A day in the life of a summer camp counselor.

(names changed to protect the lovelies)

I wake my girls up at 6:30.  Except for Viola.  She is the muse of our cabin and has trouble being on time or putting her clothes away.  So I wake her up with me 15 minutes earlier and have designated her as the alarm for the other girls.  Today I had to reprimand her for wacking them awake with her flip flop.

I drag them heavy lidded down past the white fence to the soccer field, and before they can fall asleep standing we begin our morning workout routine.  They complain, but no one sits out.  The sooner we finish, the sooner they can shower.

Flagpole lineup for all of the cabins at 8 sharp or we will run laps. Cabin devos until 8:30, and then breakfast.  Some of them doze during devos.  I don’t mind.  Tired campers fall asleep fast at night.  Tired counselors must wait for that to happen before they can fall asleep.

After breakfast is songs and the guest speaker until 10:30. Activity 1 begins at 10:45.  This week it’s riflery.  The activity farthest from the cabin, it sits on top of a huge hill and takes a good 10 minutes to walk there.  Laura explains the rules. We do safety checks, loading the bullet tray, and then supervising 5 campers at a time as they shoot rifles close to half their size.  Load. Safety off.  Aim. Fire.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Mark, sit down while they’re shooting.  Ramona, stop playing with his hair.  Line clear? Get your targets.

Activity 2 begins  at 11:45 down the hill at the chapel, which means I am late every time.  Mary runs Arts and Crafts and explains the day’s project in her gentle way.  Painting, candle making, tyedying, and card making.  Every day has a project, and I make it a point to get as messy as possible with whatever materials we are using.

Lunch at 1.  Breathe.  Tara and I went shopping over the weekend so we have our own food while mac n’ cheese, tacos, spaghetti, pizza bagels, and grilled cheese is served.  After a while it’s just too much to eat that way.

Activity 3 at 1:45.  Free time.  I try to lay in my bed.  Joy comes in to change her shirt.  Slams the door.  Mya comes in to spray perfume and ask me what I’m doing.  I leave.  Come to the office and write with one eye closed.

At 3:00 it will be free swim and I will take them down to the lake and supervise.

3:45 is canteen time.  I will go over the verse that my girls had to memorize so that they can play pool or talk to their new friends or get snacks from the snack bar.

4:45 to 6 is free time for them. Except on Monday when it’s prepare for the cheer, or Tuesday when it’s staff hunt, or Wednesday and Thursday when it’s prep for the Talent show, or Friday when it’s prep for the dinner party.

Dinner at 6.

Organized games at 6:30.

Chapel at 7:30.

Canteen at 8:45.

Basketball at 9:30.

Devos at 10:30 after they are all washed up and brushed up.

Lights out at 11.

Counselor meeting at 11:10.




About amyleighcutler

Writer, dancer, vagabond extraordinaire
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One Response to A day in the life of a summer camp counselor.

  1. Andy O. says:

    Now that sounds familiar, and brought back a whole bunch of memories some good some bad, all important.

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