Advice Column, Parenting, Tween & Teen

Characteristics of a good camp counselor

  • Sugar Bay
  • Category Advice Column, Parenting, Tween & Teen

Whether you want to work as a camp counselor, or you are a parent searching for the best holiday camp for your children; it is good to know what makes a good camp counselor so that you know what to look for.

The best holiday camp doesn’t necessarily have the most impressive facilities or best equipment. The best sleepover camp has the best counselors. This alone has been found to be the primary deciding factor as to whether kids will want to return to a camp or not. In addition to having a passion for working with children and enjoying outdoor activities, the best counselors often have the following traits:

1.    Initiative

Taking the initiative to do something before someone asks you to, is one of the most important characteristics of a good camp counselor. For example, if you see something on a path that someone could possibly trip on and hurt themselves, a good camp counselor has the insight and initiative to remove it out of harms way. In supervising children, this characteristic is essential.

2.    Selflessness

At camp, the children always come first. What would you do if you’re really tired, and a child cannot go to bed because they’re feeling homesick? A good camp counselor will sacrifice their sleep to ensure that the child is made comfortable. Throughout a camp, counselors are expected to make sacrifices for the benefit of the children.

3.    Positive Role Model

As a camp counselor, it’s important to note that your behavior can be emulated by others, especially by the younger children. Camp counselors need to lead by example. For example, a camp counselor cannot tell the children that technology isn’t allowed at camp, and thereafter, get caught using their mobile phone when they think everyone is asleep. Neither can camp counselors express negative emotions, swear or be ill-mannered, as these present a bad example to the children they supervise.

4.    Creativity

Good camp counselors, like good baby sitters and teachers need to be able to use their imagination in order prevent boredom. Camp counselors need to think outside of the box and constantly come up with new and exciting activities to keep children entertained.

5.    Resilience 

There are always challenges and unpleasant situations that camp counselors have to deal with – anything from late working nights to gossip, dealing with bullying or upset parents. In order for camp to run smoothly, camp counselors need to be able to deal with difficult situations in an honest and diplomatic way.

If you are interested in working as a camp counselor at a holiday camp and you have the above characteristics, then you are an ideal candidate.  On the other hand, if you are a parent looking for a good holiday camp, these traits may give you some ideas when you ask a camp what they look for when they hire their staff. You should also ask whether they require a police clearance from all staff, and what training their staff receive beforehand.

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