Every year, as summer vacation approaches, I make plans to be super productive and hang out with my friends all the time. I then proceed to spend the majority of my summer inside my house, on my phone, by myself. The one summer plan I make that is always carried out, though, is going to camp.
This past summer was my eighth year going to Camp Oconto, an all girls overnight camp near Kingston, Ontario. My first two years, I went for two weeks, which is the shortest session this camp offers. When my parents came to pick me up the second year, I ran up to them and, before saying hello, asked if I go for a month the next year. Camp has become my second home over the years. For as long as I have been a camper at Camp Oconto, I’ve wanted to be a camp counselor, and this coming summer, I finally will be.
Being a counselor is a really fun way to spend the summer, and the skills gained from this experience are incredibly useful for your next job and your everyday life. It’s a job I recommend to anyone thinking about how to spend their summer. And it’s a good idea to start applying soon as these types of positions fill up quickly.
Here are my top five reasons to be a camp counselor:
1. You build leadership skills.
Leadership is one of the most important aspects of being a camp counselor. At camp, the campers always outnumber the counselors so having and building great leadership skills is very important. Also, as a counselor, you can easily be only two or three years older than your campers, so great leadership skills are imperative. These skills will be built upon through running activities, planning games for campers of all ages, and problem-solving when things don’t go exactly as planned.
2. You build communication skills.
As a counselor, you will be interacting with kids of all ages. How you speak to an eight-year-old is very different from how you would speak to a fourteen-year-old. Some campers also have a first language that is not English, potentially making communicating with them more difficult. You will also need to talk with other counselors, the camp director, and parents of campers. Camp counselors interact with such a variety of people that they learn how to communicate with anyone they might meet.
3. You will be active outside.
When I’m home during the summer, I spend most of my time inside. My parents are always trying to get me to do something active outside. The beauty of being a camp counselor is that you will be outside the majority of the time, and you will probably be doing something active for a good chunk of it. Also, if you’re like me and don’t like to spend a lot of time outside, because what you’re doing is really fun, you don’t even register that what you’re doing is something you wouldn’t normally do.
4. You build teamwork skills.
There are so many counselors at camp, and they are typically working with at least one other person to run activities and plan games. Camp counselors are part of a large team that has to work together to make sure all the campers are enjoying themselves. In any situation, there are undoubtedly a few people who do not get along. Camp counselors have to learn to work together, whether they like each other or not, so they can help campers have a great time.
5. It’s a chance to unplug.
As teenagers. we tend to spend a lot of time on our phones and computers, but going to camp and being a counselor is a good way to take a break from technology. While counselors are typically allowed to bring their phones to camp, they aren’t used until after their campers are in bed. There is also no television and limited access to wifi, so this is a great way to unplug for a while.
If you’re thinking about how to spend to spend your summer, consider becoming a camp counselor. There are many benefits as you prepare for the working world, and as you’re building your skill set, you’ll be having a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.