What it is truly like to be a counsellor: 10 things I haven’t expected

Last summer I was a kitchen staff member at Camp Lenox. I still think it is the hardest job in camp. I used to think that counsellors are basically just playing sports and having fun. But after 7 weeks of being one of them, I can tell you, even though I love it, it’s much harder than it seems.

10 things I haven’t expected at all before:

1. It’s definitely not all fun and games

Even though there are plenty of interesting activities you will do with your kids, there is so much more happening in between that you wouldn’t expect.

2. So many silly conflicts on daily basis

It’s hard to get along with everybody in general and even harder to start living with ten strangers in a bunk and make friendships. I understand that, yet I have never imagined that there will be so many silly fights and conflicts. One time my kids were fighting over a fart and even though it seems super funny now, at that time, it seemed almost like Third World War. Every single day I have to deal with sorting out issues, talking to the kids and trying to find solutions or just explain to them that they have just so much time left and they shouldn’t waist it like this.

3. You will be mum, sister and best friend

Sometimes they need somebody as strict as a mum, then somebody to talk to as a sister, and also somebody to share things with, like a best friend. You will have to be all three in one.

4. Mood changing and sensitivity

Each group of kids is different, but my kids are super sensitive. They worry about the smallest things possible and they would cry over it. Then in ten seconds they are perfectly fine.

5.  Pretending to be sick and lying

Not everybody wants to participate all the time, but I have never thought that they will pretend to be injured so they don’t have to do some of the activities and within five minutes after we’ve switched to something else, they are magically healed.

6. They are so smart and creative

My kids are 7 to 9 years old, yet they already taught me so much. They are extremely smart and creative, so you should never underestimate them.

7. They will give you so much love

Random hugs, compliments, saying that they love you or just pure honesty. They are the best.

8. They are fun to be around

They are always super positive, energetic and pumped to do sports which always motivates me to be more active.

9.  By the end of the summer you will love them as if they were yours

I have never imagined that the bond would be so strong, but it is… I miss them already.

10. BONUS: 10 phrases every girl counsellor uses all the time:

  • girls
  • listen
  • hustle
  • clean up
  • brush your teeth
  • flash light time
  • go to bed
  • did you use your bathroom
  • where is your water bottle
  • bus girl
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