You’re twenty years old, far from home. Suddenly…without much family planning, you become a parent. Not just one child, actually. You have multiples. Septuplets to be exact. One week of parenting class, and no pregame warm-up of the toddler stage.
BAM. You’re a Skylemar counselor. You have what it takes to make a positive difference in the world, one boy at a time.
We know for sure that Skylemar counselors are some of the greatest in the world. The application process is rigorous, whether you’re new or have been to camp before. Specific skills are required, and five references must vouch that the applicant has what it takes to be a role model for children.
Most important is the “buy-in”. Skylemar counselors come with the goal of being the coach or mentor that a kid will remember for the rest of his life. They embrace the idea of putting others first, and respect the concept of working at a place focused on kindness and relationships, while playing a whole bunch of really fun sports.
We tell them before coming that this will be the hardest job they’ll ever love. We promise long hours, limited freedom and early morning wake-ups. The job’s teaching sports, but more importantly, what’s around the sports: the more complicated stuff, like getting along with each other.
Nevertheless, they take on the challenge, knowing that this job really, truly has impact in the world. They’ll be building men of character. Before long they’ll be a teacher, big brother, mom, dad and hero, wrapped into one.
We’ve heard it said that parenting is hard. Truth is, camp counseloring is actually a lot harder. For example, do you find it stressful to get your son dressed, fed and off to school on time? What about if you had six sons, and had to get them to make their beds as well? Counselors must teach their children to sweep, clean a toilet, change linens and fold clothes. Not too many parents have that in the program.
24 hours per day, eight to ten people living in one room. No kitchen or family room to escape to, let alone a master bedroom suite. They settle petty arguments between “brothers” all day long. And get this: no one hour break for video games, no “turn on a movie” and no “play a game on my phone while we’re waiting for the food to come.”
Like a parent, they occasionally lose their cool. Like a parent, they occasionally say things they shouldn’t. And like parents, they become frustrated when kids won’t listen. On the other hand, they’re a whole lot cooler than we are, and usually more fun to hang around.
Overall, Skylemar counselors put their heart and soul into the job. They really want to get this right. They care. They love your son. They appreciate that he’s your most precious possession in the world, and will do their very best to help him succeed.
Counselors: For the hugs you give and the laughs you share; for the times you picked him up when he’s feeling down; for passing on the knowledge of the sport that you love; for performing stunts that make us proud; for patience and kindness; for reading just one more chapter of the book; for a million little things in a single day. We thank you.