Advice Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .  

Samantha Dillinger
2.1k votes 159 voters 100.2k views 26 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
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Rewarding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Rewarding You get to see kids grow into young adults, and that's cool.

2
79 20
Amusing is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Amusing There are a million crazy things that happen at camp.

3
74 19
Tiring is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Tiring You are literally running after children ALL DAY LONG.

4
67 16
A Positive Experience is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
A Positive Experience Pizza, proms, ping pong, princesses, and every other positive "p" thing you can imagine.

5
75 22
Challenging is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Challenging Kids are a handful and you seriously NEVER know what they'll do next.

6
74 23
A Huge Committment is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
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.

7
66 19
Enriching is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Enriching Emotionally, culturally, and professionally fulfilling.

8
60 20
A New Experience is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
A New Experience Even if you attended camp in your youth, there is nothing like being a camp counselor.

9
58 20
Unique is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
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.

10
64 28
Frustrating is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Frustrating Kids are d-u-m DUMB sometimes.

11
63 28
Life-Changing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Life-Changing You'll make friends for life and learn about yourself as well.

12
51 31
Priceless is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Priceless So. Many. Memories.

13
48 30
Insane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Insane You'll sleep about four hours a night when you're working and even less on your days off.

14
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The Best Thing I Ever Did is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
The Best Thing I Ever Did You'll never want to give the experience back. Never.

Summer Camp Horror Stories

15
47 37
Bizarre is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Bizarre Straight men in drag. 'Nuff said.

16
39 29
Dynamic is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Dynamic You never do the same thing twice at camp. 

17
45 40
Thankless is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Thankless At some point in your time as a counselor, you'll have to clean up some puke and no one will care.

18
39 37
Infuriating is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Infuriating Sometimes you just don't understand what these people are thinking.

19
38 40
Complicated is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
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.

20
29 40
Habit Forming is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Habit Forming If your experience at camp is even 51% positive, you'll be jonesing to go back...like right after you leave.

21
34 48
Awful is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Awful There are so many nights when you'll just curse your existence and hope it'll be better in the morning.

22
24 52
Dumb is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Dumb Crazy and dumb go together like rainy days and BUNCO.

23
18 49
A Negative Experience is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
A Negative Experience Some people just aren't made for camp life.

24
20 54
The Worst Thing I Ever Did is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
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.

25
18 56
Pointless is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Pointless You DO have to take care of some vapid children for (sometimes very) little pay.

26
16 56
Boring is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Being a Camp Counselor Is . . .
Boring Rainy days are the worst.