What is the first thing you think of when you think of summer camp? A lot of activities and kids screaming and yelling as the sun is scorching down on top of your head while covered in sunscreen constantly sweating and blowing your whistle at your kids as it echoes across the mountains. Well not exactly everyone pictures a summer camp like this, but this is what I thought Summer Camp meant when I first read my job profile ¨¨ As a kid we may or may have not have attended a summer camp before? Maybe some of you have either in the USA, UK or Ire. I personally grew up in the states and have experienced camp life. Every summer camp is unique in its own way. If you can’t relate well let me first tell you how I remember Summer Camp as a kid..
I was about 11 years old I vividly remember the car coming up over the ridge of this long muddy and mountainous range setting. The rain was coming down there were multiple cars going up the road. I was with my sister in the backseat with my Gameboy in my hand. As my dad shouts from the front ¨guys were here¨ We were arriving to a place called ¨Camp Tadmor¨ This is what I remember to this day as a kid. A big wooden facility with lots of multi colored shirts on people telling us where to go and welcoming us. We parked and I hopped out of the car grabbed my duffle bag and sleeping bag in the other hand and wobbled away to my arrivals table. I got my check in done fast and headed to the cabins/resident hall to drop my stuff off. Already met some new friends on the way having previously kissed my parents good bye I shuffled the tears off my cheeks and begin to hold my smile as I could tell there were already some cute girls walking around. If you haven’t had this experience before you might not be able to relate but when arrivals day comes at summer camp I think about every minute those campers arrive and go through the same feelings/motion as I did once at their age.
As I jump forward some years ( Sad I know I may have some of you nearly in tears or scratching your head like where is this going ) Just wait.. You will understand. Now, going on to my 3rd summer working at TECS Summer Camps in which I can cherish those memories and reflect back on them when I see those campers arriving in tears and full of excitement because it is such a big deal to be alone from the parents, for these campers!
Summer Camp is a time to build and grow as a person. We put effort 24 hours a day ( unless we are recovering with sleep ) and do our best to give the kids the experience some of us may have had or expect to have if we were in their shoes. Working on a summer camp isn’t just fun it’s impacting. To the first time you meet a group of kids bombarding you with a million questions up close breathing in your face, until the last moments of saying your goodbyes (constantly holding back tears). You will share a bond with these kids in some sort of way whether it be sports in the evening’s bbq on the beach. Meal times. Singing class songs. Making a fool out of yourself. This is camp life and it takes a special kind of person to grasp this type of lifestyle!
Working a summer camp is one of the best decisions I’ve made as a staff member. I met loads of new people and kept friendships all over the world. People come and go in life but working a summer camp you never are this close with the people you work with like you are in a camp. You cry together, laugh together, work together, dance together, fall over together, yell at each other and most importantly make memories together. It’s a time to make a fool out of yourself to get that extra bit of laughter out of a kid that may not be having the best day or maybe he or she is just homesick, you are the person that responsible to making a better summer for a camper. As I conclude this random article of why Summer Camp is what it is. I could vouch for anyone and say Summer Camp is fun you have to experience it once in your life and look ahead and see what positivity you can influence on a child in a matter of just a few weeks it will be such a rewarding feeling and box full of memories to share the rest of your life!