Girl Scout Camp Counselors: Allison’s 5 Life Lessons I Learned at Camp!
15 years ago, I took a leap of faith and applied to a summer job as a camp counselor for Girl Scouts. I had been a Girl Scout growing up and knew all the amazing things that being a part of the organization instilled in young girls, but I was in for a surprise at all the benefits I would gain as an adult member! That first summer was the first of five that I would spend working at camp in varying capacities. The lessons I learned are still a part of my everyday life today. I could probably write an entire book on how working at camp has benefited me, but I hear blogs are supposed to be a little shorter than that, so instead, here are my top five!
Roll with the Punches
If there is anything you can count on in life, it is that nothing goes according to plan 100% of the time! It’s Murphy’s Law! Add 24 Girl Scouts to the mix and you are sure to have not just a Plan B but a Plan Z!
Through all of the last minute schedule changes, hiccups, meltdowns, homesickness bouts, and personality conflicts, I learned that most of the time, none of it actually matters. At the end of the day, everyone had a great time, learned something new and forgot all about what even caused the change. The same is true in my life today. As long as the objectives are met, how and when you get there is all just part of the experience!
Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone
No matter where life takes you, you will eventually have to do something you don’t want to do or makes you feel a bit uncomfortable at first. It is inevitable. At camp, these experiences are sometimes forced because it is through them that we learn and grow! And the next time you are faced with the same situation, it is a little bit easier to do! So take a deep breath, challenge 5 seconds of insane courage, and go for it! I promise, you will be glad you did!
It is no secret that there are many different personalities in our world. One of the best ways to work with others successfully is learning the major personality styles, the characteristics that accompany them, and how best to modify your behavior to best approach and work with people who do not share your same style.
My career today requires me to coach, encourage, and motivate others. Because of the personality training I received as a camp counselor, I am able to pick up on other’s personalities through basic conversations, and that allows me to better understand what makes them tick, what aggravates them, and how I can best support them!
First Aid and CPR
I’m going to get right down to the practicality of this one. I have never once let this certification lapse since I received it as part of my employee training. It was a great addition to my resume in college and helped me land a job as a student employee at our rec center! And now, as a mom, I use it constantly for minor injuries and a few more than minor ones too!
I know, I know, completely cliche! But seriously, how many friends do you still talk to from your first job at 18 years old? The friendships I created that first year have lasted not only the test of time (15 years) but the test of distance too – literally across oceans! Over the years we have been a part of each other’s weddings, baby showers, and family crisis. I can call them for a random game night or if I need serious support with the same ease. These are my people!