What's It Like To Be a Camp Counselor? 37 Things Only We Head-Counters Understand

After a long winter that would’ve given even Elsa from Frozen a run for her money, summer is finally here. And for some of us, that means it’s time to hunt down a minimally hideous one-piece swimsuit and get that sleeping bag out of the attic, because it’s time to head back to camp! As those of us who used to have the job (or still do) know, working as a camp counselor is both ridiculously exhausting — and one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. People might think we’re crazy for choosing to sleep with bugs and small children, but for us, this is less a job, and more a way of life.

When we're not out there changing the lives of tiny humans forever, we have our own battles to deal with — and a lot of them have to do with convincing other people's kids to put on sunscreen. After all, the job does come with a lot of challenges. Ever tried going three months without more than five minutes of alone time or Netflix? Sometimes, you just want to sleep ... or have a long conversation with another grown up over martinis.

As much as we love kids, being a counselor is not always a picnic (although sometimes it is literally a picnic). The Struggle. Is. Real. Yup, there are some things only fellow counselors can truly understand. Things like...

You start off the summer ready to make a difference in the lives of kids...

...but then you remember late night field trips

yup, it's all fun and games until someone’s crying because it’s 11 p.m.

You plan to spend your night off partying, but usually, a 6 p.m. bedtime is more appealing

at camp, your standards of luxury totally change

air conditioning? What are you, the queen?

You thought you loved coffee before, but now, it's really necessary

Oh, it’s raining? I thought I was just sweating

This means I don't have to shower tonight, right?

You have no idea what's been on the radio all summer, but you know every word to 50 repeat-after-me songs

What can make a hippopotamus smile? I still don't have an answer for you

But you give a Grammy winning performance every time.

TV? What’s that?

Also missing: Wifi, cell reception, and your mental and emotional stability.

When the decision between a shower and sleep needs to be made, it's sleep. Every time

Goodbye, non-greasy hair. See you this fall!

as for fashion: T-shirt, Nike shorts, ponytail. I’m dressed!

And makeup? No longer necessary

You didn’t know it was legal to be paid less than minimum wage without receiving tips

Guess that only happens when the lives of strangers’ children are in your hands. Whoops.

You spent your summer cruising to the Bahamas?

well, I can build a fire with one match and a bunch of pine straw

when you see people running in normal life, your first instinct is to shout, “No running!” at them

and When out with a group of friends, you feel compelled to do a head count every so often

you know The remedy for every ailment: Drink your water

You haven’t been drinking enough water, have you?

you also know kids can survive on pb&j alone

...Unless they have a peanut allergy. (but you know to Watch out for those)

Someone wakes you up in the middle of the night: Are you bleeding? Dying?

No? I'm going back to sleep.

you know what it means when another counselor hangs a sheet in front of their bunk

You can drive a 15 passenger van full of screaming kids with your eyes closed

Words to live by: “Take a buddy!”

If you had a dime for every friendship bracelet you made, you wouldn’t have to work at camp

I just met you, and this is crazy, but check my head for ticks because something’s crawling on my scalp

You didn’t know it was possible to get high from the smell of sunscreen until it actually happened

Wait, people in the outside world shower without flip flops? I forgot

You sometimes forget what your fellow counselors' real names are

Why do I have this friend request from "Ashley?" Who is Ashley? Wait, your parents didn’t name you Sugar Cookie? My bad.

Bug bites are no longer bug bites, they’re just part of your skin

And the scars will be there for months to come.

The only solution when campers aren’t getting along: Time for a team building activity!

And even though sometimes you're so tired you want to cry...

...And miss your home, with its privacy and indoor plumbing

You’d never trade camp for the world. You know this is the best job ever

Because camp isn't a job. It's a way of life.

This is going to be another great summer.

Images: Disney; Giphy