Being a camp counselor at GFC is much more than hanging out with kids all day. It involves problem-solving, collaborating, communicating with people at all levels, being creative to how you engage campers, crediting camp magic and being a camper’s superhero. As a camp counselor, you’ll work harder than you ever have before… but it’s the most rewarding and fulfilling job out there. You might end each day physically and mentally exhausted, but you’ll also end your days with a full heart and sense of purpose. So, what is it really like to be a camp counselor? Here are just a few highlights from a day in the life…
You’ll start each day with the sound of your cabin morning playlist waking everyone up and will go around to make sure every camper is up getting ready for the day. You’re probably the first voice they hear when they wake up and you get to set the ultimate tone for the day. As the session progresses, you’ll start to notice the impact you’ve made on your campers. Suzie is actually brushing her teeth for almost two minutes? That’s because of your personal and cabin hygiene bunk activity earlier this session. Rebecca is wearing two different colored socks? Well, that’s also because you always wear two different colored socks and you’re the coolest person in the world. You see 12 girls getting ready for the day with smiles, sharing sink space and helping each other braid hair? YOU created that cohesive bunk environment where your campers are working together!
As you head to breakfast and enjoy the best meal of the session, french toast sticks with scrambled eggs, you’re able to talk to your campers individually about what they’re looking forward to in the day. Today, Sammy is switching to the soccer activity because Kim had an awesome time last week. Destiny is excited to send her letter home to her parents about the raid your cabin went on last night. And Paula? Well she’s just ready for a nap during menucha. You’re connecting and communicating with campers at their level while also motivating them for what is to come during the day.
As the chug (sport activity) comes around, you hear a call that approaching weather is going to make outdoor sports move indoors. As the counselor on ultimate frisbee coverage, you gather your campers and problem solve with the specialist to develop the most ultimate game of indoor frisbee crossed with improv games. As charades, each pair of campers acts out ultimate frisbee in a specific environment: outer space, under water, or even in a ball pit. You’ve successfully turned a rainy hour into a forever camp memory, all because you’re able to flexible and respond to situations in a fast-paced environment while managing a large group of campers.
During dinner prep, as your bunk is showering, you hear some of your campers talking about how they are unsure what to wear to dinner because they don’t feel so body positive. Guess what? You get to step in and empower these incredible, funny, and charismatic campers. Your responsibility and sense of intuition, along with the amazing training you went though during staff week, all come together to prepare you for this conversation where you can truly influence how campers perceive themselves and others. Even though it’s just one conversation, the impact goes far beyond that evening.
You’ll leave dinner a bit early to set up for your unit program, which is A Day in the Life on Mars. You’ve already planned and written the program in collaboration with other counselors in the unit integrating the camp core values, STEAM, and some good old camp fun. The collaboration between different counselors from different backgrounds made this program what it is, and now you’re overseeing a full hour program for 100 campers and 30 staff members. This involves being creative to engage campers at all levels, being resourceful based on supplies received and effectively speaking in front of a large group.
Since your co-counselor is OD (on duty) tonight, you head out of the bunk for some staff fun. Tonight, Tavern, the late-night food restaurant on camp, has a fancy grilled cheese theme and Staffter Hours, activities planned for staff after campers go to bed, is karaoke in the staff lounge. While you’re hanging out, listening to some not-so-great but very joyful singers and munching on your grilled cheese with pesto and tomato, you’re able to spend time and hang out with friends who have become family from around the world.
As you walk back to your cabin, you can see the beautiful, open Texas stars shining down on you. You’re a bit overwhelmed to think of everything you did in one day at camp, because the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. During just one day at camp, you collaborated with colleagues, managed groups ranging from 12-130, problem solved to adapt to dynamic environments and thought critically about how to compassionately respond to campers’ needs.
There are few other jobs where you are truly changing lives and shaping futures all while gaining professional skills to excel your future career. Working as a camp counselor gives you opportunities to grow in 21st century skills while also having an incredibly fun summer experience. If you think you’re up for the challenging and inspiring job of being a camp counselor, apply today at https://greene.org/staff/apply-now/.