Camp Counselor of the Week: James Deans

Last week you read about Lily’s experiences of being a summer camp counselor, this time it’s James’ turn.

summer camp counselor

1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?

Camp Sloane YMCA. I have been to camp three years now and plan to do a further two.

2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?

I needed to do something out of high school and I didnt think I was ready for uni or if I even wanted to go.  So one of my parents said that I should go travel and do something outside the box so there I was in 2011, I went off to camp!

summer camp counselor
Chilling on the pontoon boat for an afternoon

3. What agency did you apply to camp through and would you choose them again/how did you find their service?

IEP New Zealand and yes I would totally use them again and have even thought about asking for a job! haha

4. What is/was your role at camp?

Well my first two years at camp I was in waterfront and it was great! Had the best time. Then this year I was the Junior boys section head – love the role and I couldn’t bear thought of doing something else.

summer camp counselor

5. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?

With out a doubt it blew all my expectations.  I was not expecting it to be that great.  I always knew from the get go I would have a great time and meet a ton of awesome people but I had no idea it would be like this.

6. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?

1. Swim togs (bathing suit), otherwise I’d be getting in the water in my clothes.
2. A ton of clothes! Wow do you go through a lot or what?!
3. GoPro. From now on I wouldn’t leave my tent without it!

summer camp counselor
Summer camp gives you wings!

7. What is your best/favourite camp memory?

Seeing my favorite campers year after year and watching them grow.

8. What is/was your favourite camp food?

BBQ chicken night without a doubt.  Not even kidding I can’t get over how much I like that.  Totally brush my teeth to that stuff.

9. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?

Well it would be the one I taught my junior boys.  They all know it. Its pretty boss.  Just saying…..

summer camp counselor
Campers are the coolest!

10. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?

“Proud of you” (in a very cheesy voice, not super serious).

11. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?

I just stayed in New York for a bit and caught up with friends that maybe didnt go to camp or some I had met along the way.  Also to hang out with the ones you make while at camp.

12. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?

It made me grow up.  I’m not even kidding.  When I first went to camp back in 2011 when I was 18 , I didn’t really need to worry about anyone apart from myself.  Not saying I was a selfish person, just saying that until I came to camp I didnt really have any intense responsibility of a child or children.  Then when you come to camp you are surrounded by so many.  It really opened my eyes to the person I was and the person I was becoming.

summer camp counselor
You meet some great people at camp.

13. What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counsellor?

Getting to hang out with the campers! They aren’t just campers they are also your friends.  I’ve known campers now that are next year becoming staff member along side me and others at camp and it’s just awesome.

14. What’s the WORST thing?

Trying to wake up in the morning when you don’t drink coffee…

15. What the most important thing that camp has taught you?

That no matter how tired, frustrated, weak, feeling like you are about to cry and fed up with something, you need to keep pushing on because at the end of the day.  You aren’t doing it for a pay check or because you are forced to,  you are doing it for the campers.  In the outside world it may not be campers, it could be something else.  But in camp you work hard for them and it makes your camp experience amazing.

summer camp counselor
Summer camp snuggles

16. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?

Best quote I have ever heard: “Camp will be the hardest job you will ever love”.

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