Campers are not always aware, but there are some really important people at his summer camp, beyond those buddies who make up his inner circle of friends. They may often be overlooked, but camp counselors play a very important role in the life of a young boy. Camp counselors make a lasting impression on young boys, they teach, guide, and inspire those in their charge for the entire summer. Commonly, it is only after years and years at camp that campers realize the impact their counselors had.
Today, camp counselors do more than just manage daily activities. They teach communication skills; they foster teamwork; they encourage problem solving; and they inspire campers to take personal responsibility. In short, they have a significant, positive impact on a campers’ life. In fact, psychologists who study the field, maintain that young campers consider their camp counselors to be extremely influential in their personal lives, particularly when compared to their own parents.
Camp counselors are no longer just babysitters, their responsibility is all encompassing - they are role models, personal confidants, and in a competitive sports camp, they are supporting “cheerleaders”. As it is at Chikopi, most camp counselors were campers themselves, and they know only too well what it means to lead by example. The truth is, even in a boy’s camp, young men can get homesick, fearful, and lack confidence. But a good camp counselor will turn all that around for the camper, and the positive effects will last a lifetime.
While every Camp Chikopi counselor is trained to supervise campers and implement camp policy, nothing quite compares with the daily camp life that enriches a camper’s experience. Good camp counselors help to create a safe environment for boys to be themselves, that ability instills self-confidence and self-respect – skills that a Chikopi camper will take home to his family, to his school, and to his friends and buddies at home. These are lifelong influences that will positively impact a young man for the rest of his life.
Importantly, camp counselors often play the “parent role” for a camper – this is unique and responsible position of trust. As well, counselors are teachers, and coaches, and friends, all packaged into one. It sets the stage for a distinctive relationship that’s unattainable in any other setting. A great camp and a great camp counselor can be life changing for a young man.
For the counselor himself, it’s essential he understands the full scope of human development that unfolds during the summer. Indeed, there are very few life experiences that will change a young boy’s life so dramatically. Camp is where relationships are nurtured; where leadership skills are honed; and where behavior models are established. It could be said that camp counselors play one of the most important roles in a young man’s life, and it all happens in the span of a summer at Chikopi.
Undoubtedly, most every adult who attended Camp Chikopi will have nothing short of the fondest memories – memories that have shaped and molded their lives.
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