Even though the wake-up bell rings at 7:00am, many mornings I have already been awake, helping campers who may wake up any hour of the night. Having a session where the cabin I am assigned sleeps well though the night is a blessing, and something I really took for granted until I started working at Camp Krem. After the bell rings, the cabin gets ready for breakfast at 8:30am.
After the delicious breakfast, campers get all ready for the day. As counselors, we are responsible for helping brush teeth and dress individuals who are unable to do it all on their own. If campers are especially excited, they may even dress to the daily theme; Disney Day and Pajama Day are especially big hits! At 9:45am there is Moment to Own it!, an all-camp activity where representatives from all cabins participate while everyone enthusiastically cheers them on!
From 10:00am to 12:30pm, there are different activities to choose from based on the interests and abilities of each camper. As counselors, we are responsible for enthusiastically participating in any all activities, whether the camper wants to draw in arts and crafts, go on a hike, or play in the sand. There are some campers who have 1:1 supervision, meaning there is one counselor always supervising just them. This means they are free to do any (safe) activity they would like! 1:1 supervision is often for campers who prefer to be on their own schedule, wander, or tend to be harder to redirect. After a morning full of activities, the bell rings for lunch, and we all head to the mess hall.
After lunch, there is a rest hour until 3:00pm, where campers can read, relax by doing quiet activities, and rest in the cabin if they want! When rest hour is over, cabins head to the pool for some swimming, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. Some of the campers just really look so incredibly content in the water, in a way that I’d never seen some of them. They may get so excited and jump and scream, or calmly float with a serene smile on their face. The pool really is amazing and so therapeutic for so many of the campers. For campers less inclined to the pool, there are always alternate activities such as games, movies, hiking, or music.
After dinner, all of camp comes together for the evening activity, which may be a campfire or carnival or costume party. When it’s finally time for bed, my head hits the pillow so fast. I think pure exhaustion is the best way to fall asleep; it’s most rewarding.
Every day at Camp I share many laughs, awesome moments, and incredible learning experiences with campers and counselors alike. I am so grateful for each and every day I spend here, even though the work is challenging, it’s more than worth it. It’s so awesome to have a window into the lives of so many fantastic, unique individuals, and try to see life through their lives. It’s also wonderful to give parents and caregivers a respite, as they may have dedicated their lives to caring for siblings, children, family members, or friends.