Lifelong Lessons and Gratifying Gifts of Being a Camp Counselor
May 12, 2020, by MCE Blog Team
Lifelong Lessons and Gratifying Gifts of Being a Camp Counselor
May 12, 2020, by MCE Blog Team

By Laurie, the Campcierge™


My parents recently dropped off boxes of my old stuff on my front lawn (as they said hello curbside and from a distance).  When I was going through hundreds of photos, cards and other random items – much of it from 30 years ago, I happened upon two letters that made me smile. They were “thank you” notes from two sets of camp parents from the days when I was a camp counselor. They both shared how thankful they were that I had taught their kids to swim and had given them much more, too. It made me think about how gratifying those years of being a counselor were; I helped kids develop skills and self-confidence, which also helped me grow and become the person I am today. From being a camp counselor, I learned valuable lessons of responsibility, dedication, professionalism, and lots more which I’ve applied throughout my life. 

Here’s what the letters said:

“Thanks for helping Carrie improve her strokes and diving. She liked you a great deal! Enjoy the rest of the summer! Fondly, Linda and Murray”

“Thank you so very much for working with David in the water this summer. Under your instruction, he was able to overcome his fears and hesitation and acquire the label ‘swimmer!’ His self-esteem and self-confidence grew with each new skill he learned. Thanks, once again for all you’ve done!! All our Best, Eva and Ed”

Aside from being immensely gratifying, being a counselor was also really fun! I loved being with the campers during our regular-day programming and at “special events” like swim races during Color War and impromptu belly flop contests we held some Fridays. I also had fun with the co-counselors I met as we supported the kids and supported each other. Many of the co-counselors are people with whom I reconnected in college, in my 20‘s working in NYC, and subsequently in the suburbs and at camp with my own kids.  

Being outside all day was another benefit to working as a camp counselor. What a way to spend a summer – in a beautiful place, enjoying the fresh air, getting Vitamin D, physically moving, and meeting and connecting with new people. (Tech-free time wasn’t really “a thing” when I was a counselor because we didn’t have cellphones back then, but it’s certainly another benefit for counselors today.)

Not only do I appreciate the experience I had as a counselor working with the kids, but I also remember being the camper who loved and learned from her counselors. My memories are still so distinct of Rich who taught rocketry, Julia who taught gardening, Josh who played the guitar in the picnic grove, and Franny who blew her ref’s whistle during an evening activity one night while we were on the basketball courts so we could all look up at the beautiful sky.  

Camp is forever. It gives you roots. It teaches you lessons. It helps you form lifelong connections. If you, or your kids, or a friend you know is looking for a really rewarding experience, I would encourage people to consider working as a counselor at a Maine Camp Experience camp. To learn more:

Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools

You can share your own Maine camps memories & expressions of gratitude on our Memories of Camp section of our website.

Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child?  Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks).  It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates.  Then you can research these camps in more depth.  

Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.

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“I greatly enjoyed speaking with Laurie (Guide at Maine Camp Experience). Thanks to her guidance, ideas and suggestions we truly feel that our ultimate choice is the right one for us. We can trust that our seven year old daughter will have a wonderful summer!”

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