I have been so fortunate to do my life’s work as a camp director for over 30 years. I have had the deep satisfaction and joy of sharing the lives of thousands of children as they have grown into such fine adults. I have been honored to be welcomed by families as a partner in their parenting. I have worked with so many fine counselors. I have lived, worked and played in the beautiful out-of-doors while learning so much about myself. And I have had so much fun!
All of these experiences have been connected completely to the heart of camp – the counselors and staff. Each summer we bring together a group of young, and not-so-young women and men to work with our girls. They come from different parts of the world with diverse life experiences. The reasons they come to camp are many. Some have grown up in camp and often cite that they want to give back to the community that has given them so much. New staff members are excited about teaching skills, working with children, being outdoors, making friends, etc. etc.
For whatever reason they come, they soon realize that it is a job working 24-hour days, 7-days a week that requires being a friend, coach, mentor, big sister, role model, and parent all rolled into one. Counselors need to employ skills in decision making, problem solving, motivational speaking, organization, refereeing, group management, interpersonal dynamics, safety awareness, creativity, time management, teaching, care taking, sensitivity, empathy, and flexibility. They set aside much of their own lives – friends, family, hobbies, social life, work, school – to take on this responsibility. They demonstrate amazing commitment every day as they give so much of themselves to create a magical experience for girls.
We know that are counselors and staff could choose to do so many other things with their summers, and we are so grateful they choose to be with us at camp. These fine people truly are the heart of camp.