The Counselor’s Day Off: Rest and Recharge
Time off is a precious commodity when you are working at a summer camp. All camps handle time off slightly differently, but it usually consists of a combination of during-session and between-sessions days off.
Because your ‘on’ days are jam-packed and your off days are relatively few and far between compared to other jobs, there can be a lot of things clamoring for your off time when it does arrive.
You might have personal errands to run (e.g a laundromat or store run), local friends to visit, a beach calling your name, or sightseeing to do.
On top of these potential day-off activities, you will likely have either a couple or a whole staff’s worth of fellow camp folks you might want to blow off some steam with. Between-session days off can be a fantastic chance to get some much-needed peer time with your fellow staff, swapping stories from the previous session, going on outings and adventures, and generally taking a break from being responsible for kids. Great friendships are built at camp, and time off offers opportunities to deepen those friendships.
Days off can also be great times to take advantage of your access to cool gear and places to explore. You might see if you can take out a sailboat, kayak or canoe and meander around the lake or take a trip down the river. Or you might put some provisions in a daypack and take to the woods. Some of the biggest perks of working at camp are proximity to awesome outdoor opportunities and free access to otherwise expensive or hard-to-find equipment, so make the most of whatever the camp you are working at has to offer!
On the flip side, days off can sometimes turn into such epic adventures that when you return you feel like you need a day off from your day off before you are ready to dive back into camp. Most people experience this at least once, staying up way too late on their night off or trying to fit too much into one day.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you give yourself a chance to truly recharge and rest on your day off. This doesn’t mean skipping any adventures; it just means honestly asking yourself what will refresh and recharge you to return to camp. Maybe that’s spending a couple hours with a book or listening to music. Maybe it’s cooking a meal for yourself or taking a picnic somewhere peaceful. Maybe it’s taking a luxurious nap. Or maybe it’s calling up friends and family from home.
Wherever you draw your energy from, it’s incredibly important to make time for those endeavors in your limited time off from camp. Your fellow staff members and campers will be glad you did, and you’ll be glad you did, too.