Life at camp is pretty hectic and full on. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep, I’m in charge of looking after children. My day starts at 6:45am when I wake up the kids and it doesn’t usually end until 10pm or later when the kids are finally asleep. Everyday we get a 2 hour break and every 6 days, we get 24h off, but apart from that, we’re with them the WHOLE entire time.
Above all, my role is to look after them and to make sure they are safe. On the outside however, it seems like we’re in charge of entertaining them and making sure they have fun. My 4 weeks with children so far have taught me more than 30 camp songs (my favourite one is about cider and how a lady drinks it and ends up with 49 kids – moral of the story is to drink water), 6 different ways to make friendship bracelets, countless games and heaps of random activities to fill in time. Many times I’ve found myself in the position where my kids have nothing to do, so I’ve become quite good at improvising activities and stories. I’ve also learnt how to positively talk to children in a way that they understand, how to coexist with 5 other fellow counsellors in my cabin and how to be a positive role model to young girls.
Most days we have a pretty set routine: flag at 7:45am, breakfast at 8am, activities, lunch at 12:30pm, more activities, snack at 3:30pm, the last set of activities and then flag at 5:45pm and dinner at 6pm. After dinner we always have an all camp activity which can include a opening/closing campfire, a dutch action, a dance, a scavenger hunt or things along those lines. The activities throughout the day are mostly filled with canoeing, barn/horseback riding lessons, arts & crafts, nature, science, hikes, sports on the field, water fights, trading post and girl planning time where the girls as a group choose something to do as they please. Every Wednesday night we do our own unit cookout and then everyone camps out and sleeps under the stars (on tarps with only their sleeping bags and pillows – it’s not very comfortable but the starry night sky makes up for it!).
Life at camp is pretty good but its definitely a rollercoaster ride. On some days you feel like nothing is going your way and on other days you’re on top of the world. I’m definitely grateful that the girls rotate and that we get new ones every week.
I never realised how much work children were until I had 28 6 year olds surrounding me, asking impossible questions and demanding attention. With that said, it’s definitely the best job I’ve had so far.