5 Things I Learned as a Camp Counselor

It’s been 5 weeks since I’ve settled down at home without another week of camp ahead of me. I already miss being up in the trees, and this year was an entirely different experience than years past. This year, I had the opportunity to be a counselor and it taught me more than I ever thought I could learn about leadership and kids, seriously. 
I grew up in summer camps around the Valley and in other states. I firmly believe that my counselors shaped me into who I am today, and I couldn’t wait to be that for other kids. The past two weeks, I had a cabin of 17 seven-year-olds, and a cabin of 10 twelve-year-olds. They were both spectacular, but so, so different in what they taught me. Here we go.

  1. Kids will teach you things adults never will. Working with kids will teach you how to withhold endless amounts of patience, love more than you ever have before, take risks, and communicate like crazy. All of these things are things I thought I was good at, until I had them all tested up at camp. These kids seriously helped me out with all of those things.
  2. Exhaustion is real. You haven’t experienced true exhaustion until you’re working 18 hours a day, teaching numerous classes, walking miles, and waiting 1/2 an hour for a turn in the shower. I don’t think I’ve ever been more mentally tired in my life, but it was all worth it.
  3. Contrary to what you thought, kids give you energy. It’s not camp without the kids, seriously. These kids are amazing, heartwarming, funny, crazy individuals who give you the drive and inspiration to go further and get better at what you do every single day.
  4. Being outside your comfort zone is exhilarating. I can’t even tell you the amount of
    classes I walked into with absolutely no idea to teach. From teaching archery to boomwhackers/music, to harnessing fifteen kids for the climbing tower, the amount of new things I learned this week was insane. I loved every single second of it.
  5. Always have Emergen-C in your wallet. Enough said. You need this stuff. It’s a lifesaver.

Working as a counselor is incredibly hard, but worth every single second to me. I’m already getting fired up for winter and next summer. Nothing will ever replace this experience for me, and I know I won’t forget a single second of it. It was hard, no doubt, but the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. Thank you, Sky-Y, for that first experience.

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