Who’s the counsellor of the day? It’s me! It’s me!
That’s right! Finally, in my second year at camp, I have been bestowed the honour of Counsellor of the Day. With a lanyard to prove it and everything!
But what makes a good counsellor? Well, I talked to campers and counsellors alike about this and here is what I came up with.
A good counsellor:
· Always has a smile ready for their campers
· Is approachable
· Is high energy
· Wants to spend time with/likes their campers
· Is a good hugger
· Can function on little to no sleep
· Has lots of ideas
· Is responsible but still fun
· Can be a good mother/father figure but can still be a friend
· Is super flexible
· Has lots of good ideas
· Is a good listener
· Commiserates with their campers instead of always telling them how to fix problems
· Is fair
· Is interesting
· Likes to join in
· Pulls good pranks
· Gets to know their campers really well
That’s just a few, but probably the most commonly mentioned ones. Being a good counsellor isn’t just about being able to enforce the rules – because realistically you try your best to keep the campers happy and some pranks might bend the rules a little bit. But it’s more about getting to know your campers as people; what they like, who their family is, what they study, what makes them happy or sad. Also, being there for your campers; being ready with a hug or a high five; encouraging them; making them laugh when they are homesick; listen to them whinge about their bunkmate; being firm but fair – all of this makes a good counsellor.
There’s a reason why it is the hardest, but the most rewarding job in the world. Just the other day someone said that campers should be grateful of their counsellors. Who else would have a slumber party with 11+ girls seven days a week, 24 hours a day? Their parents would give up after two days. While it was pretty funny at the time, a lot of the campers agreed and as a counsellor it does make you realise just how much we do to look out for these kids.
Yeah, it’s the toughest, most tiring, full on, intense experience of your life – but it is honestly the most amazing! I think of what life might be now if I had never discovered CCUSA and Camp Agawak. I actually can’t fathom it. My life would not have gone the way it has. I wouldn’t have met the people I have. I wouldn’t have touched the lives of the kids I have met. I wouldn’t have discovered my home away from home, nor had the most amazing time imaginable!