Hey guys! So in this article, I am going to share some stories from the craziest campers I have ever had as a camp counselor. I was a counselor for 2 years and I was also a camper at this particular camp for a few years before that. I LOVED being a counselor, there was never a dull moment. Let’s get started! The names of campers have been changed for storytelling purposes. names of campers have been changed
To start off, I am going to share a story about this pair of twin sisters. Raven and Ruby were two sisters who were in my group one summer. The age group I had that week consisted of middle schoolers, so you can imagine how a bunch of middle school girls can lead to some drama, and it most certainly did. As they were sisters, some arguments were to be expected; they would get into full-on SCREAMING matches, constantly needing mediation and separation. These girls could not only NOT get along with each other, but they also did not get along with the other girls either. In fact, it got so bad that one of the other campers came up to me and the other counselors and told us how Raven had threatened to stab her in the middle of the night while she was sleeping, but she didn’t bring a knife to camp so instead, she would use her FINGERNAIL! (umm what?!) Of course, we as the counselors addressed it and we later found out that it was because the other girls told Raven to turn her light out as they were trying to sleep, as her light was too bright, and Raven got mad. Obviously, these girls were kind of crazy. Flash forward when they were a little older, their mom asked one of my fellow counselors for us to teach her how to put a tampon in. (Not our job, nor was she on her period at the time, the mom just wanted us to do it)
This next story comes from a fellow camper when I was a CIT 2 (Counselor-in-Training Level Two) There was another girl in my group who was just…. I don’t even know how to describe her, so I will just share the stories of her. Things you need to know: we stayed in cabins and there are max four girls per cabin, my group had probably around 16 girls, and this was an outdoor camp where we went fishing, hiking, boating, swimming in a lake, and more, and finally, this camp lasted three weeks. This girl, let’s call her Gina (no offense Ginas). To start off, Gina had some pretty bad hygiene and never really smelled all that good, but we were at camp so most of us just shrugged it off until we were almost at the end of week two and we realized that no one had seen Gina shower, not even once. Eventually, a group of girls told our counselors and they began to realize it too and they went and talked to her and told her she needed to shower. She was visibly upset and went into the shower room. She came out in different clothes but her hair was not wet at all, she had just walked in, waited and changed clothes. I don’t remember if the counselors noticed or if campers talked to them again but eventually the counselors made her shower and she cried as she walked in. I wish this was the worst of it, but sadly it’s not. The next “event” occurred when one of Gina’s cabin mates walked into her going through another camper’s DIRTY CLOTHES bag and sniffing, and I repeat, SNIFFING, their UNDERWEAR. Why someone would do this, I have no idea, but the counselors dealt with that and I think may have even switched our cabins around after that. These next two “events” come from an internship week as a counselor, and when she was actually hired as a counselor (SOMEHOW) Gina, like most girls, had her period one week, though she didn’t believe in using tampons or pads (which is fine, you do you) as we’ve seen before, her hygiene is not the best. She took her dirty underwear and kept it under her bed. Eventually, ants came and ended up eating holes through them and one of her cabin mates confronted her and asked her why she didn’t just wash them or throw them away. She replied with “I wanted to save them for later.” I don’t know what later is, but I honestly hope to never find out. Gina didn’t use menstrual products which led to her bleeding all over the staff furniture in the break house for counselors when we went on a break during the day. I know accidents happen sometimes and I know it can be embarrassing, but girl… clean up after yourself, or at LEAST put in some effort. After CIT camp, most of us applied to work at the camp, however, there were a limited number of spots for under 18 staff members. So somehow, she was hired, and I was not. When I tell you I was mad… (turns out I just applied later than most of the others so they were hired first because of the “first-come, first-serve” rule)
Our last story for this article is about a girl who was extremely homesick. Most of the time, the younger girls at camp (who this might be their first time away from their family) get homesick and we as counselors have different ways to help them through it. The girl in this story, we can call her Elizabeth, was extremely homesick and while we did everything we knew to help her, it did not work. She was homesick to the point where we tried for two hours to get her to calm down before 11, and she was screaming her head off at 11 pm. We eventually radioed for our Leadership Team to come and help us. She was screaming for us to call her mom to get her to come pick her up and refused to do anything but scream. There was a point where we got her quiet and making a friendship bracelet but as soon as we mentioned heading to her cabin to go to sleep, she started crying again. We tried everything but Elizabeth would not go to bed. After doing everything we could think of, the Waterfront Director on Leadership Team asked her if she would go to bed if she burritoed her in a blanket. Immediately, and I seriously mean immediately, she stopped crying, smiled, and said “YEAH!” and we went down and walked her to her cabin and she went to bed. After that, every night we had to burrito her in bed. All the other girls heard about it and eventually all the girls got burritoed every night by the counselors.