3 and a half years ago when I went into my first ever job interview, I don't think I truly understood what my bosses meant when they told me this will be the best job you ever have.
Flashforward to now as summer number four is about to start and I couldn't be happier.
When I was just 16 years old I decided I would join my brother for the summer and work as a camp counselor. I'll admit the idea of being responsible for 20 little lives every day terrified me at first, but the new salary and weekends off seemed worth it.
If I'm being honest it was hard to adjust to having a rigorous schedule in the summer compared to my usual laid back time off. There was never time to hang out with friends during the day, go on a trip with them or even talk to them while I was at work. Obviously, there were weekends and weekday evenings, but I soon learned that sometimes my non-camp friends didn't understand how exhausted I was.
Once camp starts my days consist of waking up at 7:00 am, getting ready and arriving at camp by 8:00. Then I'm there until 3:30 when I finally get to go back home and take the most fulfilling shower of my life. (The camp is 100% outdoors– a.k.a NO air conditioning– a.k.a I'm covered in many hours of sweat, sunscreen, bug spray and the occasional melted popsicle.)
After that, I tend to have a snack and take a nap– sometimes by choice or sometimes by pure exhaustion.
My performance of YMCA at the annual Counselor Lip Sync Battle
Basically, after spending my day with a bunch of kids I come home and crash like a baby.
The best part is I know all my coworkers are doing the exact same thing. We all get that if we want to hang out it's not gonna be for a few hours so we can decompress after a long day in the sun. There's also no judgment of being ready for bed by 10 or 11 because they are just as tired and also have to wake up just as early…although some nights we might stay out a little later.
No matter how many little things I complain about I wouldn't change it for the world. I come home exhausted and ready for bed by 4:00 pm, but I wake every morning ready to do it all over again! There's no other job where I get to work with all the other amazing counselors, but more importantly all of the kids.
Honestly, getting to hang out with 20 8-year-olds for the entire summer might not sound exciting, but trust me it given me some of my best memories.
Maybe working with kids isn't for everyone, cause yes, in the end, it can be stressful and there will be hard days. There's going to be times when you finally realized kids just don't like to listen, but I promise you the fun you have every day is worth it. Each summer I'm amazed by the impact my campers have on me.
Not to mention what other job pays you to get tan, go swimming, ride a zip-line, have some intense counselor competitions and eat a popsicle every afternoon?