Camper, Counselor, and Everything in Between

Posted July 13, 2016 by

By Danya Greenberg, Bunk Counselor for Apprentice Girls

The first couple days of camp were filled with great camper questions- Where am I going to live?  Do we actually get DodgeBall_xpro2_07012_86to launch a business?  Is the food good?  The most important question asked of me by campers was “Wait, are you a camper or a counselor?”  

The campers all assured me their confusion in fact had nothing to do with my 4’10’’ height, but rather with the way I acted.  Upon asking them why they couldn’t quite tell my role, campers responded that I act like a camper- I play all the games, do crazy dances, and most importantly, engage with them and meet them at their level.  This, to me, was an overwhelmingly positive statement.  I was indeed a camper at Camp Inc last year, and distinctly remember the difference between the great counselors and the outstanding counselors.  The outstanding counselors were, in essence, campers- but with additional responsibilities.  As a counselor, I aim to channel that inner camper- the love for friendships, hunger DodgeBall_xpro2_07012_31for knowledge, and desire to feel a part of a community- into my counselor role.  Every counselor wants to be a camp counselor for different reasons, and each has his or her own reasons for choosing Camp Inc.  Personally, I want to replicate my positive experiences from last year, and build upon them for this year’s campers.  I want us all to feel a part of something bigger, more powerful, more meaningful.  I want us all to make lasting connections with each other and inspiring leaders.  This is all possible under the umbrella of community, and more importantly, under the umbrella of Camp Inc.

Perhaps the reason I am most humbled by the question “Are you a camper or a counselor?” is because I strive to be both.  The campers who asked me this question don’t feel a disconnect from me that they may have anticipated from a counselor.  I engage with them as friends, and they respect me as a mentor.  And, hopefully they know in turn how much fun I have playing and laughing with them, that I wouldn’t have it any other way, and that I too have infinite respect for them.  I hope that all of us one day get asked this same question and channel the camper inside of us into the counselor, director, doctor, lawyer, and entrepreneurs that we are.  After all, camp is a magnificent place, and campers are magnificent people.