A Reflection Of My Time As A Summer Camp Counselor
Lifestyle

A Reflection Of My Time As A Summer Camp Counselor

I didn’t know what to expect when I first started working at Camp.

233
YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln Facebook Page

Bee stings? Crying kids? Having a short time to remember a lot of kids’ names? I didn’t know what to expect when I first started working at Camp Abe Lincoln at the beginning of the summer.

The core values are important for both campers and counselors.

Camp Abe Lincoln is a YMCA run camp, located in Blue Grass, a tiny Iowan town. As an extension of the YMCA, the camp’s foundation is built off of four core values, honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. The camp has weeklong increments and lasts for the entire summer from the beginning of June to the middle of August. About a fourth of the kids return to camp for more than one week, or even return each week for the entire summer. After each week, counselors are required to fill out report cards for each of her campers based on how the camper did overall and demonstration of the core values.

It is the perfect job setting.

There is nothing better than being able to wear a t-shirt and shorts every day for work. However, never having to do my hair or makeup came pretty close. While strangely, according to one specific counselor in the program, the high for each day was always over a hundred degrees, to me, the weather this summer appeared perfect. Yes, there were some days spent cooped up inside to get away from a thunderstorm or sweating nonstop from the heat, but it was better than being cooped up in an office all day. It hardly seemed like a job when I spent my time canoeing, doing archery, and riding horses.

Return campers were a blessing in disguise.

One of the biggest surprises of camp was the return campers. When I was first told it was a weekly camp, I was most excited at the idea of only having to deal with the same kids for five days. Of course I was expecting that sometime during the summer I would struggle with hard-to-handle children. In order to stay as cool as a popsicle during these situations, I was planning to use the calming thought of never having to deal with that difficult child again after the end of the week. While I definitely would not have admitted it at the beginning of the summer, having return campers truly was a blessing in disguise. While some of the return campers were not always the best behaved, I loved watching them improve throughout the weeks. It was amazing to see the impact I was able to make on the children, from begging me to sit by them on the bus, to running up and hugging me for several minutes without ever saying a word.

For every non-listening child there is an angel child.

Sure, there were always those kids that promptly tried to rub his hands on you after rolling in the mud or would leave you with bruises at the end of the day after countlessly hanging on you. But there were children with nearly perfect faces and personalities to match.

The kids' have such active imaginations.

As a 6 year old told me, “to build a light bulb, first tear down a house, then break into a museum and steal the glass.” The children had such active imaginations and could talk for hours about their future job as a military plane designer and film director and doctor all in one. While sometimes their high-pitched voices made it hard for me to catch every word, all they needed was someone to stop, listen, and say “really???” at the right moments. Their minds (well most of them) were so pure. All they needed was a couple sticks or a tight rope tied in between two trees to be happy.

Or just a pair of sunglasses.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments