Posted On April 28, 2014 By In Advice For Men, Advice For Women, Girlzone

Why You Should Be a Summer Camp Counselor: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


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.

The Good

  • 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.
  • Campfires.
  • Stargazing.
  • 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.


Nothing says fun quite like water balloons!

Nothing says fun quite like water balloons!


The Bad

  • 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!


The Ugly

  • “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.


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Kelsey Darling is a writer for Writtalin. Kelsey recently-ish graduated with an unhelpful degree from Portland State University. After a brief venture to Utah to live amongst the Mormons, she is now the palest person living in San Diego. She has a deep passion for whales, prominent eyebrows, and silver foxes. She has never been cool and neither has her hair.