What I've Learned as a Camp Counselor
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What I've Learned as a Camp Counselor

Children are amazing to work with, but not every day is a walk in the park.

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What I've Learned as a Camp Counselor
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To start this off, I just want to say that I absolutely love working with children, but I will admit that there are times that they drive me crazy. As an education major, I have spent my fair share of time with children in classrooms and when babysitting, but there's just something about summer camp that makes the kids act differently than when they are in a classroom setting. It may be due to the large amount of children, the limited amount of counselors, the heat, the activities, who knows, but there are definitely some rough days. Nonetheless, I love every day that I spend with these kids, even the rough ones!

At the beginning of the summer, my experience with children went as follows: babysitting family members, babysitting other children of various ages for many years, being a birthday party hostess at a bowling alley, volunteering at a camp, and field work in a handful of classrooms. I thought that due to my experience, I would have no issue with the children at work. Now, I wouldn't say that I was wrong in my assumption, but I wasn't exactly right either. Yes I had experience with kids, but I had not really had a lot of experience with ill-behaved ones, not to mention numerous ill-behaved kids in one group. For the first few days, I wasn't exactly sure how I should handle some of the "problem children" in my group, so I watched returning counselors handle situations and learned from that. I knew how to handle children, but the nerves of a new job got in the way of that. It didn't take long for me to come back to my senses and realize how I wanted to handle the situations with some of the tougher kids. Now, the kids that I had a hard time with in the first few weeks, are some of my favorite campers because I now understand that they aren't always being bad, sometimes they are just acting out because they want someone to listen and to hear what they have to say.

Along with learning how to handle situations with some of our ill-behaved campers, I'm also starting to put things my professors tell me together with things I see at work everyday. This is both helpful in my job and in my classes. The more things that come together in my mind from my classes and job, the more I understand what's going on in front of me and why certain age groups act the way they do. When watching my campers and thinking about things I've learned in class, I understand why the older girls want to try wearing make-up, and why the girls a few years younger than them want to try make-up as well. They do it because they want to fit in, and the younger girls want to do what the older girls are doing because the older girls are "cool" in their minds.

The best thing I have learned all summer from this camp is that no matter what type of day either you or the kids are having, they are always filled with unconditional love for you and for them. Sure, there are times that the kids are cranky, or you're cranky, or it's hot outside so no one is in a good mood at all, someone doesn't feel well, a handful of campers are hurt, or any combination of these things can be going on but the kids will always show you in some way that they are grateful for what you are doing. If they don't show it then they say it some way, sometimes it can be shown simply by them saying thank you. These kids may be hard to handle at times, but they are full of pure hearts, good intentions, and sharp minds overflowing with imagination and curiosity.

This job makes me so excited for my upcoming field work and for my upcoming future.

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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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