Last summer, I was hired as a Girl Scout Camp Counselor. Even though I was a Girl Scout for 13 years and have gone to day camp many times, nothing could have prepared me for the craziest, hottest, most fun 9 weeks of my life. Read on to find out about why I believe that being a camp counselor is the best summer job EVER!
1. Being a Camp Counselor = Being a Kid Again!
Remember when you went to summer camp as a little kid? Pool time, arts and crafts, fun adventures with new friends, and lots of singing made camp the holy grail of summer fun. When you’re a camp counselor, you basically get to relive your childhood.
When the kids are in the pool, so are you, leading a friendly game of sharks and minnows or pretending to be a mermaid underneath the summer sun. You also get to participate in playground games like jumprope, four square, and basketball, and make fun arts and crafts like princess crowns and tie-dye t-shirts. Being a camp counselor is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to just be a kid again!
2. You Get to Hear Some Really Interesting Quotes
Kids say the darnedest things, don’t they? From the first day of camp, I smiled at some of the things the girls would say to me or I would overhear them say to each other. Some of my favorite lines directed at me include
- “Do you love us more than boys?”
- “You have the most beautiful hair, Miss Hannah”
- “Are you a mommy?”
- “You smell like my brother”
- “I didn’t know old people ate Cheerios” (After I had a bowl of Cheerios for lunch)
Some of my favorite “Overheard” lines
- “I have eyebrow gel in my backpack”
- “I hope that when I grow up I’m not as flat as a pancake”
- “I’m hanging out with my boyfriend this weekend”
- “Let’s go to the beach-each, let’s go get away” (Nicki Minaj is popular with the 6 year olds, I guess?)
- “I love boys. Wait, no. Just kidding. I don’t.” (Followed by a chorus of “EWWW boys are gross!” from the other campers)
3. Outdoors > Office
Some of you might disagree with me here, but I think that spending 9 weeks canoeing, doing archery, and leading scavenger hunts through forest trails sure beats sitting in an office looking at spreadsheets all day. I don’t work well in small spaces, so being able to constantly move around between activities and go outside in the sunshine made me really happy!
4. You Get to Be a Role Model…
Remember when you thought your summer counselors were the coolest thing ever, and you couldn’t wait to be just like them? The same principle still applies, except now you’re the cool counselor that the campers look up to. Being a role model gives you the opportunity to teach the campers all the fun camp games, songs, and activities that you did when you were a kid.
For example, I learned how to make friendship bracelets at camp, and it was so much fun to teach the campers how to make the same bracelets that I wore over 10 years ago. The smiles that you put on their faces when they learn how to do something new or have fun playing a new game is priceless and makes the long days worth it!
5. …But the Campers will Teach you Something, Too
While I learned a lot about what’s “in” for kids today (basically anything with Olaf and Elsa on it, let me tell ya), I also learned a lot about patience. Getting in a straight, quiet line seems like a simple task, but it’s one that can easily turn into a 20-minute ordeal when you’re trying to wrangle a group of 6-year-olds with 30-second attention spans and constant need to use the restroom.
I learned to go step-by-step through activities and not become frustrated with the campers when I had to repeat instructions, which was a big change for me coming from college where no one really guides you step-by-step through anything. After a couple of weeks, I learned to focus on making sure the campers were safe and had fun doing their activities, not how long it took them to do it or how the final product looked!
Even though I won’t be returning as a camp counselor this summer, I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who likes working with children and who is looking to have a FANTASTIC summer experience! Tweet us @theswirlblog about your summer camp experience, or about any other fun summer jobs you’ve had!