Inspiring Teens Magazine - ITMGZ.com
Summer 2016 Issue
Article & images submitted by Carly D'Angelo
Central Bucks West High School
Lifeguards, and counselors, and sunscreen, oh my! For the past ten years, I have spent my summers at Elbow Lane Day Camp in Warrington, Pennsylvania. As a child, I was the only one in my friend group that went to summer camp. All of my friends would go to the shore, go on extravagant vacations, or just sit around the house. Elbow Lane provided me with the best eight weeks ever. I got to swim twice a day, run around in the hot sun, and I made memories that will last me a lifetime.
Sadly, during the summer going into my freshman year, my days as a camper were over. I became a CIT (counselor in training). I was assigned to work with different age groups and activities. I remember working with three-year-olds, thirteen-year-olds, and the woods/nature area. I knew I had to try and experience different areas of camp. At the end of the summer, I was asked where I would like to be placed next year. After much deliberation, I decided that I wanted to work with 7 and 8 year olds, and I have been with that age ever since!
Working at Elbow Lane is a job like no other. I actually don’t really treat it like a summer job; I treat it like my responsibility. It is my responsibility to make sure my campers have the best summer ever! Elbow Lane sits on 27 acres of fun. Throughout my 9am to 6pm “shift”, I assist my 7 and 8 year old campers with their daily schedule. The daily schedule consists of activities such as swimming, archery, volleyball, gymnastics, and so much more.
When I first started training to be a counselor, I thought it would be easy. Boy, was I wrong! Being a summer camp counselor has taught me many things about myself and the world around me. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to make the most out of every day. Eight weeks may seem like a long time, but time really does fly when you’re having fun! I also learned how to deal with nose bleeds, bee stings, and sunburn.
One of my favorite parts about working at Elbow Lane is that I am a role model for my campers. The little girls look up to me, so I know I have to act a certain way. That means keeping a positive attitude even if I don’t like an activity, not using foul language, and making sure everyone is safe. The hardest part about this job is learning the different personalities of each camper. I find it difficult to remember who loves getting in the pool, who is afraid of the pool, and who always forgets to bring their bathing suit. The most rewarding part of being a summer camp counselor is when a camper draws me a picture, or when a parent sends in a note thanking me for everything I’ve done for their child. This summer, I will act as a senior counselor, which means I will be the head of my group. I am so excited, as this has been my goal ever since I was a child!
Elbow Lane is definitely a family environment; my mom even went there! I love the other people that I work with, and all of the counselors mesh so well. The other counselors and I actually stay in touch over the school year, even though we all go to different high schools and universities. I know Elbow Lane like the back of my hand, and I am so proud of not only myself, but of the legacy name Elbow Lane has created!