"Oh you worked at camp? That makes so much sense."  This is something the majority of counselors have either said or heard outside the idealistic workplace setting we call home, summer camp. We're a different breed of people.  Always cheering, constantly ready for capture the flag and ready to force mingling between awakrad teens with a never ending supply of ice breaker games. (Huckle buckle anyone?) It takes a strange and loveable kind of person to willingly spend their summer working less than minimum wage chasing kids around in face paint and tutus all summer. It's not exactly the picture painted in White Hot American Summer, it's even better.

Any camp counselor's knows that there's a "city" normal and a "camp" normal. Camp normal includes making it socially acceptable to stand on tables and swing out taylor swift; doing that mid day (sober) at McDonalds? Not so much. Being abnormally enthusiastic for the amount of sleep you got? (Which is probably 6 hours on a good night). Well, some may say you're on something if you did that in the city. You get the point, counselors are a different breed, but we wouldn't want it any other way. Here are the ways to spot one in the real world.

1. Face paint is your second skin

Colour wars, the olympics, or just a section take over just wouldn't be complete without slathering primary colours on your face like their your tinted moisterizer. (By face of course we all know I mean head to toe coverage.)


2. Ice breaker games are your sh*t

Because nothing brings kids together like telling them to partner up with a stranger and connect their nose to arm pit. Huckle Buckle's a magically terrifying game for all those with and without BO.


3. Conflict resolution is elementary for you

Because dealing with emotionally confused and frustrated kids is literally your day job, you know how to keep emotions in check. Just try and get in a fight young ones, I'll stop it before the first "he hit me!!!!" is thrown around.


4. Clean is a foreign word used for city snobs

Is that my tan or just dirt? The days of shaving and personal hygiene are pretty much extinct up north. Besides, a good scent of musk and BO works perfectly to repel mosquitos.


5. You can't keep a secret because NOTHING is a secret at camp

It's like there's some secret gossip girl force that takes over every person working. Blame it on the heat, whatever they put in the meatloaf, or the result of living with the same people in a very close proximity for over 2 months; but everyone knows everything about each other. Planning on going after that hot surf instructor? His best friends, supervisor, a future unborn children probably already know about it.


6. You will eat anything and everything

Camp food itself is a food group. There's nothing that fuels a night of cheering like trip granola, 500 chicken wings and something you can only guess is some sort of meat for tacos. It's questionably nutritious, delicious, and really who gives a f*ck about what you're eating because you're constantly surrounded by your best friends at every meal.


7. Silence freaks you out

Why is no one around me right now? Am I supposed to be on guard duty? Where's all the cheering? When you're constantly surrounded by non stop questioning from overly curious seven year olds "quiet time" is something that only exists in fairy tales.


8. You're absurdly open to talk about anything

When you have campers trusting you with some of their deepest secrets, you've heard it all. Yet, you know there's always more. Any camp counsellor can strike up a conversation with anyone because that other person knows nothing will surprise you. You peed your pants during that all camp game? You swallowed a bug? You got pink eye because Todd farted on your pillow? Weird that happened to me last week too.


9. You can literally make friends with anyone

Give me 5 minutes, a J-14 magazine and a bag of skittles and I can promise we will be best friends.


10. You're way too open about your bathroom schedule

Imma just be real here for a second; councillors talk about poop, a lot. What did you expect? We need to make sure our campers are feeling their best and the number one question is always, when is the last time you went to the bathroom? So when you go back to the city and you're not met with a high five when you say you had a successful trip to the porcelain pony, it's really weird.


11. You can commit to any kind of activity like it's the olympics

Dodgeball? I'll work on my hand-eye co-ordination. Duck duck goose? I'll work on my cardio. You get the importance of being able to out run a 5 year old, and the oddly disappointing feeling you get loosing a game of roof ball to a seven year old.


12. You know every lyric to every Taylor Swift Song

Let's be honest, you lived for Taylor Swift appreciation lunches. There's nothing better than seeing grown men dressed in Taylor Swift concert t-shirts belting out Love Story like a national anthem.


13. Your dance moves have the ability to break up tween couples and terrify their future children all at once

Have you ever actually seen camp counselors dance? If you've been lucky enough to see this terrifying sight at any all camp dance, it's like something you'd see on the nature channel. Just imagine some extremely advanced Zumba teacher came in to give them all private lessons. We'll move faster than Usain Bolt, jump higher than Lebron, all being on call to whip out the cotton eyed Joe at a moments notice. All camp dances are basically the ultimate stress reliever.


14. You learn to live with no free time

I have two minutes walking from my cabin to the dining hall, what to do with all the time! I can write a book! See the worl- oh Suzie's home sick again?


15. Calling out bullshit is your super power

No, no; I know you speak english and aren't from out of the country. And actually I saw that he didn't hit you so back to the night activity please.


16. Camp friends mean more to you than you could ever describe

You reach a new level of friendship when you send 24/7 with people. Just try going through canoe rescue drills, get to know you mixers and late night star gazing without coming out with next level secrets about the other. You can always count on your friends to help you through melt downs with campers, school, or relationships because they know you would do the exact same thing.


17. You know days off are basically the equivalent to an episode of the Real World.

There's no such thing as a relaxing day off. That's all I'm going to say.


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