Admit it, we all constantly think about summer. One thing we don’t think about, however, is just how we’re going to spend each summer and all the options we have. You see, the problem is, planning your summer can be a lot of work and deciding how you’re going to do that months before the end of the year can be stressful. Summer camps can be the most rewarding job both monetarily as well as spiritually but require you to apply usually before spring! Whether it is a Christian camp or not, you’re bound to grow in your strength and learn to lean on Him. Working as a camp counselor is a lot of work but I’m going to unpack a few things you should consider.
Working with kids is exhausting, no doubt, but don’t let that scare you away. Managing kids for twenty four hours a day can become overwhelming but watching their childlike behaviors and pure hearts can show just the direction we need to be walking. Kids have a way of taking things as they are. You say it, they’ll believe you; but don’t get me wrong, it’s your job to lead them in the right direction! Very rarely do we get to act out as a leader of Christ and having the opportunity to test those waters first with kids is such a blessing.
Striving to be more of a leader is always important as Christians. As followers of Christ we are called to run to Him and spread that love to others. Being a leader among our friends can be intimidating, so having the chance to strengthen your leadership skills can help further your faith and bring you closer to God and in turn, your friends with God. If you go throughout your days wishing you could be in a position of leadership, showing others His love, then being a camp counselor might be fit for you.
When you aren’t strictly leading your campers and teaching them about God, you’d better be growing those relationships with them. Since the kids look up to you, it’s important that you let them know that you care. With care, comes trust, and with trust, the barriers begin to drop and you can finally speak truth to them. Sometimes they can go on and on about some of the craziest things and it truly will give you some of the most interesting conversations of your life. Kids have a way with talking and if you listen to them, they’ll tell you anything.
So, you want to strengthen your leadership skills and build relationships but how exactly is this rewarding? Having counseled over 100 campers this summer, spending a week with around ten at a time, I’ve begun to understand God’s love for us. If you attended a camp as a kid you might not have realized (assuming you had a good counselor) just how much your counselors cared for you. Sure, we get grumpy sometimes, and you don’t always get what you want, but counselors are people who truly want the camper to have a unique experience. Striving day in and day out to strengthen both their own relationship with Him as well as the campers’ is the only way to bring that to reality. Saying goodbye at the end of each week can be nerve-wracking but fear not – know that each of these kids walk away with a piece of you. Perhaps they’ll contact you later for support, or maybe they won’t, but know that these kids each learned something from you and these memories of you will stick around for a long time – so make them good! Most importantly, don’t be afraid to step our of your comfort zone. If any of this sounds appealing to you, consider applying at a local camp, help make a change in a kid’s life!