Why Being A Camp Counselor Was More Valuable Than An Internship

Being a camp counselor taught me to be selfless not selfish

Every minute of camp was dedicated to the campers, not myself. I always hear about friends who are interns spending most of their time surfing the web or pretending to be busy. There’s no time for that at camp. All of your time spent as a counselor is about the kids, never about yourself. Not many interns are worrying about their companies as much as themselves.

I made kids smile, not customers

An intern pretends to be nice to somebody to sell something. An intern gets lunch and coffees for somebody to keep them happy. A camp counselor embarrasses him or herself just to make a camper smile. A camp counselor’s job revolves around their campers being happy no matter how miserable they are. While an intern is probably doing work while miserable. I promise you, getting an authentic laugh out of a camper is more enjoyable than selling insurance to some random guy.

I do it because I love it, not for the money 

I enjoy showing up to camp every morning. I do not have to say myself, “I have to go because it is good money” That is not what life is about. I get the satisfaction of having a job that is to make sure people are having fun and enjoying themselves. I spread happiness and am not isolated at an undersized desk drinking Keurig all day, praying for pay day.

I dress funny, you dress tacky

Face it interns, you’re uncomfortable all day and you sweat a little more than one would like. Interns wear the clothes they do because they are supposed to, not because they want to. As a counselor I spent a day with my face painted as a tiger. I wore a pirate hat and said “arrrrrrgggggg” all day, just for the kids.

I built character not my resume

A resume is useless for somebody without character. Over the last three summers, I have grown as a person. When camp is over, I do not say to myself, “Great, another year to add to my resume.” I do not hope that companies will hire me because I was a counselor, I hope that everybody had a great summer and that I can say, “See you next year.”

Camp counselors dedicate their summers, interns count the seconds until they are done with work. Generally speaking, there are some bad camp counselors in this world. But, all the good ones do it because they enjoy what they are doing. As a counselor, you deal with kids, adults, and fellow counselors. Not many interns are dedicating their time to such an age range. As a counselor, you learn to dedicate time to something besides yourself.

If I was hiring, I would want somebody who developed character, had leadership skills, and dedicated time to something besides themselves. I would not be impressed with somebody who got to sit at a computer for 30 hours and said they worked 45.

Yes, people should focus on their careers, but that is only if you do not have the option to do something you love. I love being a counselor and will be one for as long I want.



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