If you know anyone who’s ever worked as a camp counselor, odds are pretty good you’ve seen them sharing a blog post called “63 Signs You Were A Summer Camp Counselor”
We loved this post, too, and it got us thinking about our own staff. There are some things about being a camp counselor that are pretty universal — but there are also some experiences that are unique to individual camps. Since this is the time of year when most of our office is working full-time to hire the best staff in the world, we started thinking about all the memories and experiences our own counselors will have this summer… and it inspired us to create our own version! Presenting:
Signs You Were (or Are) a Lake Bryn Mawr Camp Counselor:
You think it’s completely normal to be best friends with someone six days after you’ve met them. That’s because you’ve been through Staff Week, the training-orientation-bonding-ritual that is every new counselor’s introduction to life at LBMC. You stepped off the staff bus on the first day not knowing a single person, and by the time you’d spent a week at “staff camp,” you couldn’t imagine you hadn’t known your fellow counselors all your life.
By the end of August, you have a hard time picking out an outfit. You spent the entire summer never having to worry about what to wear; thanks to Bryn Mawr’s staff uniform, the only decision you ever had to make was: navy or white? Fortunately, you went home at the end of the summer with a full set of staff T-shirts, so you are able to wean yourself off of camp style gradually.
You love free clothing. There’s something about summer camp that makes special T-shirts and sweatshirts extra special. If you’ve been at camp two or more summers, you almost certainly have a special staff shirt that is among your most cherished possessions — one that you’ll still be wearing in 15 years when your kids are asking “Why does your shirt say ‘We’re Back’ on the back?”
You put your blow dryer away in June and don’t miss it until September. Camp is a place where it’s what’s on the inside that counts. (In fact, it’s right there in the Angel Code: “Beauty is in more than skin. Beauty comes from deep within.”) Campers and counselors alike enjoy the opportunity to just be themselves without worrying about perfect hair, perfect makeup or the perfect outfit.
You own what seems like an unnecessary amount of green and/or gold clothing and accessories. Some of it was given to you by campers, and some of it you stocked up on in town after finding out which Color War team you’d be on. And you don’t dare get rid of that stockpile of Mardi Gras beads, feather boas, knee socks, wristbands, oversized sunglasses and glitter antennae just in case you’re on the same team again next summer.
You no longer know the real lyrics to certain pop songs. After singing camp songs in the dining hall all summer, you start to think of them as the real versions. So when “Eye of the Tiger” comes on, you find yourself instead singing the 2001 Green Cheer: “Oz is ready for action, we will soar to the top, the Wizard grants the Lion back his courage…”
Your roommates/classmates/coworkers are, at this point, well-versed in the Bryn Mawr Problem Solving Method. And they know you’re being completely serious when, as you get to the part about brainstorming solutions, you tell them to say whatever comes into their minds because no potential solution is too ridiculous. And when you reach a solution, they have to admit that it was nice to be able to talk it out and collaborate on an answer instead of arguing.
Your idea of a fun night out is a pizza, a trip to Wal-Mart, and a stop on the way home for soft serve. Because when you’re with your friends, even a low-key trip to Honesdale is an adventure. And because Ice Cream Cottage has the best soft serve in the whole world.
Quiet meals make you nervous. If people aren’t standing on chairs, cheering and clapping, singing camp songs — well, there’s just something strange about that. A spirited dining room just feels right.
When you hear someone say “shut up,” you immediately respond, “That’s not a Bryn Mawr word.” Your response might not make as much sense in the “real world” as it does at camp, but you know what it means: In a place that’s emotionally safe for everyone, there’s no place for words that are intended to hurt.
You can’t bring yourself to eat a chocolate-covered frozen banana anywhere but camp… it just doesn’t seem right. BA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA. We’d explain more, but we’ve already said too much.
You know that “comradeship” is, in fact, a word. And it means being a friend and loving others until the end. Because you didn’t just memorize the Angel Code — you helped your campers learn what it means to live the Angel Code.
You know that while there’s a lake serene, while there’s a campus fair, while there’s a poplar tree… there’ll always be a Bryn Mawr. You miss standing with your arms around your campers every night singing those words as part of the Alma Mater — and you can’t wait to go back.
Ready to make some memories? Fill out our online staff application — or pass it on to a responsible, creative and fun-loving friend.