Many children who have spent a summer at camp must make that crucial decision in their life when they are finally able to work, “Should I become a camp counselor or should I find a ‘real’ job?” The answer is simple, you should become a camp counselor! Now being a camp counselor is not only for those who have attended camp. In fact, being a counselor is something everyone should experience because it provides you with as much a positive impact as it does being a camper. Being a counselor can teach you valuable life skills that can help you in many aspects of life. While working at camp you can learn:
A large part of being a counselor is time management. You learn how long activities take to set up and break down and how long it takes for your group to get ready and walk from area A to area B. You can maximize your activity time by learning these things and working around them. With the long work hours camp brings, you also learn to maximize your time off! You can take these skills and apply them to later on in life, whether it is managing time in school or managing your time in your personal life.
Your communication skills will strengthen throughout just one summer at camp. With your camper and counselor group, you will need to actively listen to others. You also learn how to respond to others after realizing the effects your words can have on campers. You can take these communication skills with you throughout life!
Any counselor will tell you that at one point or another it seems like all chaos has broken loose and that there are a million things going on and all of them need to be handled. You learn how to handle high stress situations like this! You also learn multitasking on a simpler level with situations every day. For example, as you’re setting up an activity, you’re also answering a question a camper just asked you, meanwhile you are simultaneously doing a head count. These multitasking skills can be taken back to school or your career!
At some point during your counseling career, you will need to solve a dispute. Maybe it is something that happened with another counselor or maybe two campers started arguing with one another about who hit who in dodgeball. Either way, it is a situation you have to step into and resolve. Most likely utilizing the communication skills mentioned above, you end up finding a solution. Conflict management is a valuable skill to learn, not only to resolve the conflicts we face in our own lives, but to help others resolve their conflicts both in and out of the workplace.
The skills listed above are far and few of all the skills that are learned as a camp counselor. You can also learn teamwork, how to take initiative, and leadership skills for example. It is like Michael Eisner, the former CEO of Disney, said at a camping conference in 2001, “May I repeat that list: practice teamwork, show initiative, handle adversity, listen well and maintain a sense of humor. I’m sure it will surprise no one in this room that these five attributes don’t just apply to canoe trips. They represent keys to success in one’s career. Indeed, they are keys to success in life. And, you just can’t learn them spending your summers playing video games”. To go into all of the skills you would learn would be an entire book, which coincidentally, Michael Eisner wrote titled Camp. These skills are ones that can be marketed later on in life, from applying to schools or applying for a new job. But becoming a counselor provides you with more than marketable skills. It allows you to discover yourself and gain a better self- understanding. It gives you the courage to overcome your fears and throughout the summer you experience your own personal growth and build character. You can become selfless and find yourself donating so much of your time to create something that will put a smile a camper’s face! You find yourself enjoying creating a positive influence in a camper’s life and becoming a role model for them. Lastly, you’ll have had a great summer, one in which you gained lifelong friends and made memories which you will never forget.
Apply to be a camp counselor today at https://ycamp.org/about-us/employment/