I had a close friend tell me about their experience as a counselor. I was excited about making friends and connecting with people from all over the country, and all over the world. Being in nature and enjoying the outdoors is something I love, and camp seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. While being a counselor seemed a little intimidating I had coached youth lacrosse for quite some time and enjoyed it immensely. Every position at camp is a position where leadership is involved, so I was interested to see how camp would help me progress my leadership skills. The onboarding process was smooth and the camp leadership was extremely genuine. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy job but I was excited nonetheless.
Within the first few days of being on camp property, I was firstly awestruck by the beautiful location, and secondly I had made more friends in such a short time frame than I thought was possible. Any nervousness I had felt dissolved and was replaced by excitement and anticipation. I was surrounded by interesting and excited people in an interesting and exciting place. Then the campers arrived and that’s when I understood why Camp Mondamin is truly such a special place. I was a counselor for five 10 year old boys for the three week session. I helped them set goals and we assigned bunks. I got to hear about their successes and their misfortunes. All the while, I was learning in my own activity.
I was on nature staff. The first week or so, I accompanied boys on hikes to waterfalls and beautiful lookouts led by my activity head. Soon enough I was leading hikes myself and was informing the boys on the local fauna that surrounded us. Within a short span of time, I had learned so much and was given real leadership opportunities in my activity outside of my cabin.
Some days were harder than others: sometimes my campers tested my patience, as 10 year old boys tend to do. But in the end I became very attached to my campers and was filled with pride when they told me about their success from the day’s endeavors. It was so rewarding helping guide my campers to reach their goals for the session. They confided in me and gave me the chance to share some of my life experiences. In three weeks I was a teacher, a role model, an older brother, a story teller, a best friend, and most of all a counselor.
I spent the entirety of the fall semester reminiscing about my summer experience, and found myself consistently checking my email for any news from Mondamin about my next summer. By January 7th I had signed a contract and couldn’t have been more excited. My experience at camp was so profound, I learned so much about myself, and grew an incredible amount. I was excited to push myself in years to come and to hear and share old stories, and make new ones! Camp Mondamin truly was a life changing experience and I will cherish my years as a counselor for the rest of my life.