It is 6:30 a.m.. Light is streaming through your window as you shove yourself out of bed. Time for another day as a camp counselor at Camp Skyline. What to wear today? You decide on a tee shirt and Nike shorts with Chacos. That will do. You then finish getting ready and head out for your day, and let the fun begin.
This summer, I had the chance to be a camp counselor, and it was nothing like I expected. Going into it coming from being a camper, I thought that it would be really easy since I had been to Camp Skyline before. However, I was wrong. There is much more to being a counselor than playing games and singing songs.
As a camp counselor, I had the opportunity to impact campers’ lives and help them be the best that they can be. From helping out in activities, to leading them in a nightly campfire, I had responsibilities that were not only fun, but also very rewarding. As a camper, you never think about what it is like to be a counselor until you are one. As an older camper though, I do remember watching my counselors and seeing what they did to make camp a better place for everyone. Then when I became a counselor, I remembered what my all-time favorite counselor did when she saw me by myself. She came up to me and started to spend time with me. So when I worked this summer, it was my priority to look out for the underdog. Some campers are more reserved and they don’t want to hang out with other campers. However, when a counselor takes the time to make them feel at home and comfortable, it can do wonders for the camper. It was awesome for me to be able to take the time to do that for kids, because I know just how special it is when a counselor takes the time to hang out with their campers.
Being a camp counselor is not all fun and games though. It is very exhausting and so it’s important to take the time to rest whenever possible. I had an hour off every day, as well as four nights off. That time was sacred for me because I had time allotted to recharging my body and mind. Some nights I would take time to hang out with my friends or just sleep. Sleep was critical because after being with children all day, my mind and body were ready to crash. I would fall into a deep, slumberous sleep.
As my all-time favorite counselor told me the night before I went to camp, “being a counselor is not a sprint. It is a marathon that is full speed ahead. If you are ‘off’ for a hot minute, things can go wrong. Every single millisecond there is something going on, and paying attention to everything that is happening is critical because the campers’ safety and wellbeing is of the utmost importance.”
The entire experience I had as a camp counselor was a true honor. Camp Skyline is my all-time favorite place in the entire world besides Loras. To be able to be a part of this amazing camp is super special. My experiences there as a camper and counselor will forever be with me. The lessons that I have learned from being a counselor will go with me into adulthood as I take on the workforce in a few years. Even though I sadly am not going back next summer, I just know that the next group of counselors will be stellar and will continue to impact the campers. Camp is a huge producer of joy for so many people and it is so special to be a part of that joy.