What Character Traits Make A Great Camp Counselor?

I think people often have this misconception and pre-conceived idea about the type of people that are summer camp counselors. It is often thought that camp counselors are always the most extroverted, whacky, loud and funny people, and that is the only way to be a great camp counselor.

summer camp counselor usa dress up
Camp counselors like to play dress up. A lot.

But the people that think that are wrong. Pure and simple. Sure, there are a lot of counselors who are indeed all of those things, but being an awesome camp counselor comes down to more than just being a bit ‘out there’. A great summer camp counselor is someone who wants to be great. Someone who really enjoys working with children and loves the feeling they get when they can help a child achieve something they’ve been struggling with all week.

A camp counselor is someone who wants to have new experiences and step out of their comfort zone, to be challenged and pushed to the point of excellence. Someone who is committed to their job 100%, and will go above and beyond to make a child’s experience (and the experience of everyone around them) a positive one.

Pretty much anything goes at camp (personality-wise) and in my 4 summers working at camp, I’ve known people who are:

Outgoing, introverted, loud, quiet, shy, funny, excitable, serious, silly, boisterous, active, weird, wonderful, responsible, honest, patient, kind, fearless, scared, optimistic, intelligent, persistent, confident, charming, humble, impulsive, dependable, reckless, hard-working, curious, daring, clumsy, competitive, loving, talkative, gentle, sarcastic, lovable, sensitive, quick witted, timid, compassionate, determined and sociable (and many, many more).

summer camp usa counselor
The counselor climbing frame

All of these people were fantastic camp counselors.

So you see, there is no wrong or right ‘type’ of person who can be great at working at summer camp. A great camp counselor is all of you. Yes, YOU. Anyone thinking about applying to work at summer camp has the potential to be a great camp counselor – there is no ‘formula’, you just have to WANT to do it, to want to work hard and be the best version of yourself that you can be.

So what are you waiting for?

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