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172 voters

Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .

Updated September 9, 2019 2.1k votes 172 voters 100.6k views26 items

All the emotions that a person experiences working as a camp counselor could fill a lake. Or a pool. A rec hall. A radio room. A baseball diamond. A cabin. A bunk bed (pretty much any facility on camp, you get the gist). Point is, when you combine dozens of young adults with hundreds of campers, there are a lot of feelings generated that stick around for quite some time. 

From pool days to field trips, from MORP to musicals, there are myriad once in a lifetime experiences that one feels working at camp, and this list of the worst and best things about working at camp will make anyone who's ever worked at summer camp reminisce about all the good (and bad) times they had during their summers away from home.

What does it mean to be a camp counselor? What's it like when camp ends? What are the best things about working at summer camp? What are the worst things about working at camp? There's no one emotion that fully encompasses what it's like to dedicate your summer to a thankless job where kids and teens routinely try your patience, but there are many different feelings that you experience and these are some of them. If you think of a feeling associated with being a camp counselor that's not on the list, make sure to add it to the best (and worst) things about being a summer camp counselor.
  • 1
    53
    14

    Tiring

    You are literally running after children ALL DAY LONG.
  • 2
    44
    18

    Frustrating

    Kids are d-u-m DUMB sometimes.
  • 3
    59
    40

    Rewarding

    You get to see kids grow into young adults, and that's cool.
  • 4
    51
    32

    A Positive Experience

    Pizza, proms, ping pong, princesses, and every other positive "p" thing you can imagine.
  • 5
    58
    40

    Amusing

    There are a million crazy things that happen at camp.
  • 6
    54
    44

    Challenging

    Kids are a handful and you seriously NEVER know what they'll do next.
  • 7
    48
    38

    Enriching

    Emotionally, culturally, and professionally fulfilling.
  • 8
    51
    47

    A Huge Committment

    Two damn months! With co-workers you'll get to know intimately. And children with weird hormones. And a curfew. And ONE DAY a week off. Oy.
  • 9
    32
    25

    Thankless

    At some point in your time as a counselor, you'll have to clean up some puke and no one will care.
  • 10
    42
    40

    A New Experience

    Even if you attended camp in your youth, there is nothing like being a camp counselor.
  • 11
    28
    23

    Infuriating

    Sometimes you just don't understand what these people are thinking.
  • 12
    40
    43

    Unique

    No place else will you see rain, a broken leg, intramural sports, cheeseless pizza, The Goonies, and straight men in drag in the same 24-hour period.
  • 13
    46
    56

    Life-Changing

    You'll make friends for life and learn about yourself as well.
  • 14
    39
    65

    Priceless

    So. Many. Memories.
  • 15
    21
    37

    Awful

    There are so many nights when you'll just curse your existence and hope it'll be better in the morning.
  • 16
    35
    63

    Insane

    You'll sleep about four hours a night when you're working and even less on your days off.
  • 17
    36
    71

    The Best Thing I Ever Did

    You'll never want to give the experience back. Never.
  • 18
    30
    64

    Dynamic

    You never do the same thing twice at camp. 
  • 19
    15
    39

    Dumb

    Crazy and dumb go together like rainy days and BUNCO.
  • 20
    36
    78

    Bizarre

    Straight men in drag. 'Nuff said.
  • 21
    26
    89

    Complicated

    Balancing the duties of your job, the emotions of your campers and co-workers, and the distance from your family and friends makes for a lot of feels.
  • 22
    24
    85

    Habit Forming

    If your experience at camp is even 51% positive, you'll be jonesing to go back...like right after you leave.
  • 23
    13
    40

    The Worst Thing I Ever Did

    It takes a little bit of crazy to commit two months of your life to looking after other people's children.
  • 24
    12
    37

    A Negative Experience

    Some people just aren't made for camp life.
  • 25
    12
    41

    Pointless

    You DO have to take care of some vapid children for (sometimes very) little pay.