7 Life Skills You Learn As A Camp Counselor

7 Life Skills You Learn As A Camp Counselor

It's all fun and games...and a career-boosting skill-set.
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Being a camp counselor comes with a lot of responsibility. Aside from your immense knowledge of songs, ice-breakers and attention-getters, camp can help you out in every aspect of your life: personally, socially and professionally. After all, camp is just one big, fun preparation for life.

1. Leadership

Not only are you solely responsible for a group of little lives, but you also teach games, songs and fun activities. Camp will help you face your fears and in no time, you'll be up on stage leading Princess Pat in front of hundreds of campers, staff and families. The leadership skills gained at camp are beneficial in any career you choose to pursue.

2. Patience

If there's one word to describe what you'll need to work with kids, it's patience. It's probably going to take a couple of tries to explain games to your campers and at least 10 minutes to resolve any sort of conflict. They'll want to tell you all about what happened at dinner the night before, which will be another 20 minutes and trying to organize a skit will eat up two hours, but it's OK because a counselor doesn't get frustrated. They embrace the kid perspective and in the words of Elsa (you know, every camper's favorite princess), "let it go."

3. Preparation

While on a nature hike, little Jimmy trips and scrapes up his leg. Who's right there waiting with the first aid kit? Good thing you are, because none of the other campers predicted someone could come out of the hike with a bloody leg. As an added bonus, your First Aid and CPR Certifications can help you out anywhere, anytime.

4. Positivity

Some days at camp are going to be a downer. It will be cold and rainy and your campers are going to complain about being there. It's your job to boost morale and get the kids excited about camp, even on the hardest of days. Camp counselors set the tone for the whole week, so whether your campers are having a blast or wishing they were playing video games at home falls on you. This optimism lives on even when you're not at camp, making you generally happier and more fun to be around. Everyone loves someone who can lift spirits, especially when the dreaded end-of-semester finals come around.

5. Problem-solving

Camp is unpredictable, and while you may have a day or two go by flawlessly, you can bet at some point, you're going to have to deal with problems you never imagined you would. I mean, in training they didn't cover what to do if camper Suzy decides to walk all the way home from camp because she got out in dodgeball. It's the spontaneity of camp that keeps counselors on their toes, always staying vigilant, but adaptable. Camp will throw some pretty crazy scenarios at you, but so will life.

6. Acceptance

You'll meet lots of different people at camp. Every camper and staff member comes to camp with a different story and they won't always blend perfectly, but nothing is more touching than a camper telling you they met their best friend this week or that you're much cooler than their teachers (but you probably already knew that). You're facilitating friendships, and while you may not have smooth sailing with every camper, you realize how important it is to recognize their story and make your camp team as strong, kind and fun as it can be.

7. Goofiness

Camp is great because you get to be 100 percent you. There are no judgements at camp, so if you feel like wearing a cape and donut floaty one day, no one is going to ask questions. You can belt out camp songs and not a single person will care if you're out of tune. With that kind of community, you'll have the self confidence to ignore the haters and wear a cape all the time if that's your thing. Camp will allow you to be unapologetically you every day.

Cover Image Credit: Camp Kesem Minnesota

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Every Time I See A College Tour Group Walk By I Just Want to Scream 'It's a TRAAAPP!'

The tour guide is good - they're just a liar.
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It's officially that time of year - anywhere you walk on campus, there's bound to be a gaggle of parents and befuddled high school students winding their way through building after building. In front of them stands an overenthusiastic tour guide, spouting off statistics about the school so fast they'll make your head spin.

Unfortunately, what the tour guide says doesn't exactly line up with what goes on at the school. Oh, the things we students wish we could shout out to the parents as they pass by.

1. "You'll get sick of the dining!"

It may look like there's something new to eat every single day, but by the end of the semester, you'll be sick of everything except the things closest at home.

2. "I'm only here for the free t-shirts!"

Seriously.

3. "IT'S A TRAP!"

Seriously, part two. You get two of three things: a social life, sleep, or good grades. Whoever said you could have all three is lying.

4. "Welcome to the real world, suckers!"

It's got confrontation, taking care of yourself, and formal emails. (Which, of course, your professor will respond with 'k thnx bai' sent from their iPhone.)

5. "Say goodbye to sleep!"

There are three types of people on campus: tea drinkers, coffee drinkers, and people with energy drinks running through their veins.

6. "THE MODEL DORM IS A LIE!"

Check all of your housing options before you move in. The dorm they're showing you might be the worst housing area on campus.

7. "THE FINANCIAL AID IS A LIE!"

You're getting squat. Free tuition? Try the tune of $13k a year. Or more. Depending.

8. "The library is NOT the best study place."

Depending on your major, there are several places for you to study that aren't the library.

9. "The health center sucks!"

True fact: word through the grapevine is that someone once got antibiotics for a sprained ankle.You may as well sell that leg on the black market to cover the costs.

10. "Believe the roommate horror stories!"

All random roommates are horrible unless proven otherwise. (But be wary of everyone.)

11. "SI (student instructor) sessions are useless."

You will learn nothing . Chances are you'll end up correcting the instructor.

12. "The freshman fifteen is optional."

Some people don't gain it at all, and some people really gain it. It's up to you.

13. "You'll need a car!!"

If, for some reason you can't pay for the overpriced parking pass, find a friend who can.

14. "Hookup culture is real!"

But it's not for everyone. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean you have to.

15. "Campus jobs are a myth!"

Campus job? What's a campus job? Do you have work-study? No? No job for you. Have you tried the local coffee shop?

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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