My Summer as a Camp Counselor


by Ellie Buttell, Opinions Editor

On May 25, I left Kansas City on a plane, knowing I wouldn’t return until July 2. I’ve spent my summers at camp every year since I was 6, but I had never been gone for six weeks before. There was another huge change:, I was now a CIT. For those unfamiliar with camp language, CIT stands for Counselor in Training. The thought that I would be taking care of children was scary and intimidating, but little did I know this would be the largest growth experience of my life.

Waking up to the loud and slightly obnoxious siren early every morning was nothing new to me; however, it was now my responsibility to wake the girls up, and bring them to meals and activities. The girls referred to me as Miss. Buttell, which was new and a little scary. Being moved from a last-year camper to a CIT was a huge change of scenery and I had to learn how to take initiative and put the campers before myself. Oftentimes, late nights were the only time I was able to spend time with my friends who were also CITS. This transition was somewhat difficult, as I was used to spending every day and night with my friends; however I adapted and learned to push my needs aside and have a deeper appreciation for the time I was able to spend with them.

One of my favorite things about being a CIT was watching the girls experience things they were intimidated by at first, for example, horseback riding or shooting arrows in archery. I realized I was once scared of these things too, and was glad I could encourage them to attempt activities that intimidated them. In a way, I felt the exact same as them; being a CIT was new and scary for me. After three weeks, I felt myself dive deeper into the experience and my hesitations went from many to few. Without even noticing, I had learned endless lessons about children, camping and myself all along the way. 

I considered myself extremely lucky by the end of my experience, and I would encourage anyone thinking of becoming a camp counselor to go for it! It’s definitely scary at first, but over time you will adapt and end up learning and growing. I recognized the change within myself and wouldn’t take back the experience for anything!