog posts and watched many videos about how living in the present will make you happier. I've always been the type of person to constantly think about the future; whether it's about something as important as my career or something not as important like which set of pajamas I'm going to wear to bed. I've caught myself multiple times missing out on something due to zoning out and most of the time thinking about something that doesn't matter until later to come. I'll never forget the time I went to see pop and r&b; singer, Yuna, perform during my sophomore year of college. I remember I couldn't wait for her to perform my favorite song of hers. When she finally did I unintentionally started thinking about which classes I was going to take in the spring semester! As if that even mattered at the moment! I realized that I was missing the song and brought myself back to earth before it was over.

There have also been many times where I would lose some sleep because I would think about the future, and at times the past as well.

It has never been to the point of me not being able to sleep for so many nights in a row, but I know constantly thinking about the future or past, especially if there is stress added to it, could cause sleepless nights to occur. To me living in the moment is the way to live. Thinking about the future and preparing for it is not at all a bad thing. Even bringing up the past, as long as it is positive or it will be used for teaching is okay too! I believe that it's bad when thinking about the future and past stops you from enjoying what is happening at the moment. I am definitely going to try harder to be more in the present and to enjoy the moment myself.

Related Content

Facebook Comments