Advice Column, Child, Tween & Teen

The Importance of Camper-Counselor Relationships

Camp is a great place for children to get some much-needed time out from mom and dad and form relationships with other authoritative, yet not as threatening, figures: camp counselors.

The role of a counselor is not only being of a guardian and caretaker, but a friend as well. Camper- counselor relationships provide long-lasting values for both parties; camp allows children the freedom to grow into independent individuals and teaches counselors teamwork, communication and responsibility.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of camper-counselor relationships.

Counselors show campers that being an adult can be fun. 

Children have many adults in their life: mom and dad, the family doctor, their teachers; they’re constantly surrounded by someone who either always has something to do, stressed out from work or giving them instructions. A counselor is an adult that is also a peer to the camper. When they see an authoritative figure playing in the mud, it changes their perspective on what being an adult is like and allows them to be open-minded about growing up.

Campers open up more to counselors.

Since counselors are looked at as peers, campers will often open up to counselors in ways that they might not do with their parents. This allows them to speak about issues they’re not completely comfortable with speaking to neither their friends nor their parents about. From careers goals, to traumas they went through and how they believed in the toothfairy till the age of 12; a counselor lends an ear from a friend’s perspective and gives advice like a parent.

Campers see counselors as role models.

The relationship between a camper and a counselor is so important because it is a chance for children to be inspired by someone who is an authoritative figure and also a friend. When a camper sees their counselor making their bed every morning, they will make their bed without being asked.

The coolest person the world is making their bed, let me make mine,” will probably be their first thought.

If your child is inspired to make their bed by a counselor, the list is endless on how a counselor can positively influence your child.

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