While American summer camps vary significantly in many ways, most camps will follow a schedule similar to that below:
The type of wake up will depend on your camp. Older, more traditional camps may have a bugle, horn or bell, which sounds, whereas more modern camps may play music over a speaker system.
Many camps have a group flag raising each morning and will recite the American ‘Pledge of Allegiance’. Please be respectful even though it is not your nation's flag.
You will find sweet and savoury, crunchy and sloppy, toasted and chilled... every kind of food available, ready to fuel your day! Many camps will have songs or breakfast chants to get the kids excited for the day ahead.
Everyone heads back to their cabin or tent after breakfast to tidy up. You will be expected to help and oversee the clean up of your cabin area. The clean up will involve sweeping, taking out trash, putting wet clothes out to dry and generally making the cabin neat. Camp may run an inspection (possibly with prizes) each day.
The campers will go to their scheduled activities while you teach your specialist activity. If you are a general counselor, you will accompany a group of children to their assigned activity.
The campers will move on to their next assigned activity for the day. If you are an activity specialist then you will rec
Free time is a good chance for the kids to spend some time getting to know other people in their cabin. It is also a good time to write letters home and read. Many camps may expect you to be in your cabin at this time, as it is a great chance for you to get to know your cabin. You can become a role model for how you expect the children to behave in the free time. Take this chance to write your own letters home, while keeping an eye on the dynamics of the children in the cabin.
Again... food...and possibly singing! Food... singing... food... singing!
It will soon become apparent to you that rest hour is the greatest idea at camp! The combination of the early start, the hectic morning and the belly full of food may put you in the mood for an afternoon rest. Again, set examples early. If you want to actually rest during this time, make it clear from the start that you need a quiet cabin. And your neighbouring counselors will love you for keeping a quiet cabin!
Rest hour over…back to activities! Activity specialists teach in their activity areas and general counselors circulate with campers.
Another activity session following the same format. 16.40 End of Fourth Activity Period In the afternoon, some camps may hold an all-camp activity or have another free-time period. Some camps even schedule one or two more activity periods with some rest time shortly before dinner.
You guessed it…more food and more singing!
Evening activities are great fun and a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get to know each other. Campers and counselors alike can integrate with people from other cabins and age groups. Evening activities range from themed dances, all-camp competitions, campfires, and talent shows... the list goes on and on!
Camps may serve an evening snack or have a recap of days events in a ‘newspaper’ format or even poetry and songs to quiet the campers down before they return to their cabins.
Time to get settled, brush teeth and get your pyjamas on.
This is a good time to read, write home and generally relax and wind down.
Time to Sleep Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
If you are not on duty, you will be free to leave your cabin and spend time with counselors at the staff lounge or other designated staff-only area. The restrictions and rules for after lights out will vary from camp to camp. You may be allowed to leave camp, but are likely to have a curfew.