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How to Become a Camp Counselor

Deepa Kartha
Have you been looking out for a job to gain experience during your impending summer vacation? Well, working as a camp counselor would be a great and an exciting idea! Find out some more information about becoming a camp counselor.
You may have attended lots of summer camps as a child, and must have enjoyed the whole experience. Some may have enjoyed camping so much that they may be thinking of becoming camp counselors. Though it is a great idea, one must understand that there is a lot of difference between attending a camp and becoming a counselor in one.
You may have lots of fun with the kids as a counselor, but you will have lots of duties and responsibilities alongside. So, if you are keen to work as a counselor, you really need to know the points mentioned here.

What Makes a Good Camp Counselor?

Most camp sites require the counselors to be more than 18 years of age. If you have not reached that age, you can look for camps that have junior counselor programs. Apart from the age, there are also certain skills that you should possess, in order to become one.
  • You should love the company of kids if you want to enjoy the experience; this is the most important criteria. 
You have to remember that you would be spending 6-8 weeks with little kids who would have different personalities and attitudes. If you think that it would be really interesting to know children and their psychology, becoming a camp counselor would be the perfect job for you.
  • Kid summer camps include various games and activities. This needs you to be creative and innovative in building and developing new games and activities for the children.
  • As most of the camp sites are usually outside the town or city, it would be difficult to gain medical aid immediately, in case the children meet with some accident or fall sick. So, it is important to learn first aid skills before getting into camp counseling.
  • You have to be approachable and friendly. Understand that children are staying away from their families, and may become homesick. Help them adjust to the camp settings. You may also find that some children are aloof, and do not make friends easily. It would be your responsibility to make such children come out of their shell and mingle with other children.
  • It is also important to have good problem-solving skills to solve problems that arise everyday at the camp site, like fights between children. It is also very crucial to treat all the kids equally even if you like some of them better than the rest. This is necessary for you to gain love and respect of all kids, and to be remembered even after the camp.

Choosing a Camp

You can choose from a vast number of options. People who do not like staying away from home can look for day camps near their place. However, if you are really interested in exploring new places, then an overnight camp is the one for you. Check on the Internet for the different types of camp sites, and send your resume to those that interest you.
You can also choose one that caters to specific skills. For instance, if you are a football champion, you can opt for a football camp or if you are a musician, choosing a music camp would be great for you.
Other options include church camps, cheer leading camps, etc. Research well before you opt for one, to know whether it is an accredited organization or not.

Important Things to Know

There are certain things that one must know before choosing to become a camp counselor. The pay would be different at each camp site. Some camp sites do not even pay the counselors. So, if you want to work because you need the money, you would have to search for camps that pay well.
Many camp sites do not give their counselors more than a day off in a week. Sometimes, you may not even get a break in the evening. This can become a little hectic, and so you should be ready to face all these challenges. You would also have to sacrifice your sleep and privacy.
You would be meeting different people and learning how to deal with them. This would also help in enhancing your planning, organizing, and leadership qualities. Becoming a camp counselor would not only be a thrilling and fun experience, but would also be beneficial in developing skills that would aid you in all your future endeavors.