Somewhere between adolescence and adulthood there occurs in human development an age which is physically and psychologically impossible. It is that unfathomable stage known as the camp counselor, a creature undefined by psychologists, misunderstood by camp directors, worshiped by campers, either admired or doubted by parents, and unheard of by the rest of society.
A camp counselor is a rare combination of doctor, lawyer, indian and chief. She is a competent child psychologist with her sophomore textbook as proof. She is an underpaid babysitter with neither television nor refrigerator. She is a strict disciplinarian with a twinkle in her eye. She is referee, coach, teacher, and advisor. She is an example of humanity in worn out tennis shoes, a sweatshirt two sizes too large, and a hat two sizes too small. She is a humorist in a crisis, a doctor in an emergency, and a song leader, entertainer, and play director. She is an idol with her head in a cloud of woodsmoke and her feet in the mud. She is a comforter under a leaky tarp on a canoe overnight, and a pal who just loaned someone her last pair of dry socks. She is a teacher of the outdoors, knee deep in poison ivy.
A counselor dislikes waiting in line, cabin inspection and rainy days. She is fond of sunbathing, exploring, teaching new games, an old car named Mrs. Beasley, and days off. She is handy for patching up broken friendships, bloody noses, and torn jeans. She is good at locating lost towels at the waterfront, fixing stopped up toilets, making friendship bracelets, and catching fish. She is poor at crawling out of bed on rainy mornings, and remembering to fill out forms.
A counselor is a friendly guide in the middle of a cold, dark, wet night on the long winding trail to the TLC. Who but she can cure homesickness, air out wet bedding, play 16 games of 4-square in succession, whistle “Dixie” through her fingers, carry all the cook-out food, speak Pig Latin in Spanish, stand on her hands, sing 37 verses of “You Can’t get to Heaven”, and eat four helpings of Sunday dinner.
A counselor is expected to repair 10 years of damage to Jill in 10 days, make Julie into a woman, rehabilitate Judy, allow Joan to be an individual and help Gertrude adjust to a group. She is expected to lead the most prized possessions of 16 adults much older than she. She is expected to lead them in fun and adventure, even when her head aches; to teach them to live in the outdoors, even though she spends 9 months a year in the city; to teach them indigenous activities when she can’t even spell the word; to guide youngsters in social adjustment, when she hasn’t even reached a legal age; to ensure safety and health, with a sunburned nose, a band-aid on her thumb, and a blister on her heel.
For all this she is paid enough to buy the second text in psychology, some aspirin, some new socks, two tires for Mrs. Beasley, and some new tennis shoes. You wonder how she can stand the pace and the pressure. You wonder if she really knows how much she is worth. And somehow, you realize that you can never pay her enough when, as she leaves at the end of the summer, she waves goodbye and says, “See ya next year!”

-

What is a Counselor?

Phyllis M. Ford (http://www.prm.nau.edu/prm280/what_is_a_counselor.htm)

(Source: geromney)


From the top of the tallest pine tree at camp there are invisible bungee cords that stretch from the very tip of the tree to our hearts.
Now, bungee cords are elastic, they’re not chains. That means they stretch. They allow us to leave camp and go out into the world at home, school and work.
But, bungee cords only stretch so far before they give you a little tug backwards. You can tell when your bungee cord is stretched too far. You might feel sad or lonely and need to remember the friendship, love and support of camp. You might be going through life without remembering the lessons you learned at camp. So when you stretch your bungee cords to much they give you a little tug to remind you what’s really important in life.
Our invisible bungee cords can be tugged in many different ways. The tugs might be when you hear a camp song, remember a funny thing that happened at camp, see or hear from a camp friend, hear laughter, see a starry sky that reminds you of camp or just feel the love and support of camp.
A tug on your bungee cord can make many different things happen. Maybe your bungee cord will tug you all the way back to camp next year or maybe it will simply bring you a smile to brighten your day. However you stretch your bungee cord remember that it will always tie your heart to the top of the tallest tree at camp and in turn tie your heart to everyone else’s heart forever.

- Kill Them With Kindness: Bungee Cords  (via lizarding)

(via geromney)


eatsleepcamp:

Dammit, this is my life.

eatsleepcamp:

Dammit, this is my life.

(Source: what-i-think-i-do, via campcounselormoments)