If you didn’t go to summer camp as a kid then you might not understand that camp is the best thing ever. As a counselor at a resident camp for three summers, I am here to tell you to stop hunting for a summer job and start hunting for a summer camp! It’s not the easiest job ever, but it’s definitely one of the most fun.
- Playing all day.
- Being in nature and teaching kids about it.
- Showing kids how to unplug and have fun away from TV, video games, phones, and tablets.
- Connecting with kids in a big sister/big brother kind of way.
- Bonding with fellow counselors.
- Learning to love your camp–the spirit and energy of all the love and adventure put into it by previous staff and campers.
- Flash mob dances during meal time, getting whipped cream pies thrown at you, water balloon fights, and camp pranks.
- Making memories and being part of a child’s camp memories.
- Doing all the things you missed out on if you never went to summer camp as a kid: archery, canoeing, cook-outs, crafting.
- Watching kids empower themselves by being away from home and parents.
- Exhausting–it takes more energy than wrastlin’ crocodiles.
- Learning how to decode tears. Are those I-miss-home-tears, I-don’t-want-t0-sleep-with-a-bat-in-my-cabin-tears, Susie-punched-me-in-the-mouth-because-I-wouldn’t-be-her-bathroom-buddy-tears, or finally, (at the end of the week) I-don’t-want-to-go-home-tears?
- The wilderness: mosquitoes, tarantulas, mountain lions.
- The pay.
- The sacrifices in personal hygiene. Ponytails for days!
- “Other duties as assigned” is the bitch from your job description that will rule your life. This can encompass 45 minutes of chasing a bat around a cabin with a broom, digging through trash cans for retainers, cleaning up “accidents” and vomit, and fishing dead mice out of toilets.
- The smell of counselor feet.
- Watch tans.
- Sock tans.
- And (slightly more concerning) the ever constant Is That How My Skin Really Looks or Is That Just a Dirt Tan? game.
- Saying good-bye at the end of the summer.