Counselors are your program’s primary point of contact with campers. They make every fantastic, memorable, behind-the-scenes element of your camp run. Knowing how they work and think is important, but, as a director, can be difficult. To help, we’ve asked a few counselors to tell us a little about their camp experiences.
Why did you become a counselor?
Adam: I had gone to this camp before, and it was a really positive experience when I went. I was looking for something to do over the summer and thought ‘people do camp counseling… what camps do I know?’ I had a couple years IT experience before that and found a fun way to use it.
Jessica: I enjoyed it as a camper, so I went to back to help out as a leader when I aged out.
What was your favorite camp memory?
Jessica: One year, my birthday fell during VBS where I was a leader. So they sent me to get my mom, who was helping out, in order to get me out of the room. When I came back, they surprised me with a cake.
Andrew: The last campfire before everyone goes home, we do this ceremony where we shoot flaming arrows into the lake. You have to be really careful because you balance the supplies in the boat and paddle out a bit to do it. So I’m in charge of steering and my partner has the bow, but he stands up a bit too soon and loses his balance. I help him back in sopping wet, and we have to finish this very serious ceremony the whole time trying not to die of laughter. I still tease him for it.
Adam: There was a dance. We went to the mall beforehand, and the goal was for the kids to find something ridiculous to dress the other counselors in. Half of us went, the other half got dressed up. So my boys found gold lamay leggings. I will never forget the look on Jimmy’s face when he opened up that bag…
What were your favorite and least favorite duties?
Jessica: My favorite part was working so closely with the kids. My least favorite was dealing with the kids who didn’t want to be there at first.
Andrew: My favorite job was inflating the Blob for “Fair Day” and watching the tiny kids all laugh and fly off. Least favorite was cleaning the showers after the campers left. Spiders literally everywhere
Some people say being a counselor is just being paid to go to camp. Do you agree or disagree. Why?
Andrew: I agree. Being a counselor, you still get to hang out with all your friends the week they show up. But you also get to know your other counselors. I mean, you eat together, sleep together, work together; they’re like a second family. Honestly the money is like the icing on the cake.
Adam: I think in some ways yes, others no. You are at a camp and there to facilitate activities that you participate in too. But that phrase ignores a lot of the responsibilities you have as a counselor. You hopefully don’t ever have the I-just-have-to-get-through-the-day mentality as a camper. You should hopefully have fun facilitating activities, but it’s not the same thing and it’s not the priority. You have the responsibility to, for instance, maintain order and keep things smooth and safe, which aren’t things the campers need to think about.
What was your favorite part about being a counselor?
Adam: The difference between 13 and 18 doesn’t seem that big, but when you interact with these kids and see what they’re going through or focusing on, it is. It’s great to be able to reach back through time and recognize the things in the campers from your own experience and provide the guidance you wish someone had given you.
Andrew: My favorite part was definitely getting to do all the behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t think about as a camper. Putting skits together was the best part; everyone’s just laughing and having a good time.
Jessica: Watching the kids learn about Jesus while having a great time playing sports and making friends.
Camp Network provides online registration, website design, and marketing for camps, clinics, tournaments, and more. We work with some of the biggest universities and organizations in the country because we offer a quick, simple, and an extremely affordable solution. We automate the whole registration process so you and your staff can focus on running the event.