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    5 Tips for First Time Counselors

    Congratulations, you got the job of your dreams and you are set to spend your summer months blissfully working at summer camp. But for now, with a few months until camp officially kicks off you might find yourself wondering what camp will be like and you might even start to feel some pre-camp jitters coming on. It’s time to calm your nerves, we’ve got some expert advice to ensure that your very first summer working at camp gets off without a hitch.  Read on for five useful tips for making your summer as a camp counselor a true success.

     

    1. Take advantage of the opportunity

    Your first summer at camp (and every summer at camp for that matter) is a great chance to broaden your horizons and get some new skills under your belt.  Many camps offer a variety of trainings to prepare you for working at camp.  Take advantage of these offerings. Oftentimes, camps will make available trainings that could benefit you at camp and beyond.  So, dive right into that lifeguard certification class, add some first aid skills to your resume, or take on the ropes course training; doing so will give you more opportunities at camp and might just give you a new hobby to explore.

     

    2. Get in the loop

    Get onto your various social media accounts and give your new place of employment a like or a follow so you can stay up to date on news and announcements that your camp might be sending out.  Additionally, many camps have Facebook groups for their staff where you can start getting to know your new co-workers before you even step foot on camp property. It is always reassuring to make a few friends before shipping off to camp, and thanks to our technologically advanced world, connecting with others who are near and far is easy as a click. These groups are also a great place to get some of your camp questions answered by seasoned veterans who have plenty of camp knowledge to share.

     

    3. Pack like a pro

    Along with the excitement of heading off to camp comes the biggest question for many new camp counselors: what should I pack?  Since packing suggestions vary from camp to camp based on climate and the range of activities offered at your specific camp, check your camp’s website or ask other employees for a packing list (many camps have a list that they send out to campers that can act as a good guideline for counselors as well).

    Remember that you will likely be moving bunks several times throughout the summer, as well as sharing very limited closet space with your campers and co-counselors, so pack strategically.  Try to pack into large duffels, suitcases, or trunks that will be easy to transport and could fit under a bed.  Don’t pack anything that you are unwilling to get a little dirty or that is tricky to launder- trust us, you won’t want to spend your free time hand washing your delicates while at camp.

     

    4. Rest up and relax

    As soon as you arrive at camp, you will inevitably hit the ground running and probably won’t get a chance to take a break until camp is disappearing in your rearview mirror at the end of the summer.  Camp moves at an incredibly fast pace, which can be exhausting if you aren’t prepared.  Before heading off to camp, be sure to get in all of rest and relaxation that you’ll need to make it through the summer. Take some time to unwind and decompress from your likely busy work or school life outside of camp, you’ll want to start the summer off feeling as confident and relaxed as possible.

     

    5. Be yourself

    Out of the pile of resumes, yours was the one selected and through the countless rounds of interviews, you are the one who was selected to be a counselor this summer.  You might not know exactly why you were hired, but it’s clear that you bring something outstanding to the table.  Camp is full of lots of personalities, and at times you might feel like you aren’t as outgoing or as creative as those around you, but rest assured that you are exactly who camp needs. There are campers out there who are wishing for a loud, outgoing counselor, but there are also campers who are dreaming of a quiet and calm counselor, so be your true self. Be confident in your personality and your abilities. You might start the summer off as the least experienced counselor, but that doesn’t mean you have the least talent, so don’t be afraid to shine!

    Feeling nervous about your upcoming job is normal but remember that you aren’t alone. Hundreds of other future counselors are out there feeling just as excited and unsure as you. Being hired as a camp counselor is a huge accomplishment and is the start to a summer like no other.  So get ready and let your excitement build because this summer is about to be the best one yet!

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    Teachers Love Having California Overnight Summer Camp Kids As Students

    Every first day of school, as students share what they did over the summer with their friends, teachers quietly listen in, hoping to hear those magic word- ¨I went to California Overnight Summer camp.¨ Those five words are music to a teacher’s ears and teachers all over hope to have at least a handful of students who spent the summer away at camp. Why are residential campers so desirable in the classroom? Kids who go to camp have gained experiences and skills that other children often don’t possess. These skills make students more successful in the classroom and in interactions with their peers. Check out four of the many reasons that teachers love having camp kids as their students.

    California Overnight Summer Camp kids know how to be independent.

    If there is one quality a teacher hopes for in their students, it is independence. The ability to work independently is important for student success in the classroom as well as for increasing a teacher’s productivity.   Students who have been to camp have copious practice in developing independence throughout their time at camp. Camp challenges children to make and stick to a schedule, prepare themselves for a day full of activities, and to make choices on their own throughout the day. When children practice managing themselves and making decisions (even small decisions like what to eat for breakfast), children become more prepared to continue being self-sufficient outside of camp. Independence in the classroom allows for teachers to work with small groups, enables students to keep busy if they finish work early, and makes students more ready to work on homework or classwork with little support.

    Students who spent time at camp are resourceful.

    In a California Overnight Summer camp setting, kids are often forced to make something out of seemingly nothing- whether they need to plan a last minute skit for campfire or they are tapping into their creative side during an arts and crafts period. Working with limited time, supplies, or help can make campers grow into more resourceful and innovative young people that can make them successful throughout their stay at camp. This ability to be resourceful is a benefit to students in the classroom as well. Students are constantly pushed to meet deadlines and to adapt to different classroom conditions. Since kids who have been to camp understand how to think outside of the box and to make due with what is available to them, these students are more prepared to meet the demands of school.

    Residential campers are able to work well in groups.

    Collaborative learning is a huge part of most classrooms today, and collaboration requires students to have a wide range of social skills. Students who have spent time at a residential camp have extensive practice in meeting new people, getting along with bunkmates, and working through problems that arise between campers. These experiences translate into an ability to work with new and diverse partners or groups in the classroom and an understanding of how to make group work a success. Spending time with groups of other campers around the clock at camp can make working in groups for projects or classwork seem like a breeze.

    Camp kids have heightened confidence.

    Summer camp provides children with a wide range of opportunities for success. Campers learn new activities, perform skits and talents in front of peers, and form new friendships. Each of these small triumphs helps children to build confidence in themselves and their abilities. The confidence that camp inspires outlasts the child’s time at camp and is carried with that child to home, school, and beyond. Self confidence is a quality that makes students more successful at school and in their relationships with peers. A confident student is more likely to take healthy risks at school and is more able to overcome setbacks. A student with high levels of confidence is also better able to make and keep positive relationships with other students and adults.

    The California Overnight Summer Camp experience at Canyon Creek has benefits that far exceed the length of the summer. Many of these benefits make children better prepared and more successful at school, as well as adored by their teachers. Although academic success rides on a wide range of characteristics and skills, the happiness and growth that can be attributed to a summer at camp is sure to make any student feel more prepared than ever to take on the new school year.

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