What does a day at camp actually look like?
Everyone has an idea of what summer camp is like thanks to popular movies and tv shows like ‘The Parent Trap’ and Netflix’ reboot of ‘Wet Hot American Summer’. Stereotypes aside – as wild as summer camp in the USA may look from the outside, most camps will follow a similar structure to their days and weeks. If you are keen on learning about what summer camp in America is like on a daily basis then you have come to the right place!
The first thing on the schedule for a summer camp day is to get the campers out of bed. Everyday without fail at around 8am, everyone – campers and counsellors alike – are awoken. Typically, the alarm of choice is a trumpeted rendition of Reveille! Once all the campers have been rousted out of bed – camp counsellors will march the summer campers to the mess hall for brekky!
After the summer campers have their first fuel injection for the day its time for morning activities. There are so many different activities on offer at camp. The activities will depend on what type of camp the camp counsellor is working at but will typically include – Basketball, roller hockey, soccer/football, baseball, dodgeball, kickball, tennis and so much more!
After the summer campers have used up all their energy running around playing sports its time for lunch! Lunch is always a good time as all the different bunks and groups come back together and talk about the crazy things they got up to over the morning. It’s a loud and messy affair but is always fun!
After the hustle and bustle of the first half of the day its time to chill out. Most camps will allow a bit of time of the campers and counsellors alike to take an hour or so to themselves to go for a brief walk, listen to some music or read a book to gather themselves. Camp is an intense place so a bit of ‘Me’ time is important!
Once the clean-up is complete after lunching and resting it’s time for some more fun activities. This is a more specialised extension of the sports played in the morning session. This is again dependent on the type of US Camp you are at but will typically include rock climbing, high ropes courses, archery, horse riding, hiking, arts & crafts and so much more. Its likely that if you have experience or skills in a specialized activity like these then you will be brought to your summer camp in the US as a specialist counsellor!
As the sun gets to its highest, hottest point in the sky its time for the kids to jump in the water. Almost every camp will have a waterfront and waterfront staff keeping a watchful eye over the campers! Swimming, kayaking, boating and even wakeboarding and water-skiing (for the more affluent camps) are common activities to cool off and expend some more of that energy.
After the campers have cleaned themselves up after they days activities it’s time once again to get some grub in them. So once again everyone heads into the mess hall where kitchen staff have been slaving over classic camp meals like mac & cheese, hot dogs, sloppy joes and more. This again is often a loud and messy affair as you can imagine with hundreds of hungry campers filing into a big room for some fun and food!
After the dinner clean-up is complete and the summer sun starts to go down the campers will get into some evening camp activities. Most of the time this will be character building activities around a fire with things like smores in hand. On special occasions like the 4th of July there will be special features like fireworks too! Safe to say – no two nights will be the same.
It’s a long day – no doubt about it. And bed time is often welcomed by camp counsellors and seldom embraced by summer campers. Regardless of how fruitless it might be to get the summer campers to bed – camp counsellors will do their best to wrangle them into bed, so they get enough rest to get up the next day and do it all again.
Summer Camp USA is a crazy experience and no doubt challenging on a daily basis. But every challenge is overcome, and the sense of achievement is overwhelmingly satisfying. There is a reason why most counsellors come home saying its been the hardest job they have ever loved. If you are interested in how camp can change your life, register interest below or if you are convinced then hit the sign up button to get the ball rolling!