Nala’s experience as a camp counselor!

The reason I first wanted to work a summer as a counselor, started with my love of psychology and child development.  From there I always knew I wanted to pursue a career working with children.  Previous experience has taught me that working with children and young adults is very rewarding, however, I have found that camp is on a completely different scale.  What first drew me towards Ocean Pines was the camp's outlook regarding what camp should be about.  It’s not about sending a camper home only saying they had the best summer, but also that they made a new friend or tried a new activity and this is evident throughout the days at camp.  The camps missions are to Connect, Explore, and Grow and they are very important to the camps ongoing existence and I now share that understanding.  With every activity, myself and the other counselors included, are constantly checking every campers involvement and making sure they are having the best time.

Throughout the seven weeks of summer, I am lucky enough to be working with hundreds of children and young adults from a variety of different backgrounds.  Some of these kids have been to Ocean Pines before and some are newcomers and are experiencing a totally new environment.  So with this in mind it is my number one goal to connect with every camper and find a passion or interest of theirs to ensure that they are comfortable.

My experience here starts with meeting eight senior campers during my first week.  Aged between 13-15 they had a variety of different interests and talents, but they all shared one common interest being music(myself included)!  I loved being their cabin counselor and over the week I was able to find out so much about this cabin; like Ophelia and Karlyn and Olivia being absolutely fantastic at playing the ukulele and India having the most beautiful voice.  We became a camp family(Nala’s pride).  For me those connections(not just with my cabin) are so important to making summer great.   My goal when I first started camp was to “make new friends with counselors and campers”.  I can say with 100% certainty that I have made more than friends being at Camp Ocean Pines.  For the staff here it is because we all have the same purpose that connects us.  We wrote our purpose at the begining of the summer and now it hangs in our staff lounge.  “To make sure that every individual that comes to camp has an amazing time through connecting, exploring, and growing”.  But the more I’m at camp I’m realizing that this applies not just to the campers but to the counselors as well.

Overall my experience at Camp Ocean Pines has been eye opening!  It has involved, new games, new songs, s'mores, slime, friendships, ups and downs(when the campers leave) and at times has been challenging, however the rewards that you experience from working with campers at Camp Ocean Pines is totally worth it.

To all the staff at Camp Ocean Pines and everyone else, I am so thankful to be here and do not want summer to end!  Camp Ocean Pines is truly my home away from home.