May 08, 2024

6 Skills You’ll Learn this Summer as a Camp Counselor 

From the skills you will gain to the people you will meet, a summer spent working as a camp counselor can be an extremely formative experience. Being a part of the Fresh Air team as a counselor is a great way to grow both professionally and personally. Here are six of our top skills you will take away as a camp counselor! 

1. Developing teamwork and communication skills 

Camp staff learn to communicate well and work as a team.

The first step to working at a summer camp is teamwork. Counselors, nurses, lifeguards, directors and other staff members work together to ensure a safe and fun environment for children. Being able to comfortably communicate, establish relationships and work well with the rest of the team will help you provide the best experience for your campers and yourself!

2. Learning to take direction and lead others

Being able to teach campers different activities and life skills is a huge part of being a counselor.

As a camp counselor, you will have the opportunity to both teach and learn from others. You will offer guidance to your campers and be a role model for them, working with them to try new activities and building their independence. At the same time, you will develop your own skills by learning from fellow counselors and camp directors. By the end of the summer, you’ll have grown as an individual and helped others grow too. 

3. Navigating conflict resolution 

Problem solving is incredibly important for counselors with children of all ages! 

When working with groups of children, it is normal for conflicts to arise overtime. You will learn to be prepared to find solutions and create compromises.  

4. Practicing time management and organization 

The days at camp move quickly; it’s important to be on time! 

A key aspect of being a camp counselor is effectively managing time. Sticking to a schedule is crucial when overseeing a group of campers and moving from activity to activity throughout the day. Counselors will learn to be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and making sure that campers arrive to events on time.  

5. Using creativity to adapt to different situations 

Coming up with back-up plans and alternatives will help you deal with any surprises.

Both at camp and in life, there are always unexpected obstacles to overcome. Weather can throw off plans, campers can get sick and other surprises can emerge. You will be required to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions in the moment. It’s raining when your group was supposed to go swimming? Then maybe you’ll set up an indoor board game day instead. 

6. Exercising patience and empathy

Counselors will learn to listen and put themselves in campers’ shoes. 

One of the most important elements of working as a camp counselor is being able to understand your campers. Be patient with them and try to empathize when they are struggling with something. For example, home sickness is very common for new campers. As a counselor, it is your responsibility to listen to and provide support for them.  

Interested in applying to work as a counselor? Learn more here