Camp Counselor 101

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Being a camp counselor at a sleep-away camp is a crazy ride through cold showers, laughter, and crazed hormones. Field games, water sports, and doughnut eating contests

There are days you go to sleep with a smile on your face and other days when you just need to pray for help.

Camp counselors selflessly spend their whole summer putting children’s needs before their own. And though they rarely ever get more than a thank you, there are other things that make it worthwhile.

Because even though it can be a battle to get your kids to stop talking after flashlight time, you don’t mind when someone wakes you up in the middle of the night because they need you.

Or when you are so tired of dealing with other people’s problems, but feel great when they beg you not to leave on your day off.

And no matter how strict your camp is when it comes to separating the sexes, the kids will always find a way to get together, and you love being part of their girl talk when they talk to (or kiss) a boy for the first time.

And of course when your kids see you talking to a male counselor and ask if you’re married. “Oooh, I see what’s going on here.” Even though you wish your love life was as interesting as your kids make it out to be.

For two weeks at a time I am these girls’ friend, mother-figure, confidant, boss, and instructor. I am their mentor, leader, and counselor.

There are days when I struggle to find a balance between these things. Some days I need to be more assertive to get things done and other days we get to relax and laugh together.

Being a camp counselor is an emotional roller coaster, but the journey teaches you more about yourself than you could imagine. Camp life is hard, but it’s worth every second.

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