Posted by: Birch Rock Camp

Spending your Summer as a camp counselor in Maine can be one of the most fun, meaningful, and growth-filled experiences. Beyond enjoying activities like campfires, hiking, art, and music, serving as a counselor has many additional personal and professional development benefits. 

From developing leadership abilities to exploring potential careers, counselors walk away with more than fun memories. Camps like Birch Rock need passionate, caring, and responsible counselors year after year as they strive to create life-shaping summers for their campers. 

If you’re currently looking for a rewarding summer opportunity or want to help nurture children’s growth, being a camp counselor should be at the top of your list. Keep reading to learn five benefits of being a camp counselor!

1. Develop Leadership Skills

As a camp counselor, you will be responsible for the supervision, guidance, safety, and wellbeing of campers. This requires leadership abilities like decision-making, problem-solving, and dependability. 

On a daily basis, you’ll need to juggle campers’ needs, interests, health concerns, interpersonal conflicts, and homesickness – all while maintaining energy and enthusiasm. This hands-on leadership experience builds a foundation of skills that are valued across industries and looks excellent on a resume.  

More specifically, counselors develop skills like:

  • Responsibility – Counselors are accountable for campers’ care and experience. This builds maturity and the ability to accept responsibility.
  • People Management – From campers to fellow staff, counselors need to work cohesively with groups to accomplish goals. This ability extends to future teamwork.  
  • Communication – Counselors must clearly communicate rules, expectations, feedback, and instructions to both kids and adults. This develops interpersonal skills.
  • Decision Making – Counselors regularly make judgment calls related to camper activities, health, conflicts, etc. This improves critical thinking and reasoning abilities.

From summer camps to future offices, leadership skills gained from effectively guiding groups of children can prepare counselors for management positions or other influential roles.

2. Spend Time Outdoors

As a camp counselor, you’ll largely avoid being cooped up inside under fluorescent lights all day. At Birch Rock Camp, the majority of activities, meetings, and bonding occur outdoors. 

This gives counselors the opportunity to constantly enjoy fresh air, sunlight, and natural scenery. Days are spent doing things like hiking wooded trails, swimming in lakes, playing field games, stargazing, exploring wildlife, tending campfires, and more. 

For students, office workers, and other professionals used to being stuck inside, serving as a camp counselor can be a refreshing summer change of pace. Spending so much time immersed in the outdoors and nature also has many benefits. 

Research shows that spending time outdoors can lower stress, reduce anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, and increase happiness. The positives of being outside can give lasting mental health boosts. 

Rather than choosing a job that requires you to sit inside a desk, being a camp counselor can allow you to be active throughout your day by teaching sports and games, running camp activities, and participating alongside campers. The setting of working at a summer camp allows for physical, mental, and emotional health benefits that counselors will carry with them long after leaving camp. 

3. Make an Impact

As a camp counselor, you have the unique opportunity to influence children’s lives. During summer months, counselors become important mentors who help guide campers as they learn, grow, and tackle new adventures away from home.

The tight-knit camp environment allows counselors to build strong connections with kids that last beyond the Summer. On a daily basis, counselors support camper growth and development through:

  • Leading activities that allow campers to discover new interests and hidden talents across areas like sports, arts, music, nature, survival skills, and more
  • Facilitating friendship building and inclusion so all campers feel accepted 
  • Pushing campers just outside their comfort zones to face fears or try things they never imagined possible before
  • Serving as a trusted listener when campers need someone to talk to 
  • Helping campers successfully navigate challenges like resolving conflicts, overcoming homesickness, making mistakes, facing losses  

The lessons learned at camp about perseverance, resilience, cooperation, and community participation positively shape how children mature into adolescents and adults. Camp counselors get to actively foster this critical development.

4. Meet New People

Summer camps offer an incredibly social atmosphere that allows counselors to develop meaningful new friendships. In the close-knit camp community, counselors live together, participate in activities jointly, share meals, and participate in bonding events like campfires or sports.

This immersive environment facilitates relationship-building between staff members and campers of all ages. Friendships form organically through shared interests, values, or funny memories created together at camp.

The bonds made over sunny summer months often evolve into lifelong friendships that extend well beyond the camp gates. Years later, former camp friends can provide excellent networks of friend groups, mentors, future job connections, travel partners, and more. 

For counselors seeking adventure, fun, or lasting camaraderie, camp friendships deliver on all fronts. Meaningful relationships serve as amazing sources of encouragement, accountability, joy, and support for the years ahead.

5. Gain Experience Working with Children

A camp counselor role provides invaluable hands-on experience engaging with children, which can help inform career directions or ignite a passion for youth-focused fields. As a counselor, you’ll be with kids from morning to night through all sorts of activities.

This gives exposure to child development, education approaches, recreational leadership, behavioral management, and more. Whether helping a homesick child, teaching a swimming lesson, or guiding a nature hike, counselors constantly support children’s emotional, social, and physical growth.

The fast-paced days reveal firsthand if you have the energy, patience, and creativity needed for a career related to child development, education, social work, pediatric care, or other roles serving children. Many past counselors discovered their calling through the challenging but rewarding chance to positively impact children’s lives during a summer.

Apply to Join Us This Summer!

If you’re feeling called to experience leadership this Summer, apply to be a camp counselor at Birch Rock Camp! We’re currently hiring passionate, fun-loving, and responsible counselors to join our close-knit community this Summer in Maine. 

Learn more about working at Birch Rock Camp or submit an application today! Take the first step to having the most unforgettable and meaningful Summer ever!