Last week you heard from Jess about the incredible time she had her first summer at camp, this week we’ve gone to the other end of the scale, to Alice, who has spent the last 11 summers enjoying the wonders of summer camp.
1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?
I have spent my summers at Camp Sloane YMCA in Lakeville, CT for 11 years.
2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?
I was a camper for 8 years and every summer my counsellors seemed like the coolest people I’d ever met/would ever meet and I kinda wanted to be one of them. Also, camp is my favourite place so when I was done being a camper, I was defo not ready to leave it behind and getting paid to spend the summer there sounded (and still sounds!) like the best option.
3. What is/was your role at camp?
I have worked as a tent counsellor for all age groups of kids, both sleepaway and day camp (this means around age 5 to around age 16). But I also teach waterskiing to campers of all ages. Also, this past summer I worked with our LEAD program to help campers transition to staff and learn all around useful life skills.
4. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?
Camp exceeds my expectations in every way every single summer. Each year I go back and it’s harder than ever before, more tiring than ever before, more stressful than ever before, harder to say goodbye to than ever before, and hands down more fun than ever before.
5. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?
- My Crandals (croc sandals – they’re underrated, way more stylish than a traditional croc, and offer a super swaggy tanline)
- Sunglasses with Chums – working on water in the summer can get super glare-y and camp is pretty active so it’s always helpful to have your sunglasses attached to you with a colourful string
- One-piece bathing suit – all one pieces give awkward tanlines, but bringing a variety of social one pieces can give average out the white lines that end up criss-crossing your back after two months on a boat.
6. What is your best/favourite camp memory?
It is nearly impossible for me to narrow down 11 years of fantastic-ness into a best memory, but I would definitely have to say that any rainy day that results in a dining hall dance party is one of my favourite events. Nothings more fun than forcefully dancing at children in a room filled with your favourite people.
7. What is/was your favourite camp food?
Corn on the Cob on BBQ nights has got to be my favourite camp food, hands down.
8. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?
My favourite camp cheer is “P-I-O show me what you know,” mostly because I helped come up with it my second summer ever as a camper and to everyone’s surprise it stuck around and became kind of a hit.
9. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?
‘AS A RAAAAAFFFT’
10. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?
I live in the US so typically after camp I would just end up going home and getting ready for school, or in recent years, now as a student in university, I just go straight to school for orientation week.
11. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?
I have spent basically every free moment of my life at camp since I was 8 so I would say that camp is responsible for my entire self and personality. I have met most of my best friends and favourite people there, and so I’d have to give camp credit for basically everything that I am/do/will be/have done/want/whatever else I’ve forgotten to give camp credit for.
12. What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counsellor?
It’s just super fun and happy and rewarding and great.
13. What’s the WORST thing?
All of my friends from the real world (not camp) get really annoyed because I never stop talking about camp.
14. What the most important thing that camp has taught you?
Always be your essential self.
15. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?
DO IT! (unless you don’t like kids… then probably don’t do it)