Summer camp is literally right round the corner and we cannot believe it has come around so quickly. It is going to whiz by when you’re there as well so make sure you savor every moment. Here in the office we have decided to put together our top tips for those of you who have never been to summer camp before. Even for those of you who have – there might be things that you didn’t do last year that you want to try this year so here goes.
Top Tip #1 – Don’t Be Afraid To Make Yourself Look A Little Bit Silly
One thing that you will learn very quickly at camp is that you will be made to do very silly things very early on. Whether this be doing a performance on stage with other people in your department to dressing up in a silly fancy dress costume to running around camp on a goose hunt looking for an object. The sillier you are at the start and embrace everything then the more you will enjoy camp!
Top Tip #2 – Pack Everything You Need For The Summer And Than Half It (Apart From Socks)
Packing for summer camp is honestly one of the hardest things you will ever do. Knowing what you might need, taking out the stuff you don’t need but actually find out you do need when you arrive and knowing how much of everything to take. But I guarantee that you won’t wear half of the things you pack and will end up spending half your pay check in Walmart on things you didn’t bring. Think very carefully about you pack, and if you don’t think you will wear it then simply leave it out. But one thing that goes missing very easily is socks so make sure you take plenty of those! Especially to keep your feet warm at night.
Top Tip #3 – Pack A Few Warm Layers
This is obviously dependent on where you are going to summer but it was unanimous in the office that at night it can get very very very cold (and we all worked at different camps in different States). Make sure you take as least 1 warm jumper and pair of tracksuit bottoms as well as a hat and gloves. You won’t regret this – we promise you.
Top Tip #4 – Get Involved In Everything!
Basically, the more you put into the camp the more you will get out of it. I know that turning up in this completely new and something scary place can be daunting and it becomes very easy to sit on the side and say ‘Oh, I’ll just watch for now’. Don’t be that person. Try new things and put yourself out there. Whether that be trying wake-boarding for the first time or helping a camper compete in the camp talent show. If you put yourself out there from the very beginning then you will enjoy yourself a lot more, and the campers will also LOVE you!
Top Tip #5 – Explore The State You Are Working In
You will quickly learn that your days off are the greatest thing on earth. It’s great being with the campers and teaching something you love but having your own time is also extremely important. It is also very easy to go and spend your whole afternoon in Walmart, but make sure you do actually explore the State you are in. Do some research and find things to do that are a little drive away. You won’t remember the things you don’t do but you will remember the things you do. You will pleasantly surprised to find out how many things there are to do that you didn’t even think was possible.
Top Tip #6 – Give It A Chance
Arriving onto camp for the very first time will be something you will never forget. But it can also very very daunting and scary. All the loud cheering, the friends being reunited who have know each for years, you being the new outsider who is trying to fit in. On my first couple of days at camp I struggled to think how I could spend my entire summer here and we actually had 2 people leave within the first 24 hours. But please just give camp a chance. It becomes very normal very quickly and you soon find you feet. If you are really struggling then also don’t be afraid to go and talk to your camp director – they will help you out loads and be happy to chat to you. This is their home after all.
Top Tip #7 – Learn All Of Your Campers Names!!!!!
This is probably one of the MOST IMPORTANT things. Make it your aim to learn your campers names by the end of the first day so that you can relate to them more and they will instantly feel more at home. There is nothing worse than someone referring you as ‘oi’ or ‘hey you’ for the first couple of days. A lot of camp will also give you camper profiles before the children actually arrive so you get to know them a bit better before they have even arrived at camp.
Top Tip #8 – Be Nice To Everyone
When you first arrive at camp you are obviously going to make friends and form a friendship group. However, don’t then just stick with this one group of people. Introduce yourself to as many other counselors as possible. You don’t want to isolate because you will regret later on during the summer.
Top Tip #9 – HAVE FUN!
You are here to do a job and make sure the campers are always safe but remember to always have fun. Enjoy every moment of the summer and try everything that you are offered. The most you put into this summer the more you will get out and chances are you will return for many more years to come! Embrace every opportunity.