This summer, I got the chance to be a camp counsellor, and honestly it was one of the best summers I’ve had.
I remember getting ready for pre-camp orientation. I never attended camp as a kid, so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My ideas of camp came from watching the movies Parent Trap & American Pie. I came in to a room of 40 other counsellors. I hate saying it, but I get really nervous meeting new people. I’m a loud, talkative and playful kind of person but sometimes it takes me a while to get there. I can honestly say that these counsellors that I was so nervous to meet, became another family( so corny I know). Anyway the following is just a really short glimpse camp life, and the two things that made this summer one of the best ones. The kids & counsellors.
1. I became a clingy counsellor
In the beginning, I was always focused on everything we were told in training. The counsellor to kid ratio, taking attendance, lunch sheets, making sure the kids had sunscreen/water/hats…but as the days went on, I realized how much I really cared and loved these kids.
It was a weird feeling knowing their eating habits, recognizing their clothes (Our lost and found bucket was completed filled every single day. I began recognizing kids’ underwear). I knew which kids were good at lying, or which kids got along. Kids would come to camp and tell me things such as “Hey, my mom has armpit hair like that too (while pointing at a hairy male counsellor” and I would take these stories home, and tell every person around me. My friends & family basically knew my entire Maples 3 group. Honestly, it’s impossible not to fall in love with them.
On the last day, we were watching the slideshow of camp memories, when it hit me that I would never see my kids again. While I was saying goodbye to my favourite camper, I started to cry. But not like a few tears, it was the kind of crying that actually affects your breath. I felt lame and weird for crying over a five year old (who wasn’t that sad tbh), but I helped this girl change for swimming three times a week, reminded her to eat her food, dealt with her swallowing a cherry pit and trying to poo it out later. I’m going to miss all these kids so much.
2. I got to be a kid again
Water fights, doing arts and crafts, some more water fights, dancing as animals, touching weird animals, where else can a 20 year old girl do this all day?
3. I love my Co-Counsellors
Paul mentioned this in his blog, and he was spot on. I not once complained about having to get up early to go to work. Our counsellors all had amazing chemistry, and it really felt like we were a family( so corny I know). Coming to a work environment where people were always teasing each other, hugging and laughing always put me in an amazing mood. I might have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, but by the end of morning meeting I already felt better. You know we’re not just coworkers when we actually put in effort to meet outside of work(after the 7.5 hours we already spent together).
Thank you so much Camp Eden, staff and kids. I’m truly never going to forget this summer. UGH I’m beginning to tear up again. Here are just a few photos: taken at camp.
Thanks for reading guys,