Career Story: Counselor At A Camp For At-Risk Children

Counselor At A Camp For At-Risk Children

Job Title: Master Counselor

Type of Company: We work with youth-at-risk at a residential facility. Over the course of ten months, we help with life skills and behavioral rehabilitation.

Education: BA, Electrical Engineering, Muskegon Community College •• BS, Recreation Management-Outdoor Adventure, Ferris State University

Previous Experience: I worked with youth-at-risk in Virginia Beach at a non-residential facility. We took the kids from foster care homes and after school for biking, kayaking, climbing and spelunking excursions. I have worked on three ropes courses while in college with freshmen groups of criminal justice students. I also have worked with the boy scouts at summer camps from the age of 14 to 23.

Job Tasks: I am a master counselor at a residential facility. I supervise two groups of twelve children with two "chiefs" per group. Typically, I move from group to group throughout the day and help to coach the "chiefs" in how to help the kids out better. I help out with work periods (i.e. building tents, shaving poles, building campsite projects), education periods and homework, and play games with the kids to burn off some energy. If the kids need some guidance or a listening ear, I am there to help them through their problems, or if need be, entertain the rest of the group while the "chief" helps the youth through their problems.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part about this job is working outdoors, being able to roam the woods for up to 15 hours a day.

The worst part of this job is giving everything you have to try and help a child and having the child completely refuse or reject your help, but continue to fail. Even harder is to see a child not complete the program when you have worked for so long to help them out.

Job Tips:
1.) You have to have/being willing to learn patience!!!!!

2.) You must be willing to learn about youth-at-risk and put your own needs aside.

3.) You have to be able to let go of yourself and be able to give yourself to the ideas of a new job, and allow yourself to see everything from a different point of view.

Additional Thoughts: What surprised me the most about this job was how much I learned about myself. I came here to help out some underprivileged kids and in the process of learning all about them, I learned even more about myself. I discovered how much patience I really had, and I learned a lot of skills that I am able to use in my everyday life in dealing with co-workers and people I meet along my travels in life. I have learned to open my mind to many different points of view.

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