Camp Counselor Overview

Summer is the time to play and explore! As a camp counselor, you get to experience all of the camaraderie and excitement of summer camp — and get paid to do it. Camp counselors are responsible and hard-working, but also know how to connect with kids and enjoy themselves. So if you make incomparable crafts and are unafraid of singing in public, you might have what it takes to work as a camp counselor.

Responsibilities

  • Keep campers safe. Keep an eye and ear out. It’s more fun when campers stay physically and emotionally safe, and you’re there to make sure they follow the rules.
  • Facilitate activities. It could be touring an art museum or sweeping up a cabin, but regardless, you should get kids to follow directions and participate.
  • Clean up. There is always equipment to track down and put away, but you’ve got it covered.
  • Be a role model. Get to know the campers, support them in their activities, and demonstrate the behavior you expect of them.

Skills

  • Communicative. You’re a serious people person. Camp counselors are always in the company of other people. They have to be comfortable keeping their cool, sharing their space, and constantly communicating with campers and staff.
  • Leadership skills. You’re in charge and it’s great! Good leaders monitor behavior, lead group activities, and mediate conflicts as they arise.
  • Great time management. Counselors often have extra duties to squeeze in between activities, so it’s important to know how to balance the work.
  • Physically active. You’ve got to keep up with the campers. Be ready to run, swim jump, crawl, and play as hard as a kid.

Experience

You don’t need a lot of experience to become a camp counselor, but it’s helpful if you’ve worked with kids before or are familiar with a particular camp. Some camps teach kids specialized skills, like coding, rock climbing or filmmaking. Experience with those skills can give you a boost. 

Other camps prefer that counselors are at least 18 years old and have started college. The most important aspect of being a camp counselor is bringing energy and enthusiasm to your campers.

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