Skip to main content

10 Reasons Your Teen Might Love Being a Camp Counselor

Responsibility, building their résumé, independence and more!


Published on: March 29, 2024

Teenage camp counselors

Day or sleepaway camp is the perfect place for teens to transition to the world of the employed. The paycheck is nice, but being a camp counselor has other rewards, too.

1. The gift of responsibility

As much as teens may complain about it, learning responsibility is the gateway to more independence. Camp is an ideal place to build accountability, because teens oversee kids and activities while still being supervised themselves. As they have fun at camp, teens also get a glimpse into the adult world as they are guided through the experience.

2. The opportunity to be a role model

Teens can connect to kids in ways that adults sometimes can’t, and when teens work at camp, they experience the fulfillment of helping younger kids meet their goals and develop new skills.

3. Refined relationship skills

From fun sports competitions to getting chores done for inspection, counselors and campers must work together. Some camps even offer staff communication training and morale-building activities before camp starts, as a way to encourage teamwork.

4. Improved time management skills

Teen counselors must arrive on time to camp activities and lessons, and have supplies for crafts or activities set up ahead of time. These time-management lessons will benefit teens as they enter college and the workplace.

5. Time away from technology

Most camps either have a no-device policy or allow technology only for brief scheduled periods. Teen counselors can benefit from a “digital detox,” getting back to nature, sports and face-to-face socialization.

"Teen girl who is a camp counselor standing with kids benefits of being a camp counselor"
Leadership skills are just one of the benefits of being a camp counselor

6. Preparation for being away at college

Being away from home for an extended period for the first time can cause homesickness, and getting through it takes some emotional adjustment. Teen camp counselors have experienced these feelings and learned to deal with them before they go to college.

7. A chance to share talents and skills

Is your teen an athlete, artist or nature enthusiast? Can he or she dance, write or create computer programs? Camp is an ideal place for teens to share strengths, and it introduces them to opportunities they may not have considered. It builds confidence and opens doors to future careers.

8. Saving on summer expenses

One advantage of working at an overnight camp is that meals and lodging are usually provided. Staffers work and live at the camp, so gas use is minimal. Teen counselors chaperone camp trips to amusement parks and museums, which are usually covered by the camp, and all are positive perks for a summer job.

9. Résumé building

Camp experience is beneficial if your teen wants to teach or coach, but working at camp also builds communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills. All are well worth including on a résumé, and they may just catch a future employer’s interest.

10. A new appreciation for you

Being a teen counselor involves stamina, patience and responsibility. Teens who are camp counselors may begin to recognize how hard parenting actually is. With that recognition, they may have a new appreciation for all their parents do.

If your teen is interested in beginning the adventure that comes with being a camp counselor, you can find more information at the American Camp Association website.

More ways to engage teens 

Get the best of ParentMap delivered right to your inbox.

Related Topics

Share this resource with your friends!