Camp Counselor Of The Week: Juliet Basraoui

Did you read about Alice‘s experience at summer camp last week? This time it’s Juliet’s turn to tell you everything she loves about her job at camp.

Summer Camp Counselor

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

I go to Camp Sloane YMCA and at the end of 2014 it marked my 10th consecutive summer there.

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

I grew up at Sloane! It was/is my favorite place in the world so getting the chance to move up in the camp world meant everything to me. Becoming a Junior Counselor all those years ago was the greatest news and each summer has been just as exciting.

3. What is/was your role at camp?

I have been through many positions at camp; JC, Counselor, working in a variety of places such as Day camp, Waterfront, Boating and most recently having the pleasure of being Senior Girls (12-13 year olds) Section Head. This role covers a variety of responsibilities. For the most part, you are the person to go to, the one that’s not only in charge of communicating with parents on check in and check out, but training your Counselors for the many situations that may arise throughout the summer. The most important aspect of this job is being there for the girls, making sure that you try your best to have a relationship with each child, being the big-big sister outside of their tent. Helping you not only get to know your section but be able to run it with better understanding. It’s a hard roll at times, but also immensely rewarding.

Summer Camp Counselor

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

When I was sent away to camp when I was 9 (a different camp than Sloane) I was not pleased. I grew up in New York City and my parents felt that I needed to have more time in nature. I did not feel that way. Although my first camp experience was less than great, as soon as I got to Sloane it all changed. The bugs and dirt and not always pleasant heat stopped bothering me, it just became a place where I dreamed about all year and cherished all summer. The main reason I have kept going back all these years is the friendships I’ve made. Year after year there are great additions to the ‘camp family’ that are added and it makes everyone’s experience that much better. AKA Camp Rocks!!

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

Oh this is hard! I would say, rain gear, because it’s summer in America and that means it rainnnnnnnnnnnnns. A water bottle because hydration is dope! And last but not least a disposable camera so that you can capture all the great moments without using your phone!

Summer Camp Counselor

6. What is your best/favourite camp memory?

Now this actually feels impossible to answer…. I don’t know if this is my favorite favorite because it’s just been too many years, but I think one that I am very fond of is one night my first year as a full counselor, I did vespers with my tent who I had had for 3 weeks and its was so much fun, we chatted for about an hour about lots of stuff, nothing notable but it just felt so incredible to know that I was going to have some sort of stake in their life and that I could call this a ‘job’. I’ve gotten the chance to see those girls grown into young ladies and being apart of there lives and them mine is such a special relationship, one that makes all the sweaty days and cold mornings worth it. I highly doubt that might come with a summer internship getting coffee.

7. What is/was your favourite camp food?

Hm… Cereal?

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

AS WE WERE WALKING AND TALKING AND SINGING IN THE DINING HALL AND SUDDENLY A VOICE CAME FROM UNDER THE CROWD SINGING – STUDENT SECTION-……

Summer Camp Counselor

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

“Girls keep it CA!”

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

Back to New York usually for the staff party, which happens to be where I’m from and then cry a whole lot because summers over and all my friends will no longer have cool accents.

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

It’s made the biggest impact, one that may not be tangible, but means the world to me. Camp has given me a new sense of confidence to try new things, explore nature and all its incredible things, and has made me want to move to England forever.

Summer Camp Counselor

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

You meet incredible people, children and otherwise and get to spend a summer as a young person ‘working’ in some of the most beautiful backdrops in the world.

13. What’s the WORST thing?

The bugs!! And we get up like real early, like all the time.

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

Don’t be afraid to be a little silly, that’s usually where the fun really begins.

Summer Camp Counselor

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

Working at camp might seem like an overwhelming commitment, and to much to really wrap your head around, but it’s an experience you’ll never forget, hopefully a good one, so give yourself the opportunity to see how it might affect you!

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