By: Kat Sharp
At about this same time last year, I was filling out my application to work as a permanent camp staff member for the summer at Tar Hollow 4-H Camp. My dad, who had worked at camp when he was in college, had always told me all of these really great stories about his times at camp, so I was pretty excited. I had been both a camper and a counselor at camp before, and had always had good experiences, so I thought that working on camp staff would be a good fit for me.
By the time June rolled around, I couldn’t wait to meet the other staff members that I would be living with at camp, and get moved into our cabin! We were at camp from June 7 to July 14, and during that time there would be nine camps from five counties in and out of camp. That is a lot of camps! Basically, counselors and county staff would move in one afternoon, the campers would arrive the next day and stay for a couple days before moving back out in the morning. The counselors and county staff would leave after all of the campers were gone, and then the counselors and county staff from the next camp would come in that afternoon. It was a whirlwind of a summer, but I loved every minute of it!
I had been hired as the craft director, and let me tell you, my organizational skills were put to the test! So were my energy levels, for that matter. I like to think that I am a pretty bubbly person, but at camp you have to be 110 percent energy and excitement at all times. It was so great! I got to spend my summer in an atmosphere that had lots of energy, lots of excitement, great staff members, and a whole lot of awesome campers and counselors. There were so many fun and unique traditions that the different counties brought to camp, there was never a dull moment. I also got to help campers have a great few days at camp, and got to make a lot of great memories myself. Whether it was getting up in the middle of the night to make sure the campers’ crafts would be ready for the next day, or coming up with fun skits and songs for campfire, or the times we [the staff] listened to Disney music the whole day while we squeegeed the lodge in our bare feet between camps, or helping the campers with their crafts, or teaching a line dance, or even trying to get everyone moved into camp in the pouring rain, I was always busy doing something fun.
That’s the thing about camp; it is supposed to be fun. Of course there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to help make it so, but I enjoy planning and cleaning and working with other people, so I enjoyed this part of camp too. It helped that everyone I worked with was just as enthusiastic to be at camp as I was. The memories that I gained at 4-H camp were definitely some of the best, and I can’t wait to go back this summer. After all, how many people get to say that they get payed to have fun in a healthy environment that they love?