They say that parenting is the hardest and greatest job in the world. We beg to differ, at least for a seven-week summer. Try being a Skylemar counselor.
You see, parenting starts out slow. There’s a nine-month warm-up, and then the game gets gradually more challenging. For a counselor, it’s one week of training, and KABOOM! Septuplets, all age nine.
It’s a one-bedroom home for a family of ten. No “man cave” retreat in the basement; no Neflix upstairs in your room. You’re always out-numbered, and there’s no time alone. You can’t call a babysitter, or use the electronics that come close - no laptops, Xboxes or iPads.
There are quite a few teeth to be brushed, and hundreds of shower reminders. It’s a sleepover party every single night, with squeals and laughter that go later than they should. When you go to “work” in the morning, it’s just outside - and the kids come along too.
The “siblings” in a bunk family are as unique as those at home. One is more sensitive, another is less. There are petty arguments and disagreements to settle and sometimes the back-and-forth banter is a little bit much. It’s understandably difficult at times for a counselor to discern what should be corrected and what should be ignored.
Each Skylemar counselor commits to the job with a genuine interest in making a positive difference for your child. Of course, like with parenting, some take to it better than others. In fact, we all know what it’s like to lose our cool and become frustrated when “they just won’t listen”.
But like with parenting, most counselors will say it’s worth every challenge. There’s gold in those smiles, and treasure in their accomplishments. As we promised before they began, being a Skylemar counselor is the hardest job they’ll ever love.
Just like with parenting, love is what being a counselor is all about. We watch them with pride as they put the kids first, as they worry when something seems wrong, and witness them helping in a thousand ways. It’s never all perfect, but we love them for loving.
Thank you, SkyCounselors for trying your best. You’re our staff for a summer, and our hero for a lifetime.