Camp Counselor Of The Week: Jess Eckersley

It’s been a while since the last one of these… if you’d like to take part in this series, just pop you email in the comments, or get in touch. Anyway, a few weeks ago, we heard from Chrissy, a long time camper and staff member, about her time at summer camp, and now it’s over to Jess, who returned to camp last summer after a few years away.

Summer Camp counselor

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

I went to Camp Sloane YMCA as a camper for 5 years and returned after 4 years last year to work as a member of the staff.

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

I moved away from America when I was 16 and really missed the hype of an American summer. Nothing else can compare! Being outdoors and surrounded by employees your own age is hard to replicate. I always knew being a counsellor was something I wanted to do.

3. What is/was your role at camp?

I was trained and certified to work as a lifeguard at Camp Sloane for the summer. I taught up to 5 lessons a day and was also a tent counsellor in Student Girls section.

Summer Camp counselor

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

My summer at camp went so much further beyond my expectations. I was outdoors in the sun, which I was really looking forward to, but was also encouraged to participate in so many activities beyond what I thought I would be able to.

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

This is so hard to choose!! I’m not a light packer in the best of situations and living at camp for 10 weeks could justify anything as essential… I would say a waterproof watch, a backpack and a torch (flashlight) are the three items I couldn’t live without at camp. In fact, next time I’m bringing 2 of each!

6. What is your best/favourite camp memory?

My favourite camp memory is the Student Girl Rap Battle. It was a spontaneous post evening activity event that had the whole section in hysterics!

Summer Camp counselor

7. What is/was your favourite camp food?

Breakfast is definitely the best meal at camp! French toast sticks and Sunday Brunch is always something my sweet tooth looks forward to.

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

‘SEVENS’ – I spent endless hours trying to get it right and was obsessed since.

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

“What are our options?” – literally smile every time I think this!

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

I travelled with friends I made at camp along the East Coast. We spent a lot of time in New York City and then continued on to Boston and Florida. I wish I had allowed for a longer time to travel and would have really loved to go further west.

Summer Camp counselor

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

Camp gave me a great break from university life. I had time to chill and focus on the basics.

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

Spending a whole 3 months outdoors and constantly being busy – it is so refreshing to be in a different environment.

13. What’s the WORST thing?

Saying goodbye to everyone at the end of the summer. It is amazing how close you get to others working side by side. It was a really emotional goodbye.

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

That there are so many more options in life and there are so many crazy and fantastic people. Before camp I had a very

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

You’ll never regret it.

Summer Camp counselor lifeguard


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