Each summer, teens flock to camp — but not as campers. Many camps offer Junior Camp Counselor positions that give teens the opportunity to enrich, mentor and lead campers while gaining important life skills themselves. But should your teen become a Junior Counselor? Discover the ins and outs of these summer teen programs.
What is a Junior Counselor?
In these teen programs, Junior Camp Counselors help counselors and adult staff with the daily tasks, such as leading parts of the campers’ day and interacting with campers to enhance the camping experience.
What do Junior Counselors do?
In Junior Camp Counselor positions, teens interact with campers, help with activities and serve as leaders in camp spirit and motivation. As the Camp Counselors’ right-hand-person, they often assist the Counselors, lead kitchen duties and head daily flag ceremonies. Most importantly, Junior Camp Counselors must serve as a role model for the campers.
Junior Counselor qualifications
Check the qualifications of the specific camp at which your teen is looking to become a Junior Camp Counselor. Qualifications can sometimes involve completion of a certain grade, previous attendance of the camp, recommendation letters from teachers and passage of interview process. When camps are affiliated with a club or organization, your teen often must be active in the organization to qualify for a Junior Camp Counselor position.
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Junior Counselor requirements
Applicants are often required to attend a pre-camp training. The first day of camp, junior counselors will probably need to arrive early to help counselors with registration and camper greeting.
Junior Counselor teen program cost
Check with the camp for any training fees that may be required for the junior camp counselor program. Some refund this fee once the camp session is complete, while others do not.
Day camp Junior Counselor positions
Some camps, such as with Girl Scouts of the USA, offer volunteer camp aide positions for teens involved in their organization. These teen programs still offer the many benefits that resident camps or sleepaway camps offer if your kiddo isn’t quite ready for a long stay away from home, but still wants to be involved in junior counselor teen programs.
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Even when your child wants to get involved with teen programs like junior counselor training, why should your teen become a junior camp counselor? “Tomorrow’s leaders will need 21st century skills — such as critical thinking, communications and creativity,” said Peg Smith, chief executive officer of the American Camp Association. “Working at camp develops responsibility, independence, adaptability, and teamwork. By working as a CIT or in a counselor training program, youth are able to develop these skills in mentoring relationships with senior counselors and camp staff.” And, those are skills they will take with them for a lifetime.
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