Being a cabin counselor is one of the most rewarding roles you can have at Camp Walt Whitman, and one of the most essential.
You’ll pour your energy and enthusiasm into making sure your campers’ summer is the most memorable and enriching possible — and in return make incredible friendships and bonds, and gain the confidence to tackle any challenge.
“Being a counselor is not for the faint of heart,” said one of our past counselors Alexia Ballard, “but there are so many reasons why it is the best summer job in the world.”
As the staff members who spend their whole day with their cabin of boys or girls, you’ll learn how to be a great motivator and role model who can encourage a child to step out of their comfort zone, boost a child’s spirits, and mediate conflicts. You’ll be the person they’ll come to depend on and trust, so you’ll gain great leadership skills — and lasting relationships.
“The bond that you make as a counselor with your campers is so special,” said Alexia. “Going into the summer I had no idea how close I would become with my girls and co-counselors.”
The friendships you’ll forge are unlike any other, adds past counselor Wheeler Ryder. “The people I met — the staff and co-counselors — they’re the best people I’ve ever met in my life. I literally long to talk to and see [them] on the daily because I saw them every day, and I did everything with them. People get so close.”
You’ll also learn how to be a good communicator and problem solver. “Some of my greatest weaknesses include avoiding confrontation and saying no,” said former counselor Claudio Kaempfen. “As a camp counselor you cannot avoid certain situations and just hope they go away…it is your job to immediately step in.”
Cabin counselors participate in their cabin’s activities and wear many hats throughout the day. One minute you may help a camper learn the backstroke at the pool, the next you may help them feel less homesick.
In the process, you’ll learn how to juggle many moving parts, and how to carve out time for yourself. “This skill of time management is one that I will most certainly use later in my career and being at camp really helped me hone and improve it,” said Claudio.
Of course, you’re never truly on your own — the best counselors are the ones who reach out for help, and you’ll learn to rely on all the other staff at camp who can help with a second opinion or fresh perspective. In other words, you’ll learn the value of teamwork.
“Instead of thinking ‘Oh, I can do it on my own, I need to be independent,’ it’s really about using your resources,” said former counselor Piper Holland. “I think in any job atmosphere, you should be able to talk to your superiors or be able to collaborate with your co-workers,” said Piper.
Being a counselor at Camp Walt Whitman, you’ll learn how to think big, and outside of your world. When a problem arises in a bunk, asking for help or helping to solve will help the camp as a whole.
“It’s such a community, and it’s about building community,” said Piper.
- Prior experience working with children
- College age or older
- Strong references
- A great attitude