Welcome to your new favourite time of the week. Your day off. Being a summer camp counselor is an incredible opportunity, you’re able to impact so many lives in such a short amount of time. You’re in nature, disconnected from the real world for 7-10 weeks. You make new friends who you know you can rely on and be yourself with. But sometimes you need a day or two to rewind from the craziness that is summer camp. I get it. So here’s my list of some fun things you can do to enjoy those glorious days.
1. Explore your city –
I bet before you got placed at your summer camp, you barely knew anything about the state it’s in. That’s fair, we’re not all encyclopedias, you’re not expected to know everything. In our eyes this is so much better as you have no preconceptions about the entire experience, so be as open-minded as possible. I was lucky enough to be placed in the beautiful state of Utah. I had no idea about Utah, but I thought, this is part of the adventure. Once I arrived, met lots of new friends and finished our first week, we had a blast exploring Salt Lake City and Park City. Even now in my second year, I’m still finding new hidden gems within the city. Some of the best recommendations of where to go came from my campers and their parents. They’re the ones who live here all year long, and they usually understand your budget. It’s a great conversation piece as they’re really interested in how you see their hometown and what foods you’ve tried.
2. Go for a hike –
You may (will) be exhausted after a week at camp. A great way to clear your mind and get exercise is to head out on a hike. Healthy mind healthy body right? It’s something fun you and your friends can enjoy together. It also makes you feel as though you’ve used your time wisely and accomplished something big in a small amount of time. I would time it right so you can either see the sunrise or sunset and get those Instagram worthy pics. If you leave early you can also miss the intense heat around lunch to afternoon, otherwise, it can be a struggle. Just make sure you’re prepared, take lots of water (if you think you have enough, take another bottle), sunscreen, bug spray and make sure someone knows when and where you’re going, just to be on the safe side.
3. Movie night / Pamper session –
Okay, hear me out, who doesn’t like a movie marathon. Now imagine 10 or 12 of your closest friends. Imagine Boom Chicka Pop being happily passed around. A projector on a large wall showing your favourite Scooby-Doo films, cartoons, and live-action. Everyone snuggled up with blankets. Just you and your friends enjoying each other’s company.
No, this is not a Pinterest board. This is basically what happened most weekends at camp. We’d chill in the staff room all on the huge sofas and watch so many Scooby-Doo episodes. It’s one of the things I miss most about camp when I’m home, there’s nothing like it. If you can’t get ahold of a projector or TV, just having a regular pamper night is so fun too. Head to Walmart, grab some cheap face masks and nail varnish and you’re good to go. Watching people try and peel off their face masks will make your weekend. I always ask the question of, “when you signed up for camp is this what you expected” and honestly seeing the guys crying over a half stuck on face mask, is not. But that’s the fun of it.
4. Enjoy what camp has to offer –
I was so lucky to go to a camp with a corral. As I’m from a big city back home, horses aren’t usually an animal I come into contact with. It’s generally just cats and dogs, I’m not complaining, who doesn’t love a good puppy. But it meant that when I went to camp and got to live with horses for 3 months, it was something totally unexpected and new. The corral staff gave us the opportunity to ride a horse on our break or the weekend (with their supervision) which was an amazing experience. Going horse riding with all my friends in the middle of Utah was a dream. So act like a camper, along with permission/supervision try out the fun activities the kids get to do. You’ve probably wanted a go all summer, why not just go for it.
5. Sleep in –
I had to put this in. Best till last. You’ve probably dreamt of a lie-in, ever since you started waking up at 6:30am for a hot shower, or 7am to make sure the kids are on time. You NEED to rest on the weekend. You go through a lot throughout the week, always having to be on, giving 110%. So treat yo’ self. Sleep till noon. Ignore your alarms. Get that well-deserved rest. And make sure you’re ready for the next big week ahead. You’ll thank me for it later.
And … relax. Well, you can now you know how to. Chilling in your free time is crucial, I can’t say it enough. Returning staff will vouch for me.
P.S. I’ve been writing as a Creator for Smaller Earth, so you should check out some of my articles on there 🙂