Advice from a Camp Counsellor.
This time last year all my visa and paper work was done and my flights booked ready to go to camp! I was a Camp Counsellor at a camp for adults and children with disabilities and I went to camp last summer with AmeriCamp and it was so awesome! The best 12 weeks of my life so far. But unfortunately I can’t go back this year so I have decided to write this blog to give some advice to new Camp Counsellors!
Pack light as you will definitely end up coming back from camp with much more! Whether its camp t-shirts, stuff from the mall or your travels afterwards you’ll definitely bring home loads more clothes. I brought lots of new Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts and soccer shirts. A lot of the time at camp I spend time wearing the numerous camp t-shirts I got and my t-shirts I used a lot more when I was on my day off. Packing light and smart really helps as storage may be limited and clothes can get ruined! Bring shorts and jeans but not too many jeans as depending on your geographical location it can be extremely warm. Waterproofs and different types of shoes are a must as they can get ruined easily and the weather is constantly changing! Try not to bring anything that will get ruined easily or is expensive, these are probably best for your days off. I took three pairs off converse and ended up binning one! A lot of the time your camp will give you a packing list but when it came to my list I packed a bit less.
Memories from Home and Camp
A lot of people from my camp brought stuff to decorate their bunk with such as photos and flags, this was a great idea and something I should’ve thought off. When you’re working with a lot of people from different countries it is good to bring stuff from home so they can see what its like. Also campers can be really interested in pictures from home because it is likely the would have never been to your country of origin. I took chocolate, tea and some other foods and swapped with people in my cabin.
Its good to capture all your memories at camp, that’s why I started writing about camp. Pictures are a great way to capture your memories and they can be kept forever. Try take pictures when you can!
Make a fool out of yourself!
This is my key piece of advice and probably the most important! There a lots of crazy camp songs to learn with accompanying dances and taking part in these can help make the campers day a lot better! No camp goes a day without singing or dancing! One time at our evening activity I had to pretend to be part of One Direction and lip sinc and dance in time with four other people. I was hesitant at first but after practising all week and seeing others doing ABBA, Justin Bieber, Spice Girls and Ed Sheeran I threw myself into it made a fool of myself and really enjoyed it. The campers really enjoyed it to and were singing and dancing and believed we were actually the musicians. The campers having a good time is the point of camp and making a fool out of yourself can make them have an even better time! Being over the top is okay, encouraged in fact!
It’s good to take some money with you but not lots, my camp paid me every two weeks but your camp may be different. I didn’t spend a lot of money on my days off and made a budget so I could travel afterwards. I would recommend this! Travelling around was probably the most expensive thing on my day off as stuff was quite far from camp due to the location. You’ll have chance though to go to the mall and other stuff for example, I went to Woodstock on my day off!
Try not to book any travelling until you’re at camp because you’ll meet a lot of great friends who may want to go to the same places as you. This happened with most people at my camp and I went with friends to New York, Philadelphia and DC!
This links with make a fool out of yourself. Having fun while at camp is very important and making a fool out of yourself helps achieve this. Try put yourself out there as you’ll meet lots of new people from all over the world! If you are having fun then this will reflect onto your campers. Happy counsellors = Happy campers! They are what makes camp so amazing and you want to make camp special for them! A lot of the time this may be the campers only holiday of the year, the only time away from family, so you need to make it a summer to remember, for both them and yourself! Camp is a place to create memories and if you help the campers have the time of their life, you’ll have the time of your life!
I hope this helps
Twitter and Instagram: @JamieArathoon