“You give me booty and I’ll give you dollars.”
“I have a girlfriend. And we already kissed on the lips.” This came from a six-year-old.
“I didn’t poop all day today!”
Sentences like these are quite the norm at summer camp. All you can do is sigh or smile, and nod along. Maybe you try to offer them advice (like not getting a girlfriend at six). Being a camp counselor requires a lot of traits, the most important ones being patience and a good sense of humor. It’s an exhausting, yet rewarding and (most of the time) fun job.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far on the job:
Acting energized makes you feel energized. Chances are you have to wake up early and have long hours, not to mention all of the running around you have to do. But choosing to act energized can make you feel like you have more energy. If you act lethargic, you’re going to be lethargic.
A lot of parents just don’t care. Parents that don’t send their kids to camp with snacks, lunch, or water and parents that fail to discipline their kids can be frustrating.
You’re going to find patience in you that you didn’t know you had. I consider myself an impatient person, but these last few weeks I’ve found my patience growing. Dealing with yelling kids who don’t listen forces you to become more patient. The same goes with dealing with emotional children.
You put sunscreen on religiously. In the beginning of the summer, I got sunburn on my arms, legs, and face. And I don’t burn that easy. But since then, I try to put sunscreen on everyday (especially on my nose).
Speaking of sunburn, you will get crazy tan lines. Tanlines from your shorts, t-shirt, shoes- I even have a weird one from wearing my lanyard everyday. But at least you’ll get a nice tan.
You’re a role model for the kids. They look up to you, so it’s your job to make sure you’re acting in a way that you would want to be known/remembered for.
At the end of the day, you’re going to be exhausted but ready to do it all over again. Being a camp counselor is the best job I’ve ever had. It beats retail and the food industry by far- I get to be outside and hang out with kids all day. It also doesn’t hurt to have great coworkers.
Despite all of the unexpected things that happen while working, I’m glad I took a chance and decided to become a camp counselor.