From Camper to Junior Counselor
By Noa Billick
This is my 5th summer at the beautiful Camp North Star in Maine. Like many, I started out as a camper, in Dublin cabin. This year, I am playing a completely new role: Junior Counselor (or JC for short) in the youngest girls’ cabin, Paris.
Being a JC is kind of like being stuck in the middle: not a camper, and not a counselor. This is what makes it difficult to figure out where you are supposed to fit in. On top of that, there are plenty of different responsibilities that a JC has to learn in order to make an impact on camp, such as organizing evening activities, being “in-charge” (not fully, of course) of campers, being in-charge of cabin cleanup, and much more.
To those of you reading this blog, this new position at sleep-away camp may not seem like a big deal to adapt or to fulfill. However, when one has become used to being a camper under the responsibility of others that are older and more experienced than you, this transition may come as quite a shock at first. Despite the fact that I am currently only on my 11th day as a Junior Counselor, I have comprised a list of things that have made my transition a little easier, and more fun:
1- Put on a smile as soon as you wake up in the morning, and greet your campers with excitement;
2- Eat lots of bananas (they are pick-me-ups!);
3- Be ready to rock & roll by 7:00-7:15;
4-When in activities, take a step-back: you’re not taking the class, and you aren’t teaching it. Ask the counselor in-charge of the class what kind of part they would like you to play in the course;
5- Take all sort of criticism as a way to improve. Ask how you can improve!
6- When in a leadership-type course specifically for the Junior Counselors, pay attention super closely and take notes;
Notice how the counselors around you handle different kids and different situations;
7- Watch The Motivation Breakthrough, presented by Richard Lavoie. It gives you insight to the mind and psychology of children of any age;
8- Make the most out of any situation, and most importantly:
9- HAVE FUN!