Summer Camp

Written by Rebecca Russell
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Summer camp is an unforgettable experience for many that are fortunate enough to attend. I was very lucky and was able to attend camp each summer from the time I was eight up until my junior year of high school. To this day, some of my most treasured friends and memories come from being a camper.

The best camps will offer plenty of activities, such as sailing, golf, hockey, rocketry, and art. While the old standbys of baseball and soccer are still popular, some of the more advanced summer camps also include roller hockey, scuba diving, and computer activities. Finding a camp with a wide range of activities is the best way to give your child an unforgettable summer.

However, a wide range of activities is not enough. The quality of the camp itself should be of the highest caliber. If sports programs and clinics are offered, they should be hosted by sports professionals and top-notch coaches. If computer labs are part of the facility, the computers should be up-to-date and equipped with the latest software. Camps that take full advantage of their locale by organizing trips to local theater programs, sports facilities, and natural surroundings offer the most memorable camping trips, as well as the most character building ones.

Being a camper, however, is not the only way to experience summer camp. One of the greatest summers of my life was the year I finally got to be a camp counselor. Much like teaching, it is a difficult job but the rewards far outweigh any of the difficulties. Being a camp counselor allows you to be a positive role model for kids that may not have one at home. It leaves you with the overwhelming knowledge that you have changed lives, even in the smallest of ways.

The Art of Being a Camp Counselor

When considering camp counseling as a summer job, there are a few things to keep in mind. Being a counselor involves more patience than you may ever need in real life and, of course, affection for children of all ages. While camps are often structured with specific times for meals, activities and sleeping, there are all kinds of times when you will need to improvise, particularly when the weather does not cooperate with the planned activities.

Above all, to be a camp counselor is to balance the inner child with the responsible, outer adult. Campers and counselors can all enjoy playing tag, nature walks and roasting marshmallows over the crackling fire and there will also be times when counselors have to enforce camp rules and not be the popular favorite. At the inevitable end of the summer, however, the look on each camper's face as they say their tearful goodbyes will erase every bad time and etch every good memory permanently in your mind.

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