- Get Involved
- Education & Events
- Publications & Research
- About ACA
Words of Encouragement to the Camp Counselor: Ideas and Tips for a Successful Summer
So, you're a new camp counselor. This will be a rewarding summer for you. In the next few weeks, you will be like a parent, as you guide your "family" through the fun and adventure that camp provides. You will be a role model, the most important person in your campers' eyes; what you say and do, how you act, how sensitive and caring you are will have a profound impact and will be recorded in your campers' memories for the rest of their lives.
Camp is a special place. Campers grow and learn about themselves, try new things, discover hidden talents, and reach out without fear of negative criticism. At camp, children learn to share, to trust, to be themselves in a nurturing environment.
Here are a few suggestions for living and working with campers:
Have fun. Everyone is here to enjoy doing things together.
Be fair. Young people have a keen sense fair play.
Be consistent. Don't change your standards.
Have great patience. Always be prepared to listen and to be helpful. Don't lose your temper. Campers will constantly test you to see how far they can go.
Don't shout or raise your voice. Save these actions for a time they many really be necessary, such as an emergency. Otherwise, campers may believe that shouting is the way you normally speak, and they will pay little attention to your raised voice.
Be a role model. Lead by example.
Watch your language. Don't use profanity.
Teach manners by saying "please" and "thank you."
Have fun at the dinner table. Get everyone talking. Try playing word games.
Don't show favoritism. You may have a favorite camper, but never show this by your actions or words. Campers will lose respect for you and it will cause problems for everyone.
Learn to anticipate what campers will do next.
Do not permit campers to be teased. Le