My Summer as a Camp Counselor

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -A. A. Milne

For the third summer in a row, I called Congressional Camp my second home. Nested in a beautiful neighborhood encompassed by trees and a river lies the camp I worked as a counselor at. After working 9 weeks and bonding with not only my campers but coworkers, saying goodbye became a tremendously hard task. Although I was a counselor, I still learned and matured as much as the campers did. I learned how to lead a group of (often crazy) kids, delegate roles, and improvise like no other. Everyday was truly an adventure with all of the obstacles that randomly popped up. From flash floods to heat waves to scheduling conflicts, we always made the most of it and had fun. 

 

(Photo courtesy of Shirley Chu)

 

This summer, I left camp slightly wiser with a few new lessons. I learned that waking up around 5:30AM-6:00AM everyday is pretty life changing. I worked extended care hours so my shifts were not at the most ideal times. More specifically, they were from 6:45AM-9:30AM and then 2:45PM-6:30PM. Given these hours, I discovered that I could actually be super productive. I was able to fit working, exercising, studying (for an online course), and hanging out with friends all in one day while still going to bed by 11PM. I was usually exhausted by nighttime, but I was amazed at how much I could fit into one day by simply just waking up earlier.

Second, I was reminded of the importance of honesty and confidence. The kids I worked with were incredibly blunt, sometimes to a fault, but they never afraid to communicate their opinions. Additionally, many of the kids were so true to themselves that it warmed my heart. They embraced their quirky personalities without hesitance, and I was honestly inspired to do the same. 

 

(Photo courtesy of Shirley Chu)

Although I did not rock a 9-5 internship after my first year of college, I am truly glad I had this summer job. I still learned many valuable lessons and loved being a counselor. I couldn’t have imagined this summer any other way.