Summer is the time when (mostly college) students go to summer camp to teach kids how to survive. Kidding, we are glorified babysitters to a bunch of kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the people I work with and building new bonds with new kids, but there are just some moments when I question why I even work with kids.
Here are six things that every summer camp leader knows:
1. It’s a sweaty mess.
OK, more than just summer camp leaders know that it gets super hot, but the leaders know all too well how sweaty and gross it can be, especially with Oklahoma humidity. That paired with 15+ kids around you all day and it’s a nightmare.
2. It’s tiring.
I’ve been a summer camp leader for four years now. I know how stressful and tiring it can be to entertain kids and do your job at the same time- constantly having your brain think of new ways to get your group from one place to the other with minimal disturbances from other groups or the directors. I have six-year-olds all day and keeping them in line or even getting them to our next destination without someone pushing someone else is tiring.
3. It’s gross.
Never mind that it’s sweaty, it’s also gross working with kindergarteners. They cough without covering their mouths and they sneeze without thinking about where they’re pointing their nose. It’s snot bubbles and crying all day for me.
4. It’s fun.
I love my co-workers. Moving back home for the summer is one of the saddest times for me because I’m leaving all my friends. I don’t have many friends back home, but I know when camp starts I’ll either make new ones or be reunited with the ones from last year. The camaraderie you create with your summer camp co-workers is real; you rant to each other about your kids and you go over ways to alleviate the stress that they bring to certain activities.
5. It’s worth it.
Through the snot and the sweat and the screaming children, being a summer camp leader is one of the greatest jobs a college student can get. Learning how to work as a team and think on your feet helps in the real world. (At least I hope it will.)
6. It’s rewarding.
So far I’ve taught a little girl how to tie her shoes, and she remembers. It’s the little things like that; and when we go over the bible verse a thousand times and my group is the loudest of all when we recite at the end of the week, that makes working with these kids amazing and oh so rewarding.