I called six months before camp and through talking with Lauren, The Laurel Foundation’s volunteer director, got to know a bit more about the organization. After passing through two very intense interviews, I was finally accepted as a counselor at Camp Laurel’s Summer Camp program.
During camp, I felt like I got to know myself better and noticed the extent I can open up to people. In general, I know I’m outgoing and can be crazy, but I never knew I could act like this in front of people I barely knew. I did things I would never do such as wear face paint that made me look completely ridiculous for the Halloween-themed day, dance crazily and enthusiastically, and sing my heart out which, for the most part, I only do in the shower. Also, I had to kill bugs and be the brave adult to guide kids in the dark to go to the bathroom, even though I fear bugs and get anxious in the dark. I did all these crazy things I wouldn’t normally do outside of camp for the kids. I wanted to make sure they were happy and safe.
It is evident that I fell in love with the campers. Every kid was like a ball of energy and sunshine that I had to keep up with! I especially loved my cabin and my fantastic co-counselor. My campers were so energetic and sweet and I believe I had my own little choir/dancers. It was such a great feeling to bond with them, seeing them smiling and laughing. Being here confirmed my love for kids and my desire to help people, especially children. Also, I learned so much from my amazing co-counselor. I learned from her actions and the decisions she made how to be a better counselor myself and how act in any situation that may come up. All the camp counselors, help team, staff, etc. were amazing. Each one of them was outgoing and fun and gave all their energy for the kids. I admire all of them.
Overall, being a camp counselor was such an awesome experience that I can’t wait to do again, hopefully, next summer! I really loved the feeling of making kids laugh, being depended on, and being part of this family. I really did learn so much. There were struggles during camp that were inevitable but I pulled through it, learned how to act in those situations, and grew stronger because of it. In addition, I will forever love the camp songs and miss the sound of kids singing “There Ain’t no Flies On Us” during meal time, until I hear it again.
I want to do this in the future. I want to help kids, and just help people in general
. Being a camp counselor at Camp Laurel was just one of the fun ways to do this.
– Hero (first time counselor, Summer Camp 2014)