You become a role model to your campers. As a camp counselor, you are the most important person in your camper’s camp life at that time. They will want to dress how you dress, act how you act, eat what you eat, listen to the music you do, etc. It doesn’t seem like it in the moment, but you touch your campers’ lives forever. Some counselors create such strong bonds with their campers and their families that they stay in touch for years to come.
You get to be outside all day. While some of your friends are stuck inside helping at their parents’ offices or working in restaurants, you will be outside adventuring with your campers and fellow staff members at all the various activities that recreational summer camps have to offer. You’ll also get to unplug a bit-most camps don’t permit cell phones, tablets, etc. so you get to disconnect for a bit, it’s really a very freeing experience.
You make new friends. Spending each day with the other counselors and directors, and working together as a team to make camp successful for everyone involved, you develop bonds with them that are likely to outlast the summer.You’ll end up looking forward to visiting each other during the school year, and to the return of camp the following summer.
You will grow from the experience. Of course not every moment over the summer will be a perfect one. You may have to deal with campers having a disagreement, homesickness, etc. Through helping your campers work through these difficulties you pull away with several life lessons yourself! You will end up having these useful tools for later in life at other jobs, or perhaps when you have your own children!
You’ll see an improvement in your skills. Your time management, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills will see a great improvement over the summer, because you’ll be using them all day every day! These skills in particular are useful for college & college interviews, as well as future job opportunities.
You get to explore your fun side. You are around kids all day, and most children are not very serious. They want you to be silly with them, dress up on dress up days, participate in activities, and just play in general. Having fun is literally part of the job description at summer camp.
You feel super healthy. You’re outside, moving around all day, playing sports, and participating in other various activities. All that fresh air, sunshine, and movement will have you feeling healthy and active for the start of the next school year!
You get to try new things/activities. The best way to encourage campers to try something is to lead by example (there’s those leadership skills coming into play!). If you have a camper that’s afraid of heights on a rock climbing trip, seeing you climb a little may help.
You learn some things about yourself. You may learn how brave you can be after accompanying your group on the biggest roller coaster in the park, or how creative you can be after you come up with a name game to introduce campers to each other, or a game to keep campers occupied on the bus.
You will have stories to last you years to come. You will find yourself hanging out with the other counselors and staff by the campfire, sharing stories from the day, of funny things you saw a camper do, or when a camper tried something for the first time, when you tried something for the first time, etc. After spending 6-8 weeks with a group of people, you’ll end up with plenty of stories. These stories will end up becoming your most cherished summer memories.