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18 Things Only People Who Worked At Summer Camp Will Understand

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18 Things Only People Who Worked At Summer Camp Will Understand

So that’s another summer in the books. Those of you who spent it working at a summer camp hopefully had an amazing time – as well as the kids!

I’ve worked at camps for years in all capacities and even now as an adult working at one I’ve learned a few things over the years that are unique to summer camp staff:

1. At Summer Camp You Learn To Function Off Very Little Sleep

…And this is after spending an entire day running around like a crazy person in the punishing heat. You may try for a good night’s sleep but if you have a sick camper up at 4am guess what? You’re on it! By the end of the summer it’s hard to distinguish between a summer camp staff and the Walking Dead

2. There Is No Point In Showering

Sounds gross but those who’ve worked at a camp know it’s true! Showering and then going back out into hot, sweaty and dusty weather is not only counterproductive; it somehow makes you dirtier than before!

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3. Bug Juice Is Better Than It Sounds

No it does not contain actual bugs but tends to be based around watermelon or ice tea flavor. In the case of ice tea I’m pretty sure there are only 3 ingredients: sugar, water and brown.

4. The Wet Hot American Summer Prequel On Netflix Is Like Christmas

It’s still one of the worst movies ever but holds a special place in the hearts of camp staff everywhere. And it did launch a whole lot of very famous people! The prequel episodes are pretty epic, I love Michael Cera as the lawyer…

5. Capture The White Flag Is The Most Intense Sport Known To Man

I’ve seen full on fist fights erupt during this. If you’re not familiar with capture the white flag picture a combination of the Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies where anarchy reigns supreme based around an old pillowcase or towel.

6. Most Of Your Meals Are Spent Eating While Standing Up

The dining hall is where it all goes down and camp spirit is out in full force. This means standing on benches and screaming at the top of your lungs. You try to get quick bites of food in between chants. Here’s my tip: actually eat a banana during that part of the “Go Bananas” cheer.

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7. You Know How To Make Friendship Bracelets

I don’t care who you are or how old you are, at some point you have had to combine different color pieces of thread together while at camp.

8. You Have Feet Like A Hobbit

At camp you are always late for something and a lot of the time you don’t even have time to grab shoes. Many a day is spent running over gravel, rocks or general rough terrain with the understanding you’ll put your shoes on when you get there

9. You Forget How To Tie Shoes

This relates to #8 as your main footwear for the summer is completely flip flop, if not barefoot based. When September rolls around you start looking at foreign seeming shoe laces like solving a rubix cube.

10. Foreign Accents Start To All Blend Together

Staff come from all over: Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Russia, Poland, Germany… What starts out as very distinguishable accents start to blend into one mess of a single language. I call it “campese”.

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11. People Are Closer Than Family But You Don’t Know Their Last Name

Some camps counselors get nicknames or “bird names”. Mine Was Rocky. Or your last name is given based on what you do there. I’ve also been Jamie softball and Jamie fitness. You spend so long using these type of names that by the end of the summer you know everything there is to know about your new friends, except their last name…

12. Your Celebrate A Night Out More Than Countries Gaining Their Independence

“We’re going to Applebees?!?!?!!” Let Freedom Ring!

13. Water Fixes Everything

Camper sickness, injury, sadness, fatigue, you name it, usually can be fixed by a large glass of cold water.

14. If Not Water Then Tylenol Will Cure What Ails You

The classic go-to of camp infirmaries everywhere. Headache? Here’s some tylenol. Sprained ankle? Try some tylenol. Typhoid? Got some tylenol right here for you..

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15. You Can Pack As Much As You Want But You’ll Wear The Same Thing Everyday

I brought two suitcases containing every clothing option I could possibly ever need but I still ended up wearing the same shorts and t-shirt each day until laundry day came. I may mix up my look with a very fashionable hoodie from Old Navy though…

16. Color War Takes Everything To A Whole New Level

If you’re unaware of what color war is, it is basically the Olympics within camp, when the whole place is divided in half for 5 days of epic intensity. Color war somehow manages to bring out the best in kids and I’ve seen campers who previously couldn’t get a baseball out of an infield start hitting 3 run shots.

17. S’mores Contain The 4 Major Food Groups Of Summer Camp

That would be sugar, chocolate, cracker and dirt from when it inevitably gets dropped on the ground…

18. You Finish The Summer Exhausted & Drained In Every Way Possible And Can’t Wait To Do It Again

The worst day at camp is still better than the best day at work or school in the real world. The summer knocks you down a notch and you function off of no sleep and exhaustion that would normally put you into the hospital back home. But as soon as you leave all you can think about is how soon it will be until you can come back. My camp talks about “10-4-2” In that you spend 10 months dying to get back for those two quick, action packed and magical two.

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If you had an awesome time working at a summer camp then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Featured photo credit: Kevin Smith via flickr.com

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Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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