Camp Rocked

If you’ve run into me on campus, you’ve probably overheard me say that I spent the summer in the mountains of Massachusetts as a camp counselor. This truly is my only personality trait right now.

I applied on a complete whim- I saw a Facebook post in January that they needed more counselors and seeking a change of pace and the desire to fulfill the camp counselor aesthetic that you see in the movies, I decided to apply. The hiring process and even prepping for camp was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve gone through in a while.

This job was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was also the most rewarding.

I spent two months with a bunch of nine-year-old girls; to add to that, I was a general counselor, so I would go to all their activities throughout the day with them. Besides the one hour during the day that was designated as my “off period,” I was with them every waking moment of every day.

This was the hard part of the job. It was tough to be the fun, cool counselor when you also constantly had to be the one telling them that their friends weren’t talking about them to another camper just because they weren’t included in that particular conversation. Or that they couldn’t sit out of an activity just because they didn’t like the game the rest of the group was playing.

My girls had their shining moments though that made this experience so rewarding. Like when they write you a letter after a long day just to thank you for being a good counselor. Or when they ask the camp photographer if they can take a picture of us so that their parents see.

Selfishly, another really rewarding and validating thing that I encountered was on the last day of camp when the buses were loading up to take the campers home. They would run to the counselors with tears in their eyes and beg us to come back just so that they can see us again.

Besides all of the camp bracelets, drawings and letters I left with, I also left with a heightened level of traits that I didn’t have before.

I think camp has made me much more patient. It’s also given me more problem-solving skills. There were so many situations I encountered that I never thought I would. The most memorable is that one of my campers tried to poop in the cabin sink. Enough said.

There’s such a sense of purpose that you get with this job when the campers leave.

You’re obviously heartbroken that the kids you’ve come to know for the past two months are leaving, but you’re also so relieved that you did everything you set out to do. Also, you can send the kids back with so many stories to tell and memories to keep.
If you would’ve told me when I applied back in January that I would be leaving with a sense of purpose and just counting down the days until next season, I don’t think I would’ve fully believed you. Now, I can’t imagine a summer without the twelve campers I’ve come to know and love in the heart of the Berkshires.