Summer Camp Life: Questions and Answers with a Head Counselor

What is it like to spend an entire summer on site and on call?
When you’re at camp, nothing else matters. The camp is your home and the people there are your family. Being at camp is one of the best experiences you can ever have as a child, and that does not change when you work at a summer camp as an adult.

However, at the end of summer, it is always nice to go home.

What do you look for in staff working under you?
It’s important to be a team player. Camp counselors have to be goofy and supportive of one another and have a sense of humor. Experience does help. I know its just a summer job, but if you’ve worked at a camp in the past or have even done things like baby-sitting, you’ll be better prepared for camp.

Do certain types of people (young, old, male, female, etc.) make better staff members?
Not in my experiences. You just have to be able to relate to the children and be an organized person. Working with campers is like having a flock of children that you have to herd around all day. If anything, teachers make great camp counselors, although camp is much more laid back and some teachers tend to forget that.

What is your favorite part of camp?
It is rewarding as a counselor to get to work with amazing people every year as well as amazing children. As head counselor, I help to plan some of the activities and organize the rest of the counselors, and one of the best things is doing really neat activities with the kids. You won’t get to go rafting and hiking, learn to make a birdhouse, and try foods roasted over a campfire with any other job that I know of.

Would you change your job if you could?
Probably not. My position as head counselor is a full-time job. I can see how this may be a hard job for some people, because most staff members only work three to four months out of the year. There are jobs that pay higher, but I haven’t found any yet that are quite the same. I’m sure this job is not for everyone, but it is for me.

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