By Rebecca Root
A summer camp is not the healthiest of places.
- With hoards of people sleeping in confined spaces, icky germs can sneak their way into innocent immune systems.
- With a kitchen catering for hundreds, the food may not always be the healthiest.
- With long evenings of socialising sleep may not always be a priority.
- With trying kids exercise may fall from the agenda.
- With 8 other people to look after, finding time to visit the nurse may not happen.
A summer at a camp broadens your mind and teaches you a whole host of new skills so we can say that it is healthy on the mind but it is not so good for the body, and, with team of little people under your supervision, a counselor’s own wellbeing soon slides down the trash chute.
It’s important to remember though that a counselor’s health is just as important as a camper’s. Without bright and energetic counselors the children would be running a raucous in those American valleys. To make it just a little easier there are a few tips you can bare in mind that will help to keep you in tip top shape and in all-American spirit.
1. Drink lots of water
Obvious, we know but staying hydrated is key to feeling fit and fine, ready to take on any oncoming tantrums. It can be easy to forget to drink and, in hot temperatures with lots of intense activity, dehydration can easily happen. It’s a must to down a few pints, so when you encourage the kids to drink remember to sup up yourself.
2. Sleep, sleep and more sleep
This is probably the hardest instruction to follow. Everyone knows that they feel way better after a good night’s sleep but, after having kids hanging off every limb for most of the day, once they lay their precious heads it is time for the counselors to have some fun. While this is important too, you have got to try and catch up on that sleep whether it’s an earlier night or a nap on a period off.
3. Don’t indulge in every food option
Summer camps aren’t known for their gourmet delights and fine feeding habits. Often they’re full of quick options and easy dinners but there is always a variety of meals to choose from and it is wise not go for every one. Twenty different flavours of ice cream? Maybe pick two. A choice between pizza or burgers? Opt for the singular. Cereal or bagels? As if you need both.
4. One helping is enough
Camps are armoured with enough food to feed small towns. Hungry kids and famished counselors cause the kitchens to be forever stocked with an abundance of goodies and filling meals. This means it can be so tempting to go back and back and back again for further helpings just because it’s there. To keep healthy and clear of clotted arteries, limit your intake.
5. Get involved
This is probably every division heads’ motto. They bark at counselors to get involved and urge specialists to be more active and, while we are sure they mean it for the sake of the kids, getting involved really is a benefit for counselors’ too. Running around and taking part in the afternoon’s knock out game or evening lake swim will keep endorphins going and burn off that pizza party.
6. See the nurse
Finally, if there is anything wrong and you’re feeling a little funny see the nurse. They’re on site for the counsellors’ benefits as much as the campers’.