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Camp Counselor vs. Intern

by on March 12,2013 in Camp Staff, Camp Talk with 2 Comments

In February of this year, the New York Times published an article titled “The Camp Counselor vs. the Intern.”  Read the article here (http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/the-camp-counselor-vs-the-intern/?smid=fb-share).  The article’s author, Dan Fleshler, told the story of his daughter who is planning to work as a camp counselor this summer.  He advised against it, pointing at her resume and arguing that potential employers want to see internships in a relevant field, not the listing of summer camp counselor.  In a competitive job market, he thought she needed to be doing everything possible to ensure that she stood out above other candidates in her field, something she wasn’t doing by working at a summer camp.

His daughter’s remark was to the point and hard to argue.  Camp counselors spend their days caring for kids—all kinds of kids.  They are the ones who sit beside their campers and help them through the frightening grips of homesickness, who teach them about respect and fairness, walk with them as they discover their own abilities and strengths, and are always there with a word of encouragement when something proves difficult or frustrating.  They are there to help children in their camp cope with the divorce going on at home or their own struggles that come with growing up.  To quote Fleshler’s daughter, “What I do there matters…What is more important than that?”

The staff at Camp Wyoming are often campers who grew up at camp and who are well aware of the benefits of attending camp as a child.  Most can look back fondly on their days as a camper and remember those unforgettable moments, those moments of bliss and joy, but also those moments where they were struggling and a counselor sat down beside them, put their arm on their shoulder, and helped them through the situation.  Many of them can pinpoint those moments as the reason why they, too, aspired to one day work on staff at camp.

At Camp Wyoming, we echo the statement that what the summer camp counselor does matters.  Not only do they help the kids they serve to learn and grow, but at camp they are immersed in a spiritual environment that allows them the freedom to explore, ask questions, and enrich their own faith.  They learn how to work with others of all personalities, how to take responsibility, and how to lead.

Now, we want to know: Is there are camp counselor in your life who you will never forget?  What are your favorite memories as a camper?  As a counselor?  How has camp helped to make you the person you are today?