Do you have what it takes to be a camp counselor?
Posted April 30, 2012 in
Whistles and Wisdom
By Greg Dodd, Executive Director, YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin
As our Camp Manitou-Lin staff reviews this year’s crop of camp counselors, I am struck by how many return year-after-year and how many were at one time campers themselves. The qualities and personal commitment of a camp counselor goes way past just wanting a summer job outdoors on Barlow Lake.
A counselor’s role in a camper’s life goes to the heart of what I call, “Whistles and Wisdom”. The whistle symbolizes structure, the next fun activity, taking responsibility for cleaning the cabins, starting the hike, capturing the flag, time to eat and time to sing around the campfire. The wisdom part provides guidance, listening, team building and being a role model of integrity and honesty to the camper. Young people who apply to be a counselor should understand that the role they play in a child or young adult’s life will last far longer than the embers of a campfire, hiking a trail, rock-climbing to the top, or feeling the spray of water on your face when canoeing. They should also understand that the guidance they offer to campers lasts a lifetime.
Our counselors know that Camp Manitou-Lin pledges to put our campers in the company of the most trustworthy and capable young adults we can hire – counselors who are well-suited to the task of caring for campers.The effort we put into screening and selecting our staff is part of that pledge. Our staff works with your children in the context of a visible, well-scrutinized environment that has many built-in checks and balances. Counselors are supervised by senior staff guided by clear, firm policies regarding behavior. Their actions are also visible to co-workers and campers.
A counselor’s job entails focus, long hours and constant steadfastness of purpose. Training to be a Camp Manitou-Lin counselor is not easy, in fact it is tough. It is not like making sure you ask, “Would you like fries with that?” We set high standards right from the start of the review process. After all, this role is that of counselor, not order taker, and if you are selected, what you learn will build your character as well as those you counsel.
Interested in applying for a a summer job at Camp Manitou-Lin? Click here.