I recently read a post by Anne Archer Yetsko titled “10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Hire Former Camp Counselors”. (click here to see the original post), It had us thinking about our Summer Camp Staff. Over the next couple of blogs we will use her “10 Reasons” list and will explain, “The Top 10 Reasons Why Someone Should Hire a Camp Good News Counselor”.
A Self Starter: Camp Good News counselors must be self-starters. They are in charge of 8 to 10 campers each week where they guide them through the program schedule. Although the schedule is outlined and determined for them throughout the week, there are times when the schedule goes out the window due to unforeseen circumstances like emergencies or weather. Every week, counselors are faced with free time to spend with their campers. They must direct this time to promote growth, interest and fun in the child’s time at camp. If this time is not directed, it will quickly gravitate towards chaos and generally running amuck. Even though the counselors are supervised by the deans of men and women, they don’t walk the counselors through this part of their responsibility. The counselors are ultimately in charge of directing their cabins during this time.
The trait of a “Self-Starter” is important in the work world as well. Many employees will find time during their day when they are “free” or have “non-structured” time. How they utilize this time will determine what type of employee they are. If an employee has non-structured time on their hands, and they see they can provide useful service in other ways – by: Cleaning up, organizing the work area, beginning on the next day’s project, etc, – their employer will value this employee highly. God’s Word outlines the employer / employee relationship in Ephesians 6:5-7 – Slaves [employees], obey your earthly masters [employers] with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man. So, by following God’s direction in His Word, being a self-starter is part of bringing glory to God and walking in His will. This is taught, hopefully learned and practiced by the counselors at Camp Good News. By following this principle, they will be great employees in the work world.
A Resilient Individual: A Camp Good News counselor must be a resilient individual. Each week they get a new set of 8 to 10 campers. Not many adults would want to invite 8 – 10 strange children to stay in their homes for a week during the summer; much less do this each week of the summer. All summer long the counseling staff has to handle all types of parental issues with multiple children. Homesickness arises sometimes in the first hours after a parent leaves or as the sun begins to set the first evening. This can be a challenging issue to work through with a camper. Bedwetting is often another issue counselor’s face. Providing confidential, non-invasive care for children who wet their bed is extremely challenging for counselors. More and more children come from broken homes where there is no respect for parents and disobedience to parental figures is their normal way of behaving. In the situation where 1/3 to ½ of the children in a cabin behave this way, those counselors have a tough week ahead of them. In order to not only survive through the situations above, but to have an effective ministry, Camp Good News counselors rely on the strength and leading of the Holy Spirit in their life. The counseling staff will tell you this resilience does not come from inside of them, but from God. Each morning the staff begins their day with time in God’s Word and prayer with their fellow staff. These times help them become God focused instead of self-focused. Galatians 6:9, becomes word to not just to read, but to live by: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Employers need resilient employees to serve under them. Employees who utilize God’s strength for their resilience and “do not grow weary of doing good”, will always be an asset to their employer.