Working at Summer Camp: 5 Major Take-A-Ways

You probably know at least one person who has spent their summer at camp. Likely, they’ve raved about the experience and why “IT’S THE BEST!!!” but what makes summer camp so good and why should you consider a summer spent at camp? Here are 5 reasons to consider:

1. Learn Leadership

You’re in charge of a bunch of kids, so this one is pretty understandable. Depending on the camp, you may also be a counselor all on your own. You have to be aware of the schedule, different needs of campers, and you somehow have to get some wild kids where they need to go on time. You’re not only in charge, but you’re also setting an example constantly. You’re on the clock almost 24/7, and you have to be a role model despite being exhausted. It will challenge you and teach you countless things about yourself and what it means to lead.

2. Problem Solving

What better way to learn how to problem solve than have loads of problems thrown at you 24/7? Don’t get me wrong, camp is fun and it’s totally worth it, but camp is also full of issues as well. Campers are kids with their own agendas and who are used to their own way of doing things, so sometimes the new camp environment can stir up a lot of emotions and stress resulting in a camper needing a little extra TLC while you have to think on-the-go with 10 other kiddos to worry about.

3. Patience and Hard Work

Breathe. This is a word to live by at camp, but the benefit of it is that you learn how to be patient, find balance, and take one thing at a time. You get to learn how to be patient with kids, with other counselors, and show grace in situations that require a lot of effort. The reward can’t be matched. You feel uplifted and excited every time you hit the pillow because you know you’ve brought kids joy by serving them all day long, and you know you’re making an impact in their lives by dedicating your time and energy to them.

4. Adaptability

Camp is all about this one. You’re constantly moving and needing to adjust, which is great for those of us who like everything to be in order because it challenges us to think on our feet and not be afraid when things don’t always go as planned. This skill is highly transferable in the work field because, odds are, you’re going to need to learn to adapt at some point in time. Camp doesn’t stop for one homesick kid or another actually sick kid. You can’t predict or plan out all the mishaps in a day, but you can use each as an opportunity to learn, grow, and flourish as a person.

5. It’s FUN!

Despite the countless challenges of camp, it truly is an incredibly fun and filling summer. You get to hangout with a bunch of kids, play games, go on adventures, and just have a blast all summer. It’s tiring, sure, but the smiles and laughs will make it all worth it. You get to have a lifelong impact on kid’s lives and you get to meet incredible people along the way. You’ll likely have counselor friends who rock and you may get lucky and have some unbelievably wise bosses who want to pour into you too.

It’s safe to say you’ll have a high-energy summer and be exhausted by the end, but give it a couple of months into the school year and you’ll probably be dying to go back. The take-a-ways of camp can also look great on a résumé and will do you good when talking about your abilities to adapt, work with a team, and get things done in an orderly fashion despite chaotic situations. Sound like something you’d want to do? Come to the Summer Camp & Ministry Fair in the Bultman Student Center on January 23rd from 11 AM – 2 PM to learn more.

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