5 Ways Being A Camp Counselor Prepares You For Life
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5 Ways Being A Camp Counselor Prepares You For Life

A glimpse into your future.

5 Ways Being A Camp Counselor Prepares You For Life

I have never had a harder, more exhausting, stressful, frustrating and fulfilling job than when I was an overnight camp counselor. As a counselor, you, who are still basically a child yourself, are given the responsibility of watching over children. You are their surrogate parents for their foreseeable future. You will bandage every cut, answer every question and herd your little group of sheep wherever they need to go. These kids will push your buttons in ways that you never thought they could be pushed, to the point where you think you might actually explode. But when push comes to shove, you love them anyway. My campers and my time as a counselor have taught me so much, not only about myself, but about life.

Ultimate patience

When dealing with children, especially children that do not biologically belong to you, patience is key. After answering the same question for the fiftieth time, or shushing until you have no breath left in your lungs, it takes all the patience in your entire body not to strangle them. Other than having your own children, nothing for the rest of your life will try your patience more than being a counselor, but it's definitely worth it. And then when you do have your own kids, you will know what to expect.

“Pro” negotiator

If you're a parent or have been a counselor, you know that children have an answer for everything. No matter what you say or what reason you give, they have a retort, and undoubtedly it's a snarky one. There is no such thing as simply listening to instructions and doing what you're told -- everything, and I mean everything, is a negotiation. After this, I will never feel unprepared negotiating because I've had to tell campers that they have to clean before they get ice cream.

Immunity to grossness

Children are disgusting. They make a mess and walk away. They throw dirt, they eat grass, they draw on each other, they leave food and clothes everywhere and they all seem to be allergic to cleaning. They each live in their own bubble where it's ok to be disgusting and you as a counselor get the lovely job of cleaning it all up.

Working well with others

Being a counselor means working with a lot of people: kids, co-counsellors, people one year older than you who are "in charge." Having to work around and deal with everyone's feelings and ideas is the ultimate lesson in dealing and playing well with others.

Picking your battles

When dealing with kids, everything is a catastrophe and the end of the world. It's impossible, as a counselor, to deal with it all, so you have no choice but to prioritize. You learn quickly that a medical emergency is usually just a cut and any lost object is most likely right under their nose. You'll figure out what battles are worth fighting and what battles should just be left the heck alone and if that's not a life lesson, I don't know what is.

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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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