Summer camp counselors
play an extremely formative role for campers. Often, campers return home
beaming with admiration for their camp counselors who provided fun, laughter,
and the opportunity to learn. Pali Adventures counselors are fun, diverse,
vibrant, and engaging young people. Camp counselors often become the role
models that kids look up to, and they may be the inspiration for a camper to
try a new hobby, or travel to a new place.
Camp counselors have one
of the most important roles at camp. They are the people that campers will
remember—they are the face of the camp. The following camp counselor duties,
responsibilities, skills, tips, and notes will help you to become the best camp
counselor you can be.
Camp Counselor Duties
One of the most
important camp counselor duties is ensuring general safety throughout the camp.
Camp counselors are trained in CPR, AED, and first aid to maintain a safe camp
environment. Counselors must be actively engaged with their campers at all
times to guarantee that campers are never placed in unsafe or unhealthy
situations. One of the most important goals of a camp counselor should be to
make sure that campers are following camp rules and optimizing fun for all.
Counselors should always
be on the lookout for growth and development in their campers. Make sure that
every camper feels welcome and included in order to help campers grow. It is
one of your camp counselor responsibilities to recognize and praise the growth
of campers and skill achievement. This helps bring campers out of their shells,
and encourages optimal personal growth.
Camp Counselor Skills
Many campers come to
camp alone, expecting to make new friends. An important camp counselor skill is
the ability to help facilitate new friendships among campers. For this reason,
team-building skills are an extremely important trait for camp counselors to
possess. The moment that campers step into a specialty, elective, or activity,
you should be thinking of icebreakers and conversations that will get the group
excited to spend a few hours together.
Your camp counselor
responsibilities also include sportsmanship and fairness. You can encourage
both of these by making activities and games about having fun as opposed to
winning. Other skills that you should possess include strong interpersonal
communication, activity planning and oversight, leadership, positive role
modeling, problem solving, selflessness, initiative, and creativity.
Don’t be afraid to sit
and chat with a camper, one-on-one, in order to help bring them out of their
shell. Plan out downtime so that campers are never feeling antsy or bored. Come
to camp armed with plenty of riddles, word games, and casual games to play
during transitions and free time.
Camp Counselor Tips
Get to know each one of
your campers personally, and work hard to make sure that they each get
attention. Establish ground rules and a steady routine early on so that campers
are never caught off-guard by camp customs and policies. Stay positive no
matter the circumstances, and always try to put a constructive spin on all
Avoid sarcasm—a good
camp counselor tip is to use humor and be able to get silly while still
remaining genuine. Always be over prepared, with tons of fun games on deck and
at the ready. Campers are usually excited about playing games, even if it’s
something as simple as tossing a ball back and forth on the grass.
Extroverted campers will
probably be ready to join right in, but don’t be afraid to invite quieter, shy
campers into your game. Shy campers are often just as ready to play games as
more outgoing campers are, but might not be sure how to ask to play.
Your most important camp
counselor duty is to make sure that campers have the best time ever at summer
camp—so don’t be afraid to improvise and get a little silly!