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Group of female CITS

What Are The Responsibilities of Summer Camp Counselors?

Mike Green


We sometimes get calls at Briarwood Day Camp from prospective staff members.  “I think I’d like to be a camp counselor,” they say, “but I never went to camp and I’m not really sure what camp counselors do.”

Ah, yes.  Fair question.  Being a camp counselor sounds like a fun job (and it is).  But people should know the kind of job they’re applying for.

While all camps are going to be a little bit different from each other, a lot of things are the same at every camp.  At ALL camps, camp counselors are going to engage with kids in a fun way and try to help make a positive impact – however big or small – in their lives.  

Let’s get a little more specific, though.

Organize and Lead Activities

Camp counselors should expect to organize and lead activities for kids.  Many potential staff members worry that they don’t know how to do these things or that they don’t know how to teach children or that they don’t think that kids will listen to them.  At Briarwood, we try to put these applicants at ease.  Most camps (including Briarwood) provide meaningful pre-camp training to help teach their more inexperienced staff members what to do.  Importantly, most camps have many dedicated and experienced staff members who are able to support and help its new counselors throughout the summer.

Work with Other Staff Members

Camp staffs work as a team.  Good camps know that everyone succeeds – the campers, the staff and the camp itself – when the staff works together to provide a positive experience for kids.  Good camps provide lots of support for their staff members and most camps’ staff do a lot of their work collaboratively.  At Briarwood, our staff works together closely so we can provide the best summers that we can for our campers.

Engage with Campers

The best part of being a camp counselor is getting to work with kids.  Whether it’s a three-year-old boy or a fifteen-year-old girl, each counselor has an opportunity to make a positive impact on that camper’s life.  You don’t have to be particularly funny or sporty or artistic – you just need to be kind and engaged and let the camper know that you care.  Do that and you’ll be doing a great thing.

Ensure Safety

Camp counselors have a responsibility to help keep kids safe.  Sometimes new staff members worry that they won’t know what to do or that they don’t know every single thing about keeping children safe.  We remind new staff members that we will train them, that there will be other staff members around to help and that as long as everyone is working together, we can create a safe environment.       

Being a camp counselor is fun, fulfilling and the best summer job you’ll ever have.  Interested in knowing more about being a counselor at Briarwood Day Camp? Apply online or give us a call at (215) 598-7143.