camp counselor life

I want to feel the butterflies in my stomach as the first campers come racing towards my cabin, excited to start the week. I want to have an icy cold jump in the pool as my alarm clock. I want to get to know the quiet kid and be able to see her discover something about herself that even she didn’t know. I want to act like a goofball and dress up in ridiculous outfits and still be seen as a role-model. I want to embrace my inner child and expand my creativity.

I want to feel the burn of my muscles and the heaviness of my eyes after a full day of fun and excitement. I want to sit with my campers through the bad times and the good, be both a shoulder to cry on and a friend to share stories with. I want to have someone depend on me, someone to remind me that I have worth and I am needed. I want to hug my friends for as long as we need to, forgetting about the sweat and dirt and just feel at home in their arms. I want to have the smell of campfire smoke and bug spray woven into every article of clothing that I own.

I want to wade waist deep into the creek and help my campers discover the thrill of holding a crayfish in their hands for the first time. I want to sit outside at night with my friends, huddled together for warmth and trying not to wake up nearby cabins with our laughter. I want to feel the safest, healthiest and most supported I have ever felt despite being exhausted and dripping with sweat at any moment. I want to forget about ‘the real world’ for a while. I want to make my campers happy and share some of my passion with them.

I want to know I’m loved. I want to feel alive again. I want to be at camp.

Walking into the woods at camp and thinking, ‘I am home’
A Counselor's Resolutions

aka all my new year’s resolutions are based around being my campy self more often:

1. I will exercise
At camp I jog places, run every day during games, swim, ride my bike, lead songs that are basically workouts, and just walk everywhere. I am capable of doing so much more in the off-season, and I know that! Though morning yoga can replace Alive Awake Alert :)

2. I will smile
I will fake a smile when I walk into situations at work that I’m not at all excited about. I will smile at everyone I walk by. And when I whine internally about it being dumb I will sing myself a song about smiling and add in some non camp appropriate lyrics because I’m being a real butthole about life.

3. I will get my crap together
At camp my bunk is neat, dirty clothes washed because I know I’m on a tight schedule, and my bag is always prepared. I know the schedule, I know what’s next, and I’ve planned ahead. In 2016 I want to feel that put together every day and less like I’m a mess in the mornings.
3b. I will keep organizing my stuff using the Konmari method, which I started at an inconvenient time in November and haven’t gotten far though. More simple life = less mess. At camp I live without most of my stuff and am better than just fine!

4. I will be more fun
More upbeat even after long days, more willing to go on adventurers, and always willing to be silly even when others look ready to fall asleep. It makes life more exciting, and me a happier person.

5. I will spend more time in nature
I live by so many beautiful places that I don’t ever visit, and that needs to change. Plus, hikes help with being more active :)

                              A Camp Counselor’s Blessing

     May your heart remain wild, even though you spend 9 months in the city.

        May you remember the joy, and why you became a camp counselor.

           May you always have a clean pair of socks & a comfy sweatshirt.

      May you fires burn bright, your night skies stay clear, and your compass
                                                 point you true.

                                       May you always stand tall.

                         And may you never forget the magic of camp.

Life Jacket (Calum Hood)

it’s almost summer somewhere ¯\_()_/¯

~

You were walking toward your cabin, wanting to make sure all of your campers were in the mess hall for dinner, when you saw one of them sitting on the steps. You thought it was a bit weird – you hadn’t seen her when you left the cabin earlier – but you figured she just snuck by you. As you got closer, you could hear her mumbling to herself with a frown on her face. You walked over to the huffing child, noticing a black Crayola marker in her hand, attempting to draw on the side of her arm.

“What are you doing, Mack?” you asked slowly, confused as to why she was drawing on herself. The brunette’s head snapped up and she stared at you with wide eyes.

“I’ll wash it off, honest!” she exclaimed, “I didn’t-”

“Mack,” you chuckled, plopping down on the step beside her, “You’re not in trouble; I just wanted to know why you’re drawing on yourself.”

“Oh,” she sighed in relief. She started chewing on her inner cheek, staring off in front of her. You followed her gaze and noticed the 12-year-old boys’ counselors, Calum, sitting at a picnic table across the lawn. You looked back down at her as she began speaking again. “I want pictures like Cal has,” she told you, “But I can’t draw with my right hand.” You laughed again, standing up.

“I’ll be right back,” you told the 10-year-old, hurrying inside the cabin. You came back out with a damp washcloth, dropping back down.

You took the marker from Mackenzie’s hand and capped it, setting it on your lap before scrubbing the few markings she’d already made. She started to protest, but quickly silenced herself when you put the cloth down, picked the marker back up, and held her arm gently as you began drawing on her skin.

“What are you doing?” she asked, much like you had not even two minutes ago.

“I’m helping,” you stated, concentrating on getting the lettering for Calum’s ‘ALIVE’ tattoo just right.

“But adults are ‘posed to tell you not to draw on yourself,” she said.

“Most of ‘em just say that because they don’t enjoy fun things,” you teased.

“But you’re an adult.”

“But I enjoy fun things,” you said matter-of-factly, “That’s why I spend all of my time with kids.” Mackenzie giggled quietly as you moved up her arm to begin drawing on the bird.

Keep reading

I really miss camp. You’re working a job you love, and having fun and that’s honestly what I live for. The summers with the girls from across the state who run to see there camp friends from previous years on check in days, and then cry when they leave there new friends they only met that week. That’s why I work the entire summer. It’s not working, it’s changing the lives of so many children.

I can’t wait to be done with my easy, OK-paying job with a flexible schedule and a house with a comfortable bed and varied, home-cooked meals… so that I can start a difficult, below minimum wage job with zero flexibility, a bare cot, and repetitive, gut-wrecking meals.

Ready to trade in easily satisfied customers for the kind that fights each other, struggles with night terrors, tries to eat twelve packs of hot sauce at a time, and occasionally gets possessed by demons.