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Spring Open House 2021 - campers with their counselor

The Top Four Qualities We Look for In a Camp Counselor

Briarwood Day Camp

Mike Green, Owner / Director

Great camp counselors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are loud, some are quiet, some are athletic, some are artistic, some are funny, some are musical, some make bracelets for all of their campers and some makeup crazy handshakes or nicknames or dances. One thing they all have in common, however, is they all like being around kids. The truth of it is, there is no “correct” way to be a great counselor.

There are some characteristics we find make an excellent camp counselor, though. Check them out below in no particular order.

Leadership and the Ability to be a Role Model

A big part of being a camp counselor is being a positive role model for younger kids. Whether our counselors are bunk counselors who travel with campers to various activities during the day, or they are specialists who run activities from archery to basketball to ceramics, we count on our counselors to be good leaders for our campers. By following the rules, being responsible and setting a good example for our campers, they are doing just that.

There’s no secret to being a good role model – one must simply try to do the right thing. Sometimes our counselors imagine that their parents were standing over their shoulders – how would they act? Our best counselors are like big brothers and big sisters to our campers.

Energy and Enthusiasm

Camp is best when kids are engaged and having fun, and campers take their cues from their counselor. When our counselors show energy and enthusiasm, that helps our campers stay energized and enthusiastic about what they are doing.

Since our campers look up to our counselors, they will follow their counselors’ lead. We want our counselors to bring that energy and enthusiasm every day, as it will then radiate to the campers. As we often say, whatever you put into the job of being a camp counselor, you’ll get out so much more.


Our counselors recognize that their job is about the kids and isn’t only about them. Part of being a camp counselor is being inclusive and aware of what is going on. How is Timmy doing? Is he having trouble getting up the rock wall? Is Susie struggling with the bunk dance? How can I help? Does my bunk need some extra time to talk about something?

Our counselors don’t need to have the answers to all of these questions but we do want counselors who think about what’s happening with campers, what’s happening around camp, and can act thoughtfully.

Team Player

At Briarwood Day Camp, we’ve got more than 400 campers and more than 150 staff members. Having that many people in camp is great, fun, and dynamic. It also means that people need to get along and compromise. We look for staff who are comfortable working with others and in groups. We prize cheeriness, flexibility and a positive attitude – these things go a long way at camp.

Being a camp counselor is the best summer job there is. At Briarwood, we’re always looking for all-stars. If you think you’ve got what it takes and you want to have the summer of your life, apply to work with us or call us at 215-598-7143!