From Camper to Counselor: What Will You Become?

photo credit: Pali Adventures(from top left to bottom right; Presley, Ketchup, Lobster, Ninja, Sharpie,  Splendaaa, Tropic, Wiz)


Craig Emerson(#Hashtag) | Pali Mountain

Did you know a handful of Pali Adventures counselors were once campers themselves? Or some counselors are are now co-counselors working side-by-side from when they attended camp?

From camper to counselor, there can be a wide array of emotions from excitement to apprehension (and everything in between). On one hand, you are ready to take on the challenge of being a counselor, yet you are also contemplating what this coming summer will really be like.

Nerves and anxiety are typical about your role during summer. Remember you were a camper here once upon a time, and how much you looked up to your counselor. Many of you have been at camp since you were a wee kid, signed up for just about every activity that was offered, and participated in numerous Color Chaos or Water War. While being a counselor is a new role for you, there is comfort in knowing where everything is at camp and being familiar with the daily schedule. There is a lot to learn, but you know more than you think you do.

The depth of camp experience you have and how it can positively shape the counselor you are or about to become. Your path as a staff member has yet to be laid out. What imprint will you leave at the end of the summer? How will campers and other staff remember you?

Straight Talk from Counselors

Are you a familiar face as a returning camper? Or was this last summer your first time? Either way, if you love Pali so much and want to be part of the family in a different light, think about our CIT(counselor in training) program.

Take it from one of Pali’s own. Tropic(shown above) was once upon a time a camper here at Pali Adventures and choose Movie Makup as her specialty. She looked up to her counselor at the time, Presley(shown above) who was the counselor for movie makeup. Now, Tropic is a counselor for movie makeup along side Presley who remains a counselor here at Pali.

Are you ready to become Pali’s next great counselor? Think about some of the questions below, and how you can leave your footprint behind to the next generations camper.

  • What will it take to be like your favorite counselors?
  • What did counselor do or say that made an impact on you and affected who you are today?
  • What will you do to influence a camper’s experience that will trigger him or her to want to come back next summer?

Because you have experience in so many program areas, use the best of what you learned and pass that along to every session group of campers. Being a camp counselor can not be done from the sidelines.

  • What did the best counselors do to help you progress and excel in the various specialties or electives you chose over the course of your camper career?
  • How will you pass along your passion for a particular activity?

Given the chance, you probably can chant camp songs in your sleep, or maybe you are the camper who lost his/her voice every year when it came time for evening activities. Because you have participated in almost every aspect of each camp activity, you are vital to passing along these important traditions to new campers and staff this summer. Your enthusiasm and energy are critical to the success of the highly anticipated Rock Star Showcase or Dance party, even if you have gone through them many times over and will experience them again repeatedly this summer.

  • What made these events special when you were a camper?
  • How can you return the favor for this year’s campers?
  • How will you involve those campers who are reluctant to participate?

When you put on your staff shirt for the first time next summer, know that any camper can could be where you stand, in their future. Your imprint will depend on whether or not you seek out those special opportunities with campers.

Now you have the opportunity to create the magic and wonder so the campers have an amazing time each and every day. Your imprint will be determined by whether or not you choose to put on a smile and bring a positive attitude to each session.

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