Thinking of returning to work at camp again this year? It’s natural to have a little apprehension as to whether your second, third or even fourth summers will be as good as the last. We asked a seasoned pro now going into her fourth year, how you might expect things to differ each year you work at camp.
“Although it undoubtedly gets easier, there are definitely still unique challenges that accompany every summer!
It’s great to be able to go back to camp and know exactly how the schedule works and the ins and outs of the logistics. This also puts you in a good position to be able to help new counselors! I’ve been lucky enough to be afforded more responsibility each year I’ve returned, which I appreciate as an opportunity to learn and grow every summer. There are lots of staff and campers that are regulars at camp, and it’s so exciting to be able to see all those people again, especially when lots of them live in completely different parts of the world! I met my best friend at camp and returning means that I get to spend 8 or 9 weeks with her each year.
However, returning to camp also means that more is expected of you. Managers sometimes have less patience with you because you should already know the ropes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I think it’s important to be held to a high standard, but definitely something that is different. Sometimes you return to camp expecting everything to be exactly the same and this will never be the case. The people will be different and this changes the overall feel. It can be strange because when you get back to camp it feels like you never left, but at the same time there are many things that have changed.
Going back to camp can also be exciting, because camps grow and change over time. Every year at ILC there is new equipment, buildings and activities. Being a part of this growth makes you feel like you are really a part of camp, rather than just there for a single summer.”
Each camp year will be different and I think that’s what keeps it exciting. It’s hard to not expect everything to be the same, and some summers will definitely be better than others, but the unique challenges that each one presents and the new people that you will undoubtedly meet make it well worthwhile.