Whether you’re a student, a parent, or an educator, chances are you know that this week is all about our teachers! That’s right, it’s Teacher Appreciation Week (which we agree should be every week!), and it got me thinking about how vital the role of a teacher is, which of course led me straight to camp. There are so many opportunities for so many different types of learning at camp, and that’s partially because there are so many different types of teachers there. In addition to the folks who teach as their off-season job, here are the four types of teachers a camper is going to encounter at summer camp in Maine:
1. Camp Directors
As the director of any camp can tell you, their role is far more than the actual running of the camp. They are part manager, part counselor, part diplomat, and … you guessed it, part teacher. Camp directors have seen it all, so they are uniquely equipped to teach both parents and campers. They begin teaching parents before camp ever starts, guiding them through the process, answering their questions, and assuaging their fears. And once camp starts, the camp director is a leader at camp, setting an example for the staff, and providing an ear for the campers. Camp directors wear many hats, and have many skills, so they are in a great position to share their knowledge with a large group of young people, year after year.
2. Camp Counselors
The counselors at camp are really at the front lines of teaching campers. They are often responsible for leading the various activities at camp – teaching campers how to swim, how to ride, how to nock an arrow, how to thrive in the wilderness, how to ski, how to perfect a jump shot, how to put on a great show … the list goes on and on. But beyond the more tangible teachings, counselors have a huge influence on their young charges, setting an example for how to behave and navigate situations, and how to be there for each other. Through their care and attention, counselors teach empathy. Through their problem-solving skills, they teach leadership. And just by being there, they teach campers the value of being a teacher.
3. Other Campers
For all the time they spend together, this group may have some of the biggest influence in terms of teaching at camp. When a camper watches his friend do something he was really afraid to do, he learns courage, maybe thinks “I could do that.” When a camper is upset, and her bunkmates are there to comfort her, she learns the power of friendship. Just watching other campers be and do and try is a huge incentive for a camper to be and do and try themselves. And at Maine camps, those other campers just happen to be awesome.
With any good luck, a camper will come home at the end of the summer and be surprised and pleased with themselves. They will have had experience on top of experience that led them out of their comfort zone, got them to try something new, and allowed them to learn a completely new skill, or master one they started long ago. Something happens at camp – kids come back … changed, more self-aware, more self-possessed, and more sure than ever that they have what it takes to do whatever they want in life. They don’t learn this from anyone else. In this, they are their own teacher.
So this week, tell a teacher how much you appreciate them! And when you get to camp, find your favorite teacher and tell them just how much they have taught you. It will be music to their ears…and you’ll have a chance soon – less then two months until camp starts!
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
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 Campcierge™ to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.