Will they? Won’t they? A guide to navigating camp relationships.

Summer camp is not the love island villa. A new bunch of sexy singles are not ready for the ultimate sizzling summer. So, here’s my guide to keeping it appropriate, while having an insane summer. 

“Camp Goggles”

noun 

  1. When you have worked way too long at camp, and someone who wouldn’t usually be your type suddenly looks very attractive in their purple crocs. Sports mode specifically.

Screenshot 2020-04-04 at 02.47.55.png

Here are some tips relationship-wise:

(while camp is in session)

1) No PDA (public displays of affection) – seriously guys it’s really not okay. There’s no excuse and camps will not tolerate it. It also puts you and other counselors at risk because there are so many kids around, which creates a huge safeguarding issue. Just keep your hands to yourself : )

2) Kids will know – no matter how sneaky or hidden you think you’re being, the kids will probably guess before your best friends do. Honestly, they see you talk to someone of the opposite sex so you must be a thing, yeah okay as if it was that easy.

3) And do not, for the love of all that is good, have sex on camp. That is just stupid, get a hotel like everyone else. 

lol

“But what if it’s true love?”

Honestly, good for you guys.

I’m a sucker for true love, I cry about every 4 minutes watching P.S. I Love You. So please don’t think I’m The Grinch who stole Valentines, I’m just thinking from a camp perspective. If you have found your soul mate, then lucky you, you can travel together, share wonderful memories and begin your relationship… after camp or on the weekends. Just use your head, if they are worth it, they are thinking the same as you. But also, try not to get ahead of yourself, sometimes it’s just a fling, and that’s okay. Just be honest with your partner about what you want from this, and think, do they usually live 7,000 miles away? If the answer is yes, maybe try Bumble out when you get home. I know lots of couples who met at camp and are still very much in love, even countries apart, it’s what you make out of your relationship.

“But what if it goes sour?” 

(Before camp is over)

We’re all adults (well over 18) and you have been hired to do a job, creating a memorable experience and a safe space for kids. Do that. Just that. Don’t gossip about them, don’t be hostile towards them and do not treat them differently to other members of staff. Yes, we all know what it feels like to be heartbroken, but you have to keep your chin up, smile and carry on. These things happen, but don’t let it ruin your summer, because they’re probably not worth it.

chills

“What if the directors find out?”

This all depends on your specific camp’s policy.

Very important. Make sure you understand what their policy is before breaking any hearts. If they are cool with relationships, make sure you still follow their guidelines, they are your employer, otherwise this could mean a long flight home. In order to stop this, be honest. They already have intel on you guys, so lying would be plain stupid at this point. Follow what they say, you’ve already let is slip so adapt how you interact with each other. For instance, make sure there’s a group if you hang out during a session, or try and be as platonic as possible. Don’t worry the spark won’t die if you call her bro. 

“How do I deter camp gossip?”

One very easy way, don’t make any.

But let’s be real, gossip isn’t always our fault. Kids have a big imagination and love to make up stories, so if they do start joking around saying “so and so are in a relationship” shut that shit down. Nicely. Be like, “Hey guys we’re at camp, that’s not appropriate, camps not for relationships it for … [insert fun game] (I usually chose capture the flag) then you all play capture the flag. Deflect and don’t encourage, yeah it may seem fun at the one single second, but it can come and bite you on the arse very fast.

With other members of staff, try not to contribute to gossip circles. If you hear something simply ignore it, or confront them then check with the person it’s about, that they know what’s being said. You’re a team, love and appreciate each other.

“How do other people feel?”

“What do you think of PDA at camp” –

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An actual text message from the camp photographer 2019 (thnx court)

Take it from me, been there, done that, got the bloody t-shirt.

We know you’re in love and can’t keep your hands off each other, but do you really need to lie on each other in the staff room? That place is gross enough without feeling awkward as hell, please think of other people before you suck face on the sofa.

Camp is a great place to build all sorts of new relationships. You never know, you could be telling your grandkids you met 4,000 miles away in the middle of the Utah mountains, or you could be texting your best friend that your camp fling has flung. But that’s life, you’ve just got to carry on.

Also, I want to thank everyone on the front line currently during the COVID-19 crisis, everyone is unbelievably valued, Em you are a star and I cherish the sacrifice you make every day. Please stay safe people.

wedding
My gorgeous sister Em, doing her best as always.

(All opinions are my own, unaffiliated)


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