It is common knowledge that there are multiple roles and many people who make camp happen at The Swamp. Directors, of course, but also medical staff, kitchen workers, teen workers, facility managers, counselors, and the actual most important, CAMPERS! Everybody's role is essential to making camp happen, but without campers there really is no camp!
But what I want to talk about this week is the importance of counselors. Not so much specific ones, we don't need to give any of our counselors too big a head! But have you ever wondered why we even have counselors? It is actually one of the key strategies of camp to have two or three student-counselors assigned to each cabin to lead, train and care for campers. There once was a time at camp and at camp retreats where adults and parents would lead and counsel cabins! But there is a specific reason counselors are college-aged. Counselor Nick Rorabaugh explains it pretty well:
At the age of 9 being "grown up" was being college age. So counselors were great role models. At a young age, the farthest you can see in the future is a couple of years, so counselors were relatable because where they were in life was a foreseeable future for young kids.
I couldn't have said it better myself, Nick! And I think that's true for campers of all ages, whether you're 9 years old in Cabin 1 or at the end of your journey as a camper in Cabin 8! I remember coming out to camp when I was 16 and I felt inspired and encouraged by all the counselors that week; they made a difference in the lives of campers by befriending them and encouraging them in their struggles, and it made me want to be a counselor one day.
Here's a moment that Alexa Espinosa shared with one of her counselors, Rachel:
"One morning, we got up early and walked down to the dining hall to have a bible study. She just poured herself out to me and was so open and vulnerable, and it made me feel really special. After she told me her troubles and just about her life, it encouraged me to open up to her as well. So we had a really great talk in which we allowed ourselves to share things on our mind. It sparked a relationship that has continued to grow. Counselors are not just your leaders, but they can be your friends and people that you can confide in and seek advice from."
Thank you so much for sharing, Alexa! It's moments like these that make the relationships formed at The Swamp so special and lasting, which essentially is the core of The Swamp culture.
I can't wait to hear stories and memories that campers and counselors make together this summer at The Swamp! Remember to sign up for your week at camp! Click here to register! Also, if you want to be counselor this summer or know someone who would be interested, visit our Volunteer & Staff page to learn more about the application process!
Thanks for reading! Until next week,
October 29, 2017
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