Summer Camp is a great way to expand your horizons. You’re able to encounter new experiences every day and there are a few things every summer camp counselor learns. Our guest blogger Hannah spent her summer working as a Specialist Summer Camp Counselor at Camp Towanda. Here she has been able to pick up a trick or two along the way. Read on while Hannah details the lessons every summer camp counselor learns!
Before going out to camp, I was nervous because I was 25 at the time and I assumed camp in America was going to be a younger crowd. I worried that I was a bit late to the party after doing two degrees and having worked for several years. I quickly learnt that my nerves didn’t matter! Camp was very beautiful, quiet and had a chilled atmosphere. The weather was gorgeous every day and so was the landscape. Working at camp is a learning curve on all levels and it’s important to have an open mind. People at camp are of all ages and everyone is like-minded, open and welcoming.
Of all the things to learn, wearing sunscreen is the most important! I never usually burn in the sun but on my first day at camp, I burnt my back and I was still suffering a whole week later! We make sure to tell the campers to slather on the sunscreen but it can be something we forget to do ourselves. Getting burnt is not fun and it will ruin your week, especially when it starts peeling! If you’re running low at any point, head to Walmart and stock up. You’ll thank me later.
While at camp, you won’t need to pack everything. You’d be surprised that you can get it all out there – the joys of Walmart! Don’t stock up before you fly, especially on toiletries. You might not have space in your cabin and they also take up room in your suitcase. Things like toothpaste, shampoo and body wash are all available to buy and if you don’t need anything specialist you don’t need to bring it with you. It’ll be a lot cheaper to buy things Stateside too. Be sensible with your packing and you’ll be fine.
While at camp it’s important to remember you’re working and you’re there for the kids and for the experience. Working yourself up over a summer romance isn’t worth it and it can create awkward situations at camp. Focus on making friends, doing a good job and enjoying the positives at camp. Nothing will ruin your summer faster than a broken heart. A Returning Camp Counselor put it best: “The kids will remember you forever.”
When I first arrived at camp, I suffered really bad jet lag and felt quite unwell from it. When you can sleep – do it. You won’t be missing out on things because it’s a long summer with plenty of experiences popping up. There’s always another chance to do everything you want. Don’t let FOMO get in the way with you recharging your batteries. When the campers arrive, the opportunities to get a full night’s sleep totally uninterrupted might be fewer and further between!