Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Attributes of a Great Summer Camp Counselor

Life as a summer camp counselor is exciting since you never know what each new day will bring. Whether you are leading campers on a hiking trail in the wilderness or comforting a homesick child, you will constantly be challenged to develop your leadership skills while enjoying the perks that come with working outdoors. It is important, however, to recognize that it takes a special person to become a summer camp counselor. Following are the top attributes summer camps look for in their counselor candidates that point toward someone who can rise to any challenge while maintaining a friendly demeanor.

Excellent Communication Skills

Team meetings, parent conferences and bunk-side chats all require a summer camp counselor to adjust their communication strategies to fit the situation. For this reason, camp counselors should be just as comfortable talking to a parent about health concerns as they are telling stories around the campfire. Ideal candidates will have empathy, compassion and be able to direct children without losing their temper. In fact, summer camp counselors are also called upon to teach kids positive ways to manage their conflicts, which means that must have excellent problem-solving skills.

Ability to Lead Recreational Activities

Leadership skills are essential for summer camp counselors who are in charge of teaching kids how to safely enjoy their camp activities. During the course of the day, they may instruct students in activities ranging from pottery to archery. As they do so, they will keep an eye out for kids who are struggling and find ways to include them in the group. They can also quickly adapt to changing circumstances such as bringing an outdoor game of basketball into the gym instead of letting the rain ruin the fun.

Highly Aware and Detail-Oriented

As anyone who has ever watched more than two kids at a time can tell you, managing a group of children requires constant vigilance. In addition to leading the fun, camp counselors are responsible for making sure each camper is dressed appropriately for the weather, eating well and getting adequate rest. Camp counselors also stay alert for signs of health problems such as allergies that need to be addressed by the camp’s medical team and they keep a head count of the children during transitions to ensure that no one gets lost in the crowd.

Energetic Personality

Waking up at dawn, leading activities and keeping up with all of the details requires a lot of energy. Therefore, summer camp counselors should possess a high-energy personality that bubbles over with friendliness. Young campers look up to their older leaders and a strong counselor can set a positive tone for the day. Summer camp counselors should also be able to work as a team with other counselors to coordinate large group activities such as competitions and overnight camping trips.

Summer camp counselors gain valuable experience that can transfer to any career field. Yet, it is their dynamic personalities and commitment to excellence that makes them most desirable to potential employers. While many summer camp counselors are alumni of the camps where they work, others are drawn in by the opportunity to work with kids in a fun, outdoor environment. Either way, those who possess the attributes of a quality summer camp counselor are in the right position to enjoy long-term success.

Let your kids experience fun at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.