Valentine’s Day is about love, but love doesn’t just apply to romance. It’s a word commonly used in reference to camp!
Working at camp may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who haven’t tried it, it can be lifechanging. Here’s the top 8 things the camp workers we talked to love about it:
Taking a break from “reality”
Every summer, real life gets set aside for a time. No homework. No chores. The daily maintenance of life gets simpler. If you’re a parent, and your children are in tow, even parenting simplifies to some degree. The outdoors, space to roam, and a gaggle of friends makes for happy campers.
Seeing camp friends.
Camp staffers are kindred spirits, sharing a love for kids, the theme of the camp (whether it’s nature, science, sports, etc.), and the camp mission. Plus, there’s bunking together, eating together, working and playing together for days on end, with no pretense and no distractions. When conflicts flare up, forgiveness flows because, well, there’s really no alternative. When you’re stuck with each other for a while, you might as well get happy.
Channeling your inner child.
If you can’t get your silly on, you’re probably not a camp staffer. Whatever form the shenanigans take, if they’re messy or outlandish, camp is the best place to “dance like no one’s watching.”
Helping kids grow in character, teamwork, and life skills.
Kids grow up in important ways at camp. They push through homesickness, and gain independence. They try something new, and gain confidence, sometimes even mastery. They learn technical skills, life skills, and coping skills. They face consequences and injustices, and learn to look at life in new ways. Like watching a butterfly push through a chrysalis, the process is very rewarding to observe.
Taking a break from technology.
Hey kids, turn in your cell phones, ipads, and tablets! Devices and technology are usually vetoed at camp (unless it’s a technology camp). There’s something very freeing about not being at everyone’s beck and call, text, or tweet. You can find satisfaction in the moment with no urge to post it.
Helping kids build happy memories.
Camp staffers have loads of memories from their own years as campers. You probably tell your stories time and again, around the dinner table or a roaring bonfire.
As we saw following the Super Bowl, when Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson publicized a letter he wrote to Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, inspiration breathed into a 10th grader at camp will never be forgotten.
Camp workers get to help kids build their own unforgettable adventures, experiences, and friendships, while continuing to make new camp memories for themselves and their families.
Playing to the extreme.
At many camps, extreme sports can be enjoyed on a daily basis and for no additional cost. At outdoor camps, there’s horseback riding, repelling, spelunking, canoeing, creek swimming, and zip-lining. At sports camps, professional athletes may be in attendance. It’s not just the kids who enjoy those perks!
Working in a beautiful, natural setting.
For traditional outdoor camps, tennis shoes, t-shirts, and not a stitch of make-up are the camp uniform. All things are enjoyed in their natural state. There’s cleaner air, lovely views, and creatures to inspect through the eyes of a child. You watch the sun when it rises and sets. Though the pests are pesky, you’re always prepared. The kids are smelly, but so are you. It’s camp, after all.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the camp workers who truly love camp!