14 Things That All Summer Camp Counselors Relate To, Get The S'mores Ready

14 Things That All Summer Camp Counselors Relate To, Get The S'mores Ready

"I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this."
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Friendship bracelets, long hikes, face paint. These are all things that make you think of summer camp. But, as all camp counselors know, there are many unconventional things that go along with working outside with children 24/7. Here are just a few summer camp things that make camp counselors go, "I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this."

1. Singing silly songs with hand motions for every word

You really didn't mind making a fool of yourself, but there's the camper-favorite song you can't stand to hear one more time...it was probably about a bear. Or a worm. Or a moose.

2. Cleaning up bodily fluids that are not your own

Each counselor was assigned a different bodily fluid based on what they could handle. "Okay Jenny, if you'll get the puke, I can handle the bed-wetting accident and we'll leave Elizabeth with any fecal matter."

3. Answering stupid questions was at least 75% of your job

Whoever said "There are no dumb questions" has obviously never heard a camper ask if tigers are a threat in the woods of South Alabama.

4. Listening to campers' rambling stories was the other 25%

Uhuh.... uhuh..... uhuhhhhhh.

5. You are the Picasso of glitter and sequins

Does your team flag need a little reboot? Throw some sequins on that sucker! Need a way to remember which walkie talkie is yours? Glitter duct tape should do the trick! In a job full of dirt and dust and sweat, sparkles are essential to your well-being. Plus, the campers think you're artsy and mysterious, so that's a plus.

6. Being a camp counselor becomes a customer service job every drop-off/pick-up day

Crazy moms were your specialty. You could calm all their irrational fears in two minutes flat. "No, Mrs. Parker, we will not force your sweet Katie to eat peanut butter if she is allergic to it."

7. Having a favorite camper...even though you're not supposed to

They're just like a little version of you, and you want to make the younger you happy, so you take this precious child under your wing.

8. Not having your phone for two months is a life-changing experience

You almost don't want to open your phone on your off-time...almost.

9. Speaking in a code to leave the campers clueless

There was a different code word for every semi-dangerous animal in the area. Snakes, snapping turtles, big spiders, you name it! You could also communicate via hand signals with precision! Just a few motions and the staff member across the rec field knew exactly what you were talking about.

10. You truly cherished all those little gifts from campers

11. Seeing your campers in a non-camp environment is just weird

"You go to the grocery store TOO? Why aren't you wearing dirty Sketchers and 15 friendship bracelets?"

12. You could craft the most outrageous of costumes in seconds

Making costumes for skits was like the "Chopped" of summer camp. You have a cowboy hat, fairy wings and five yards of what looks like a stained bedsheet. What you do with the materials you have been given is up to you. (Oh, and the natives are getting restless, so you have 30 seconds.)

13. The hardest goodbyes are to your co-workers on the last day

You knew it couldn't be this way forever...so why did you sign up for this inevitable heartache? Because meeting the person you can sit on a rock-hard bunk bed and cry with at 2 a.m. was worth it.

14. Coming to the realization that you are making a lifelong difference for hundreds of children

You are truly grateful for every child you had an interaction with and prayed each night that you would be a positive influence for your campers.

Being a camp counselor is nowhere near an easy job, but it was totally worth every sting, bite and cut on your body to be a role model for someone who looks up to you. It was the highlight of your year to invest time and energy into someone else besides you. You never want camp to end, but understand that the skills you learn on staff should be beautifully put to use in your every day life.

Cover Image Credit: Ella Pitman

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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