Let me tell you, there are definitely some things in life that you’ll only learn from being a camp counselor, and there are some things in life you’ll only learn from kids church camp. Sure, you’ll learn all about how to scare away bugs (because even if you don’t like bugs, you’re the counselor, and this job now falls on you), convince kids to drink more water, and how to time manage like none other, but above all, you’ll always learn more life lessons year after year.
- patience. is. key. I cannot tell you how much your patience will grow throughout kids camp. It is amazing in every way, but there are always times when you will be tested. Working with kids is definitely the best way to become more patient and graceful, because you are getting to work with the coolest kids, and sometimes, things take time.
- burnout is legit. Giving your 110% for days in a row is definitely exhausting; personally, my burnout hour is riiight after lunch every time. Don’t be afraid to take little breaks, even if that means not being high-energy for an hour or two. Nevertheless, kids give you an insane amount of energy, so definitely lean into that and you’ll have the time of your life.
- always be willing to pour your heart out. You lead by example at kids camp, and kids will always follow your actions. Never be afraid to worship like crazy in front of them or ask challenging questions. Being a role model is always the best thing you can do, and showing these kids your love for Jesus (or any passion, really) will definitely impact them.
- let kids be kids. I learned this one back during my training at the ymca. Sometimes, it’s hard not to be a control-freak. Maybe you want a clean cabin or you’re too scared to let the kids spill milk at breakfast, so you never get a break because you’re constantly in “fix-it” mode. This is an easy way to prompt burn out, so be sure to let kids be kids and take a step back every now and then. Let yourself sit down at meals, and let kids learn from spilling the milk every now and then… trust me, they’ll be okay.
- starbucks cold brew + emergen-c save lives. enough said. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, you will become one for one week of your life.
There’s only one way you’ll learn more and that’s by going to kids camp by yourself. If you’ve never volunteered at a camp, vacation bible school, or any type of kids programming, I would definitely recommend it. You’ll learn so much and maybe even find a new passion or two… there’s really nothing else like it.