Leadership and Responsibility

August 23, 2011

This summer, you were accountable for conducting classes, special events, and cabin activities. You were not only a leader, but you instilled leadership, participation, and cooperation in campers and other staff. You encouraged campers and co-workers to express their opinions and participate in self-governing activities.

Questions to think about:
How did you help others problem solve, see patterns, and discern meaning?
In what ways did you learn to inspire and present a positive example to others?
How did you enhance a camper’s ability to work with others?
How did you create environments that encourage a camper’s participation and growth?

Think of yourself in these terms:

Conflict manager: Whenever someone is living with a group of children, conflicts are inevitable. Being able to manage campers in a way that maximizes the campers’ strengths and minimizes personality conflicts is one of the art forms of camp counseling.

Experienced problem solver: Camp counselors are the authorities in all situations with their kids and must determine solutions to problems as they arise. Whether the problem is opening a metal can of tomato sauce on a camping trip without a can opener or seeking shelter from a storm that appears suddenly, counselors must be able to think on their feet and handle a range of issues quickly and decisively.

Team player with a sense of fairness: Living in a cabin, teaching activities, or working with a co-counselor gives all camp counselors experience as a team member. They understand that a team is only as strong as its weakest link and can work to raise the team's level of performance. Additionally, no one is a better judge of what is fair than a child. Working with children enhances a counselor's sense of fairness and makes him or her more aware of the needs of all team members.

Community builder: Building a sense of community is one of the principal tasks of counselors. The counselors in residential camps are charged with the responsibility of creating an open, safe environment where their campers feel valued and important. You learned to accept people different from yourself. Living in close proximity with those from diverse backgounds revealed that we all have commonalities as people.

Future teachers, think about this! Counselors are teachers who have the responsibility for expanding the minds of young people and explaining tasks in a clear, easily comprehensible manner. They participate in, and often lead, training sessions and understand what it takes to present a group with new information.

You Inspire People to Be Successful.