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...
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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

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39 Things Every Girl Should Really Know About Life By 20

38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.
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1. Dispute ALL tickets... even if you were going 35mph over the speed limit.

ticket

How can it hurt? If anything you can save yourself some money.

2. If you're not 10 minutes early, you're late.

Your boss, your teachers, your co-workers... They all notice. Be the early one.

3. If you find yourself waking up feeling miserable, start the day by making your bed and washing your face.

Coming back to a made bed after a sh*tty day can change the world.

4. It's okay to fall off track once in a while. You'll only be wiser for next time. (Don't push it, though!)

When I say fall off track I don't mean COMPLETELY off... Just make sure you hold onto something that reminds you to keep going. You'll figure it out... Sometimes it takes years and that's okay.

5. Don't fight your family. They ARE always going to love you.

family

I used to fight my family and try to push them away... It was probably the dumbest thing I've ever done looking back. So, even if you say, "I'm never going to like them!" Trust me you will. Unless they're actually toxic a**holes...

6. Mom actually, seriously, literally, insanely knows everything.

It's crazy, I swear my mom is psychic. Or she can see the future. I used to do the opposite of what she said and my life was messier... Now that I found out about her powers I listen and things run smoother. Weird. Love you, Ma.

7. If an elder in your family tries giving you money as a gift or to cover lunch... Reject it first.

They won't stop insisting and they will force you to take the money even if you say no 3,000 times. So why not earn some brownie points and act like you seriously didn't need it. Meanwhile, you know how badly you need it.

8. An e-mail and/or a phone call goes a long way.

Don't pester... But if you're the one who calls to "follow up on a resume," a week or two after you applied, you're the standout!

Also, as a college student, I find e-mailing and staying in touch with professors builds a relationship and engraves your name into their brains. As long as you're good at writing e-mails and a good student, they'll usually instinctively like you more; seeing how much effort you spent on communicating.

9. If you hate school, just suffer through the attendance, and make sure the teacher knows your name.

Even if you actually have no idea what Descartes sixth meditation is about... Just show up, do the work consistently, and build a relationship with the teacher. They won't fail you if they see effort. (Just don't give them a reason to!)

10. It seems like the end of the world sometimes... it's not.

"And this too shall pass."

11. If you hate yourself one day (or even all the time), just pretend you don't.

Did you know our facial expressions can influence our emotions?

12. Line up another miserable part-time job before quitting your current one.

work

Waitressing, customer service, reception... We've all been there and it usually sucks (Unless your parents spoil you too much). So, if you need to get the hell out of there, make sure you have somewhere else to go before you quit. And give 'em a notice in advance, don't be a d*ck.

13. Traveling is the best thing in the world.

travel

I don't need to explain much more. I think we can all agree we want to witness the beautiful parts of this world we've never seen before.

14. If someone doesn't say thank you when you hold the door for them...

...hit them with the classic under-your-breath-but-you-know-they-heard-you type of "you're welcome!"

15. Respect authority, even if you think you're right.

cops

Just FULLY cooperate and it WILL be easier. It's also great to make friends with authority figures. Talk to everyone! Make connections and maybe you'll learn something new.

16. Spend time outside and in public.

After high school, you aren't forced into a classroom five days a week where you will have to socialize. After high school, you can decide to chill in your room and do nothing. But seriously don't make a habit out of it, you will end up feeling like crap when you realize you have no friends.

17. Don't roll your eyes at people.

So rude. Eye-rolling just makes it look like you're admitting you're wrong and you have no defense to whatever made you roll your eyes.

18. Life's a b*tch and then you die... But guess what? Even B*tches have fun!

mean girls

News flash, we are currently all in the process of dying. Stop worrying so much and try to have fun even in the dullest of moments.

19. If you're speaking about something professional, call don't text.

You do realize we still have a call feature on the iPhone, right? Use it.

20. Decorate the Christmas tree with your family amidst your teen angst.

 christmas

It really seems like a horrible excursion to pile into a mini-van, cut down a tree in the freezing cold, and then hang shiny balls while developing a rash on your hand from the prickles... But down the road, you'll regret not doing it.

21. The D.A.R.E. program makes it seem like drugs are just freely handed out.

drugs

That sh*t's expensive. And you don't want to do it, anyway (Minus weed it's harmless, just wait until you're old enough!) .

22. Smile and say hi to as many people a day as you can.

You never know if you just made someone feel a little better or accepted.

23. Make sure the E-brake is OFF.

brake

It will sound like you're dragging a dead body attached to your car and will ruin your brakes. Just double check.

24. Use all your resources even when it seems pointless.

Even if you learn absolutely nothing, you gain connections.

25. What's most important in life?

Connections.

26. Know how to swim.

swim

It is a basic skill everyone should know. You don't need to be Phelps. Just doggy paddle if you're really that bad.

27. If you don't have a firm handshake, learn how to, a**hole.

handshake

If you are a lady shaking a man's hand, strive to have a firmer grip than him. You'll either scare the sh*t out of him, gain serious respect, or get complimented on how great your handshake is! That's my favorite compliment if I'm being honest.

28. Step back and think before you explode.

Seriously dude, don't press send. You probably used the words, "like" and "literally" too much in your text, anyway. Wait 10 minutes and see if it's worth it.

Also, it's better in person.

29. Question everything.

question

Never assume you're safe or well-informed. There could be a murderer in that restaurant... Question anything that you aren't sure of. Hell, even question what you are sure of.

30. Don't trust a headline or statistic until you know it's credible.

What if you're looking at a bar graph from 1968, not 2018? You might think this is obvious, but there are clearly plenty of people who share false information. We've probably done it ourselves before. We should all work on that.

31. Park far from the store.

parkng

Walk, you lazy youthful soul. Unless you require a handicap spot or weather conditions are poor.

32. Take the stairs.

"I have no time to workout!" *takes elevator*

33. Don't text people when you want to tell them how you feel.

It only makes you feel good for like 20 seconds and then you'll probably read it back saying, "What was I thinking?"

34. Have something to be proud of.

Otherwise, you'll get lost. Life is confusing.

35. Listen to old school music, the classics, and artists who inspired what we hear today.

music

We cannot let the real instruments die people. Do you know how fun a jam band show is?

36. If you're inspired, act fast.

Don't let inspiration slip away. Sometimes it's easy to forget that great feeling.

37. If you start, finish.

Finish what you start and do the best you can at it. We all have off days, that doesn't mean you suck if you mess something up a few times.

38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.

beer

You don't want your favorite bikini stowed in the wrong plane when you go on vacation. Plus you spent all of your money on Corona's and can't buy a new one.

39. Change your oil.

Love your car and it will try to love you back.

Good Luck!

Cover Image Credit: Emily Fahey

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To Any Student Who Has No Idea How To Deal With The Last Few Weeks Of School

We've all been a mess at some point, but high school is usually when you start getting crushed by the massive expectations of everyone and everything you have to do.
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Dear very stressed student,

It's that time of the year — late May. For some reason, your teachers thought it was a good idea to hold all the major projects and tests until now and suddenly expect you to be able to study for and do well on every single one of them. And then there are extracurriculars to deal with. It might be an end of year music exam or the last game of the season. You feel like you're ready to explode from all the pressure and just can't wait until everything is over. Sound familiar?

The truth is, every student has experienced this, especially high school students. This is only my first year in high school, yet the pressure that everything adds to me builds up over time, and when the due dates come up, it's like a cold hard hand slapping you in the face, ordering you to toughen up. No one enjoys that, and it certainly doesn't help with morale.

One thing that most people don't understand is that these end of year examinations don't completely define your success. They certainly don't define you as a person. Some people can handle stress better than others, and not every test is going to be something you excel at. The next time you feel overwhelmed, try sitting back and thinking about all your accomplishments and the good things you've done to get to where you are right now. Surely if you're so stressed, you worked hard in the past to get yourself to that level.

Congratulate yourself, give yourself a little pep talk and move forward. Remember that in about a month, you'll look back on this time and laugh at yourself and how desperate you acted.

You also absolutely positively don't want to procrastinate! I know that it is tempting, and I know that your device may call to you. You must understand that you only have to stress about most of these things for a few more weeks, and then you get a huge weight lifted off your shoulders, no matter what you're doing in the summer. And sorry to break it to you, but hardcore studying for five hours straight will do nothing good for your memory or your health. The night before the exam, you either know something or you don't, so cramming will just hurt you.

Instead, try to make sure that you really know what you know and let instinct guide you on what you don't. Your first guess is usually right in pretty much everything.

SEE ALSO: My Ultimate Pep Talk For Students Stressing: What To Do When Everyone Expects It All From You

Make sure you go into whatever you're doing with a clear mind, with 100 percent of your focus on the task at hand. It may not seem like it, but it is a huge commonality for people, especially teenagers, to be thinking about something else or doing something else when they are supposed to be focusing all their efforts on what they need to do at the moment. I've experienced this firsthand and often caught myself contemplating life during my EOC testing when I was in the middle of writing an essay or reading a passage (oops!).

The truth is, you cannot completely control your thoughts, but you can train your brain to weed out thoughts that may be unnecessary at the moment. Meditation helps to focus your thoughts immensely. Just sit in a quiet spot and focus on one image or word. If other thoughts come to you (which they will), just leave them and refuse to think about them. Act lazy!

Take a deep breath and relax. Whatever needs to be done will be done, and you will end up doing it eventually. In the meantime, there's no point in stressing about something you have no control over until it's upon you. A little optimism never hurt anybody. Good luck on your exams, and walk into them with a smile.

Best,

Kashvi Mundra

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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