You’ve probably all seen the films like ‘The Parent Trap’ or ‘Camp Rock’, well summer camps like that exist in real life, and working at one is probably one of the best jobs in the world. If you’ve been to a summer camp as a camper, worked there as a counsellor or are thinking of becoming a counsellor in the future, take a look at my top 5 reasons why working on a summer camp will change your life.
1. The people. People who work on summer camps are like no other. You’ll never find nicer bunch of genuine people who are all absolutely bonkers. To work with children in the first place you have to have an element of silliness, but summer camp staff take the award for the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. And you’re pretty guaranteed to walk away with friends for life at the end of those 9 weeks.
2. The children. So, okay, maybe not all of the children on a summer camp actually want to be there. But the challenge is part of the fun. You have the ability to literally change a kids life on camp, even from something small like helping them try a new activity, to conquering their fear of highs on the high ropes course or even answering their all important life questions. Those 2 weeks you spend with the kids will have an impact on them for the rest of their lives, and you are their counsellor that did things for them that they will never forget.
3. Finding yourself. It doesn’t matter if you have a firm idea of who you are or if you have absolutely no idea who you are or want to be, camp is likely to flip that completely on its head. In an environment where your role is to put others before yourself, you’re bound to push yourself to new limits and learn things about yourself that you never knew before. The number of people that have told me they left camp a completely different person to who they were when they arrived amazes me. And even if camp doesn’t have that extreme of an affect on you, its bound to make you change the way you think about things and view life with a different outlook – I know I do.
4. A new way of life. Not only will camp give you an entirely new way of living for those 9 weeks, but its gives you an insight into how other people live. Many of your children will have come from completely different backgrounds from your own, and experiences like that enrich your life in ways that very few job roles can. In particular if you’re an international counsellor going to the US for camp, you’ll be overwhelmed by the different way of life.
5. The escape. Camp is quite literally an escape for many of the children that attend, but it can also be an escape for the staff. Regardless of if you’re totally happy in your situation at home or itching to experience something new – summer camp will be a world away from everything you have at home, in the best way possible. When you’re out there soaking in the sunshine in the gorgeous American landscape, quite often you’ll completely forget about your life before camp. It’s almost like starting over again, new place, new people… new you?
For me, and so many other summer camp counsellors, camp completely changed my life and confirmed my existing thoughts that I wasn’t meant to just stay in my hometown forever. I need to travel to keep me sane, and that’s one of the most important things working on a summer camp taught me, but it also gave me the skills to do so; the confidence, the determination, the passion.
Let me know if you can think of any more reasons why summer camp could change your life. Or if you’ve been to camp yourself, leave a comment of where you’ve been or would love to go!