Advice To First Time Counselors
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Health and Wellness

Advice To First Time Counselors

Things that will make the job easier.

Advice To First Time Counselors

Working as camp counselor is the best summer job ever -- as long as you can survive the chaos that comes to be expected and even that can turn out to be fun. Camp will be something you never forget as long as you keep a few things in mind going in.

1. Learn Your Campers' Names on the First Day

This may not seem like something big, and trust me it's hard to learn 10 to 20 names in one day, but the kids will respect you so much more if you call them by their name instead of a generic nickname like “buddy” or “hun.”

2. Games are the Best Invention Ever

A game can be used for anything from killing time to learning names to entertainment for you and the campers. The more out there and crazy the game is, the more hilarious it is watch and play.

3. Water is the Most Important

Whether it’s drinking it or the kids are playing in it, water will become a favorite thing. The kids will all want to swim but would rather drink anything else, so make it a challenge for them to try and drink more then you even if you yourself aren't drinking that much.

4. Campers Will Become Your Kids

As scary as it sounds, when you go to refer to your campers after knowing them for a couple of hours you will start to refer to them as your kids. You will become protective of them in the same way.

5. Your Mom or Dad Voice

The first time you use this voice, it will startle you because your first thought will be, "I just sounded like my mom or dad." That will be when you realize that you have used this voice, but after you do the first time it will happen again and again as camp goes on and you will get used to it which might be more startling then the first time you use it.

6. The Buddy System is Your Best Friend

When campers come and ask you to do anything that involves leaving the group, make them take a buddy. If anything happens, there are two of them to try and figure out a solution instead of one being alone.

7. Sleep Whenever You Can

This is the most important advice there is because the campers will wake you up at all hours of the night to go to the bathroom or get water. As soon as one set of buddies gets back, another one will come up to you five minutes later. This repeats all night long.

8. Your Coworkers Become Your Family

Whether you're having a bad day, don't feel well, or need a minute to vent, the other counselors will be the only other people that can understand how you're feeling. They also are the only people around you that are about the same age as you.

9. You Can Survive Without Your Phone

Most camps are electronics-free which means as a counselor you get maybe an hour a day with your phone (then you spend that hour sleeping instead of texting and talking to people back home). Also, you may not have service, and trust me, the world won’t end if you don’t know who's dating who.

10. Camp Songs

They will be your favorite and least favorite thing, meaning the not annoying ones will be the ones you teach the kids first but the super annoying ones are the ones that the kids never stop singing. Just be the counselor that gets crazy into them -- it's more fun for you and for the campers.

11. Have Fun!

No matter what is going on that day at camp or what is going on in your life, smile and have fun. If you're faking it, the kids can tell and won’t participate as much which will cut into them having fun.

12. Be Flexible

You may have one plan for the day, but it gets rained out. Maybe you're supposed to be indoors and it's nice out. Just go with the flow and come up with something new on the fly. The kids won't know the difference as long as you stay cool about it.

13. Expect the Unexpected

This by far is the most important piece of advice. At camp, anything can happen, and it does. This can range from injuries like concussions from water balloons all the way to power outage from a storm. If you go with it, stay calm, and react later away from the campers, you will survive and so will all of your campers.

If you can do these few things, then camp will be amazing and unforgettable for you and your campers. You will also catch yourself saying to your friends and family when you get home that they “won’t understand it” or “it’s a camp thing.” Plus when you get home, you will find yourself missing camp and excited for the next summer to come.

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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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