Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Job Files: Camp Counselor

In honor of the summer, we have rolled out a new weekly feature. Each week we will take turns to recount a summer job we had back in the day. [Editor's Note: Back in the day refers to when we were in].

By far the best summer job I have ever had were those two summers I was a camp counselor at a sports day camp.

After being a librarian, I decided that my summer jobs would have a few requirements - which mainly included sun and people my age to work with. So the summer before I headed off to college, my friend May and I decided to get camp cousnelor jobs (it also made sense because at the time I thought I wanted to be a teacher - so to me camp counselor = future teacher).

We ended up both getting jobs at our own former sports camp that we had both attended as youngsters and had loved. I had attended when I was around 11 and kept going until I turned 13 and therefore got to particpate in games like Capture the Flag (which we played in a "forest" by a busy street and somehow always gave someone poison ivy), kickball, and dodgeball. In other words, this wasn't your traditional sports camp. The term "sports" was used loosely.

Since we were so mature and responsible (aka girls who couldn't deal with punk 13-year-old boys), we were placed on "baby duty" aka the five and six-year-olds who played absolutely no sports. And let me tell you - not playing sports with these munchkins all day was the best summer job ever.

Every day, the little ones would show up around 8AM and they'd play on the playground for an hour while the counselors all gathered around to talk about last night's shenanigans (aka going to T.G.I. Friday's and then DQ for dessert - I was such a rebel!). Then we'd play games with them like Red Rover, Duck Duck Goose, or a Hot Potato. We'd then retreat indoors for computer class where they would play cheesy computer games and the counselors would play Hangman on the chalkboard. Then we'd go outside for lunch, go back inside for art class, back outside for a snack, and then stay outdoors playing on the playground again and in the afternoon we'd usually play a rousing game of Capture the Flag where the counselors would get wayyyyyyyyy too into it.

There were a few things I particularly loved about this camp. First being the other counselors - we all became buddy-buddy by the end of summer to the point where one of them even took my sister to Prom. They were some of the best co-workers I have ever had.

I also got more excited than the kids for day trips. About 6 times over the summer we'd go off-site with the kids to play mini-golf, go to a water park, etc. And some of the best stories I have from camp are from these days (which would make me seem like I hate children so I will refrain from telling them).

And last but not least, my three favorite campers aka the triplets. The triplets were comprised of two little girls and a monster/devil child with extreme ADD who liked to make my life a living hell. So if we're being honest, I really only liked the two girls Kate & Belle and sometimes we'd call them the twins because their brother never even played or went near them all day. They were seriously the most precious little girls who liked to sit in your lap and play with your hair and they loved to be picked up and swung around (to preface, they were only four when they started at camp). And I most definitely played favorites with those two. They were just too cute!

My summers as a camp counselor came to end when I decided to stay at college my sophomore year to work as a tour guide. But I'll always remember those summers as some of the best times - playing with the kids, being in the sun, and generally having a grand ole time.


Anonymous said...

I loved my camp counselor days as well. I think being a summer camp counselor is something everyone needs to try at least once in their lives!

erin - heart in ireland said...

I love being a camp counselor. I worked at camps for 7 summers and now I'm still kinda involved by teaching at high school leadership conferences. So I still get to be slightly crazy and sing a lot! I do miss the real camp experience though!

Dollface said...

My favorite summer job, as well, was a camp counselor... good call! xxxoo

Jill Pilgrim said...

That sounds like an awesome summer job. I could actually go for something like that now.

sunshine > fluorescent lighting

Mrs. C said...

I was a camp counselor one summer too! At the Y. It was a lot of fun! I worked with the "babies." I had 6 yr old girls. Every week we went on a field trip and we went to the pool every day but field trip days. I had a killer tan.

6 yr old girls like to color and like crafts - it was an easy summer and we could always chit chat while they did stuff.

The only bad thing was in Texas it's really hot in the summer and we worked outside ALL DAY LONG. No inside time unless it was raining. And it doesn't rain here in the summer.

Caz said...

Being a camp counsellor was definitely the best summer job I ever had. Actually, I still think back fondly on it and sometimes wish I could be a camp counsellor still!

Yankee Girl said...

Thanks for adding me on 20something bloggers!

I look forward to reading!

Elizabeth Kaylene said...

Oh, wow, I would love to be a camp counselor! I'm starting on my teaching certificate in the fall, so this might just be perfect for me next summer!

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