The Raw Truth About Being A Camp Counselor
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The Raw Truth About Being A Camp Counselor

It's tough, it's beautiful, it's worth it.

The Raw Truth About Being A Camp Counselor
Camp War Eagle

It's almost that time! There are only a few weeks of summer break left. That means vacations are ending. Classes are beginning and interviews for camp counselors are right around the corner! If you're like me, you want to know what to expect before going out and trying something crazy and exciting like spending a part, or all, of your summer in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of kids. I only thought I prepared myself for camp. I only thought I knew what to expect when I arrived. Honestly though, my first summer as a camp counselor was so much different than what I thought it would be. For all of you who are considering becoming a camp counselor next summer, here is a backstage pass to the raw truths of summer camp.

1. You will be oblivious to the outside world.

Literally. Completely oblivious. The world outside of that camp boundary doesn't even exist. No cell phones. No computers. Not even E.T. could phone home from inside camp gates. But is that necessarily a bad thing? It does take a little while to get used to, but once you're freed from technology you begin to remember how beautiful personal interaction can be. No rushed, empty words. No waiting impatiently for a text back. Only conversations that are sincere and meaningful. And don't worry... You are given a few days off throughout the summer where you can catch up with family and friends, watch your favorite Netflix series, or just sleep all day.

2. You will be tired. No... exhausted. (Keep reading. It gets better I promise.)

Think about it. You are with kids all day long. Kids that want to run and jump and dance all day long. Not just that. They want YOU to run and jump and dance all day long too. Mix that in with six or so hours of sleep every night and you end up with a level of exhaustion that should be unknown to man. But hey, this is where taking a 14 hour nap on your day off comes in handy.

3. You will learn how to fully rely on God.

And I'm talkingdown on your knees reliance on God. I have prayed "Lord, I cannot do this on my own" at least ten times every day. It gets hard. It gets tiring. It gets hot. The struggles are 110 percent real. It will even seem impossible at times. Because without the love, mercy, and guidance of God, it is impossible. You cannot get through it on your own. But that's okay because God doesn't ask us to get through it on our own. He asks us to rely on Him, and once you begin to fully understand what that looks like, your journey will be so much smoother.

4. Your patience will be tested.

Everyday. There will be that one kid who will not stop whining no matter what you do or say. They're tired but they didn't want to sleep at rest period. They're hungry, but didn't feel like eating lunch. Another one will scream in your ear and jump all over you. At times you will want to run away just to get some peace and quiet. But...

5. Your patience will also be strengthened.

And you remember that they're just kids. And you were just like them once upon a time. You wanted to play with the big kids. You wanted them to notice you. You just wanted someone to love you. And that's exactly what these kids need. Love. Each and every one of them. The shy girl who misses her mom and dad. The hyper boy who has ADHD and a bad home life. They all need love, and it's our job to show them that love. To show them the endless love of Christ. In their best moments and in their worst.

6. You won't save any of the kids you meet.

It's not your job to save them. It's your job to love them. To care for them. To show them patience and understanding. To teach them and to listen to them. It's your job to plant the seed. God will take care of the rest.

7. You will want to take some of the campers home with you.

But you can't. That's kidnapping. Some of the bonds that you'll make with these kids are life-changing. Not just for them, but for you too. So make the most out of the time you have with them at camp. Spend quality time with them. Get to know them. And let them know that they are loved. Once they leave, your heart may break a little, but you can always keep in touch until the next summer.

8. Don't try to change yourself.

I am an introvert. Before camp I would say to myself, "I'm going to talk to every person I see, and I'm going to be loud and excited all of the time, and the kids are going to love me!" But that's not who I am. I'm quiet. I'm calm. And that is totally fine! Even at a loud, crazy summer camp. Not every kid responds to loud, energetic personalities. Some gravitate toward the introvert. And to those of you who are extroverts, that's perfect! Keep doing you. Camps need social butterflies and wallflowers. We balance each other out, and it's a beautiful thing.

9. The friendships you make will be lifelong.

Camp is the best place to find forever-friends. Whether these friends are campers or counselors. You are with each other in the trenches every day. You dance through the good times and lean on one another in the dark. The amount of support that you can find at camp is unbelievable. You are surrounded by so much love and genuine kindness. You don't just make friends at camp. You make family.

10. It's the best summer job a college kid can have.

I mean come on. You literally get paid to play. How cool is that!

11. It will be the greatest summer of your life.

Between the relationships you form, the fun you have, the love you're surrounded with, and the wisdom you gain, summers spent at camp are simply summers well spent.

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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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