Being a Camp Counselor is one of the greatest ways to spend your summer. If you are considering spending your summer serving the Lord through Camp Ministry, this article is for you. The world pressures us to spend your summer doing something “valuable,” such as getting an internship, taking summer classes, getting a “real” job. It’s a good thing that spending a summer working at camp is just as valuable and teaches you just as much as a summer course would.
“Camp jobs offer invaluable skill-building, leadership, training, and enrichment opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else! Regardless of your college major, camp experiences allow you to learn and develop skills that will enhance your job marketability. The benefits go far beyond a paycheck, too. Business executives often note that experience as a camp counselor translates into excellent management and personnel skills.” -American Camp Association
The bonds that you get to make with fellow staff and campers are irreplaceable. You never know the impact you have on a camper. At Camp ALOMA you bond through fellowship in the Lord. Teaching the campers about your relationship and journey with God is so important for a young Christian to see and learn. I still remember my cabin counselors and the especially powerful testimonies that taught me about God and the importance of having a relationship with Jesus. At the end of the week, cabins do affirmations. They share what they love about one another and how they positively impacted one another to end the week on a good note. Sometimes you don’t realize the impact you’ve had on the campers until they share how much camp meant to them. You won’t fully understand the bond made with the campers until they set onto the bus, you’ve been the cool big sibling, the best friend, and a massive part of their faith journey. The friendships and brotherhood you form with your fellow staff are life long. You’ll be with them every day for 2 months, learning together, leading together, and depending on one another. You develop a family-like bond, your camp family. Plus, the fact that you are brothers and sisters in Christ creates a bond through sharing your faith with each other. One of the best parts of being on camp staff is sharing camp stories. Sharing previous camper stories, funny moments, and camp experiences can bring a group together. Every summer staff is different. But every summer staff is bonded for life.
Counselors are basically big campers. You are free to be silly with the campers and let your inner child shine. Do you remember spending your summers as a kid covered in dirt and sand, and not caring what you look like? You’ll go back to that place at summer camp. You’ll lose your inhibitions, and simply remember how great it is to be outdoors. It’s fun, freeing, and incredibly positive experience. Camp ALOMA is the perfect place to disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself. You’ll have the chance to unwind in the funniest environment around. The “Camp Bubble” will allow you to be present in the moment, to forget about the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is part of the reason summer staff friendships are so great, your job is to have fun with the whole camp community. From playing Chair Basket Ball to making meals together on the weekend, being summer staff is FUN! You’re getting paid to play!
Working as a Camp Counselor builds your leadership skills. You have campers looking up to you, staff relying on you. You get to lead activities such as archery, bouldering, and canoeing where the camper’s safety is your main concern (don’t worry, we cover how to lead those in staff training). You lead the way on hikes, you explain games for them to play, you monitor the well being of the cabin. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to lead through God. There are many Christ-Centered leading opportunities, from morning to devotionals, morning worship, cabin bible study, night worship, and night devotionals. The camp is one of the best places to build your leadership abilities both in a workplace setting and in a Ministry setting. Not only does working at Camp ALOMA build up your leading skills, but it is something great to add to your job resume. Employers look for a diversity of jobs on a resume, being a camp counselor is eye-catching and, since it’s known as a FULL-time job, your commitment and work ethic to your next possible boss. A camp counselor is known to have solid work ethics, good communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and resiliency.
Being a camp staff means you get to be apart of summer traditions that date back to the 1970s. At ALOMA we have very special staff names. When you are a junior staff and youth counselor, after working three weeks you receive a nature name. A nature name has an adjective along with a natural part, this could be animals to plants to space. The administrative staff works relentlessly on these names, making sure they are accurate. Some examples of nature names are Quirky Nova, Confident Orca, Keen Quokka, and Curious Aardvark. Getting your nature name is a big honor, campers who dream of being staff constantly talk about what their’s will be. Senior Counselors are apart of a different naming tradition. After training to be a Counselor, the Camp Director and Program Director hold a naming ceremony for the Greek and Hebrew names. Some examples of Counselor names are Neoterikos Kardia which means “Youthful Heart,” Eremos Sophia “Quiet Wisdom,” Parakletos Tharsos “Advocate of Courage,” and Chayil No’ar “Valiant in Youth.” Your counselor name becomes extremely special, you go by it for 2 months and some of your closest brothers and sisters in Christ refer to you by it.
The days you don’t work are filled with fun. Each weekend you have opportunities to get off camp and enjoy some well-earned downtime. You’ll be able to go exploring, head into Prescott, visit Northern Arizona parks, lakes, mountains, Walmart, Dutch, Mcdonald’s, Filiberto’s, pizza parlors, ice-cream places– you name it. There’s always something fun to do. It’s all part of the summer camp experience! Hang out with your fellow staff members without the pressures and responsibilities of a cabin. Past summer staff have seen a movie every weekend, played mini-golf, bought gym memberships, gone to the Grand Canyon, and so much more memorable activities outside of the camp’s 25 acres.