One of the most unique things about my experiences working at Camp Foley is something I am only finally able to reflect on after completing my third year on staff. By putting multiple years into working at camp a counselor can easily track how they have grown and developed over time.
Perhaps the easiest way to frame this is in how my own responsibilities at camp have changed and developed over the years…
During my first year my tasks revolved around helping me build skills in cabin management and at my activities, as the time went on, I often found myself in more of a leadership role. While it is expected that a camp counselors will act as a leader for their campers, more senior staff members will start to find themselves filling the same role for their co-workers. This is the exact position I found myself in this year as I returned to work as both a cabin counselor and an activity captain. Beyond my normal roles in the cabin, I also found myself managing the counselors who taught across the road in activities like Shop, Paintball, Riflery, and Trap.
The position of captain offered some unique challenges in terms of management. I had to recognize that while I had a responsibility to make sure all the counselors, I oversaw were well equipped and prepared to run their activities, in the end we still had the same job title of counselor. There were a few points during the summer where I had to have serious conversations with counselors. I learned that it is important to recognize at the end of the day that we were still co-workers and that I had to take care to maintain a positive working relationship. Luckily, camp is the perfect place to experience these types of scenarios as the administration did an excellent job of giving me the opportunity to have these conversations myself while still standing by to step in to help support me. When admin did step in to help there was never a sense of them taking over entirely. They provided support and guidance on how best to handle the situation as independently as possible. The administration at Camp Foley does a great job to recognize how valuable the learning experiences that this job provides are, and they do everything in their power to make sure they never deprive any of their staff of those experiences. I am coming away from this summer with valuable middle management experience while still being able to say that the relationships I built withy my co-workers stayed intact despite the difference in our responsibilities.
If you would like to apply to be a counselor this summer, GO HERE!