The Incredible Power of the Camp Counselor
Campers get ready….you are about to meet some very important people this summer. No, we are not talking about the friends you will meet at camp…we are talking about the people who will teach and inspire you for the next 3-6 weeks… we are talking about your Camp Counselors. These are the folks that will make a lasting imprint on your life and your summer memories. The folks you will recall with a smile on your face and a warm place in your heart.
Many college students choose to work at summer camp to build skills in communication, team work, problem solving and overall responsibility. But they walk away with so much more than life skills to put on a resume. Camp counselors quickly realize the positive impact they have made in the lives of their campers. This impact is often measured in hugs, laughter, endearing words, and tears when the last day of camp arrives. Research points out that young people themselves rank counselors as some of the most influential people in their lives. Camp counselors are leaders, teachers, role models, mentors, confidants, cheerleaders, and occasionally comedians. Many counselors have been campers themselves and know how great it can be to have a “summer parent” and friend to help you through being homesick, conquering your fears, trying new things, resolving conflicts, and just being yourself.
Camps provide extensive training for staff to ensure that counselors are properly prepared to supervise campers and adhere to camp policies and procedures. But after all the training and guidance, the day to day camp life brings out a true leader and person who enriches lives and creates a camp environment that brings campers back year after year. There are few life moments as rewarding as being involved in a campers accomplishments, watching them challenge themselves, have fun, and feel so well taken care of and loved, away from their family and home. Counselors help establish that “home away from home” comfort and bring the warmth that is camp. If you have been a camper, I’m sure you have a few special counselors you remember to this day, with memories that can still make you laugh or remind you how they much they impacted who you are today. A “Y” camp counselor quote on the YMCA.net website states it well… “If you somehow positively impact one child and they get a sense of self and confidence and even just happiness, and they bring it back to their family, and their school, camp can affect millions of people”.
So when you get to camp and begin experiencing summer 2012…enjoy every minute. Enjoy your friends, the activities, the fun, and most importantly enjoy your counselors. You will remember them for years to come.