10 Tips for Working at a Summer Camp for the First Time
So you are planning on going to work at a summer camp? The good news is you have already made best decision of your life. Now check our top 10 tips how to make the most of the experience...
1. Have as much contact with family & friends
I’m not saying ring them or message them every day, but I’m sure at one point during your summer away you will get homesick. It is tough being away from loved ones, so keeping regular contact is good! Just so they know you’re alive and haven’t been eaten by grisly bears or raccoons ;)
2. Try new things, even if it means overcoming fears
For some people, Camp America will literally be a ‘once in a lifetime’ thing, and I 100% promise you, you will regret not doing something! Overcoming fears is good, you feel like you have achieved something. Trying new things could be small, like trying fried veg; carrots, green beans (yes I tried this, and it was actually that bad). Sleeping outside under the stars is also extremely cool!
3. Don’t take things to heart
You are under some stress at camp, and when you get tired (which you will) you can start to take things really personally and get upset easily. Try not to, no matter what anyone says (unless its someone real important :P) you are doing a good job! If a camper or colleague says something you don’t like, they probably don’t mean it, just shrug it off.
4. Get your beauty sleep
Try not to let tiredness catch up on you to the point where you are completely drained. You may not feel beautiful at camp, but you may as well try and help the situation. Being tired will not benefit anyone at all, you will just be MR GRUMPY PANTS and no one wants that! At camp especially, when the campers are in bed, it is nice to sit down with other councilors and talk about anything and everything, but don’t feel like you’re missing out if you go to bed before everyone else, you can just talk to them another night!
5. Be yourself
Don’t try and be anyone else other than yourself! You will be making friends for life, so just make sure they know the real you. The friends you make will honestly be the best friends you ever make, once you’ve pretty much lived with them for three months you will know everything about them, make sure you try and meet up regularly after your summer too!
6. Trust your instincts
You will have to make a lot of decisions, millions, probably more than you will ever have to make! Seriously though, believe in yourself, if you have to make a decision about something, think about it, and trust yourself.
7. Take thousands of photos
Cameras are the best things ever invented. Period. Make sure you capture every moment. It’s a memory you can keep forever, and photos can be printed out for you to look at and reminisce or show friends and family. You will have a great laugh looking back at photos you have taken and remembering all the things you did.
8. Keep a journal
It may sound cheesy, and at first you may not like doing it, but writing a journal is a great way of being able to remember things you’ve done. Little things you’d probably forget about the next day, but at the time it was funny, write it down, it helps you remember so much more, and looking back at what you’ve written is hilarious!
9. Be wise with your money
Budget. Budget. Budget. Make sure you don't go crazy and spend all your money on little touristy things you'll only end up throwing away! Give yourself budgets for each place you visit, or a weekly allowance, something to stop you going bankrupt and asking your parents and grandparents for money, causing lots of debt! Just be sensible, get gifts for people, get nice stuff for yourself but don't go crazy.
10. Prepare for the trip away and the returning
Make sure you're fully prepared, check and double check and triple check you have everything you need! Do research on where you're going, make sure you have all kind of weather appropriate clothes even if you assume it'll be hot, it could start storming!
Get a list off the internet or from your camp of stuff you'll need, remember there are washing facilities at camp and also in hotels/hostels. Make sure you have your passport before you leave!
On a sadder note, also remember it is just a trip, it's not forever, unfortunately you do have to come home and go back to school or work, you will get major holiday blues, but then again, there's always next year!!
The biggest tip I have is to HAVE FUN!!!!
By Ella Halewood