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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.