“What is so special and valuable about working on a summer camp?”
“It’s just a job for fun”
“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” This is the best quote to describe camp life. Yes, outsiders can be in awe of our mass of photos, video footage, and never ending stories, but the full meaning and enjoyment of camp just can’t be explained until it’s actually experienced first hand. So, why the blog post? Well, it’s worth a shot at persuasion, right?
Camp counsellors are what I like to consider an ‘army’. We are all in the same boat, with the same purpose, and teamwork is vital. After extensive interviews, screenings, and a week+ worth of training, we don’t start work as ‘just’ a camp counsellor; we develop the traits of a parent, a sibling, a best friend, a nurse, a lifeguard, a coach…a hero – all of which comes with the responsilities of being a storyteller, a joker, a face painter, a friendship bracelet maker, a performer…the list is endless. We are the sole people at camp responsible for comforting those homesick campers at 2am, we are who deals with a complete change in schedule because of a storm, we patch up broken friendships, we are the people that get up for work every morning with a smile on our face (even if we had a rough night), we are the motivators to get that camper through the swim test, or down the zip line, and we are the people who are the reason behind those kids smiles at camp, and the tears as they leave. We know we’ve done our job right when we get asked “Are you going to be my counsellor next year?” – that alone is enough to sign you up to this camp life, for life.
Camp counsellors are masters of all trades. We arrive at camp with a small handful of skills, and leave, just 8 weeks later, with what feels like a lifetimes worth of knowledge and experience. How? Because we dive into any opportunities offered, we aren’t afraid to make a fool of ourselves, and we do it all for the campers.
So, other than us becoming the best role models, and master of all trades, why is a job at summer camp, the best job in the world?
- The view from our ‘office’ never gets boring
- We gain a new family
- Being ‘crazy’ is basically in our job description
- We get to unplug from the world for a while
Text messages? What are those. It’s all about handwritten letters!
- We can never get away from tie-dye
- Grocery shopping has never been so exciting
- Boring office team meetings, are words we never hear
- You get to take your campers on pretty rad trips
- The kids
They may attack you with face paint on multiple occasions, make you the target of water games and be hard to deal with at times, but they are who look up to you and inundate you with friendship bracelets.
- Fancy dress is the norm
- You get to spend your days off like this
Baseball games, trips to the Mall, concerts, drive-ins – days off are great, and are rarely spent recuperating.
- You become the most popular person at camp when you get a care package
- The kids choice of punishment ‘counsellors go in pool fully clothed’ is not actually a punishment.
- Bugs become your ‘friends’
- Everyday is Fri-YAY
- You’ll never be the same
– Always Exploring