Many people will tell you that the key to a successful future in the workplace is a solid internship related to your field of (potential) expertise. While that may be true for a lot of people and a lot of careers, a job as a camp counselor can give you the skills to succeed in not only the workplace, but in all aspects of your life. We’ve come up with three major things a summer camp job has the potential to provide, but like anything else, you get out what you put in.
One of summer camp’s greatest qualities is its appreciation for individuality. The most notable counselors are the ones who sing the loudest, dress the craziest, and are willing to participate in any and all activities that his or her campers come up with. At camp, it’s hard to feel embarrassed. It is surprisingly easy to step out of your comfort zone and into the uninhibited summer camp lifestyle.
While being a camp counselor can give you a great deal of self-understanding and important life skills, the most successful counselors are those who are not at camp for themselves, but for the campers. Camp teaches you how to put the needs of your campers, or of any group, above your own. In order to deal with confrontations, homesickness, shower hour, and anything else that comes your way in the bunk, you have to know how to prioritize. As camp counselor, you are truly a surrogate parent for your campers and, while their problems may seem small to you, to them they are big and should be treated accordingly.
At camp, campers do not judge your ability to show them how to kick a soccer ball, make a friendship bracelet, or ride a zip line. We find that campers instantly idolize a counselor’s ability to do anything, giving you a solid platform to develop and transform your leadership skills from the get-go. You’ve been hired as a camp counselor and specialist in a specific activity; your accountability is already there. This gives you the time to focus on building your character, integrity, commitment, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness.
Wow! With two extraordinary new campers events in the books, we’re ready for summer 2015! Campers from far and wide came to meet one another, bowl, tumble, bounce, climb, eat and most importantly, get super excited about the upcoming summer! Always great to meet some new friends before the summer even starts!
We’ll mark this past weekend down in the ‘win’ column. We are so lucky to have so many nice new families!
But wait, there’s more… FAMILY SKI DAY! Saturday February 7th – For more info, call us. 267-639-2488
Congratulations to our own PFC athletic Director Steve ”Chad” Chadwin on reaching his 600th win as coach of Abington Friends School. His Kangaroos have won 16 league titles. As Chad said when interviewed after the big win by the Philadelphia Inquirer, “No one person was bigger than the program…we’ve had kids who are able to buy into the team concept.” In his own humble way Chad always credits the group, but he is truly an outstanding individual leader, at school and at camp each summer at Pine Forest.
And Congratulations to Michael Silverman, Pine Forest alumni, old-timer and PFC parent who was sworn in as Mayor of the town of Livingston, New Jersey over the winter break last week. Michael has been a leader ever since his days as a General in Color War at PFC back in the 70’s. As Michael said, “I talk about camp and my experiences in so many of my speeches and talks….the PFC family has shaped my life in many ways… PFC is more than camp – it is LIFE”. We salute you Michael, for your commitment to public service and for your bonds with Pine Forest Camp.
There are three signs that nature sends us every summer to let us know that camp is fleeting; going too fast. First we see the Canadian geese overhead, in tight V formation flying low over Mitchell Field heading south in advance of the cold. You can hear the squawking as they approach, zeroing in on their flight path.
Next is the sight of the first red leaves. Usually, you can find them down by the lake. There they are, on the tips of the tallest trees, red, yellow and gold waving in the breeze coming off Lake Greeley. It’s always the first week in August, just before Color Days, color!
And finally there are the crickets. They start at dusk, just as the sun goes down over the tree tops above the girls pool. You can hear just a few, here and there, during the month of July. The sound gets louder each week. Louder and louder, a crescendo, until the final days of camp, when they sound like a symphony. Sometimes you have to raise your voice to be heard over the cacophony of sound.
The smell of pines, the sight of a Milky Way of stars above, the feel of brisk mountain air and the happy crazy sound of crickets.
Set your ringtone to crickets as a reminder of those glorious, magical nights at camp.
I went to PFC in the late 80‘s/early 90’s. I started as a high senior 9 and continued on for the next 5 years into the counselor years. Some of the best years of my life thus far. I stopped only because it was time to get an internship “in the real world.” It was not my choice, that’s for sure.
Fast forward many years, I am now a Mom of two childen at PFC…a13 year old girl, who will start her fifth summer as a high senior 9 and a 10 year old boy going into his second summer as an Inter 5. I was an Inter 5 counselor and some of my then campers now have kids at camp as well! How old that makes us all feel goes without saying!
When we started our family camp search, we researched a few camps. I told myself what was right for me may not be right for my children. PIne Forest was all I wanted for them but I tried to be fair and open. It was my daughter who knew right away that Pine Forest was for her. Perhaps her 2nd generation status wooed her a bit, but she said she just got “a feeling” the second she saw PFC. She’s so my kid.
As I tell my children, PFC was my happy place for many years in my youth but it’s now theirs. I try not to bombard them with memories and stories and resist the urge to point out pictures of me on the Hughie and dining hall walls. They’re building their own memories now and the time is all theirs. But as I’ve learned, PFC is still a place in all of our hearts. The same incredible Black family still owns and runs it, 5 generations, 85 years strong. A lot of course has changed with the times, but so much has remained the same. Just how we would want it to be.
Sometimes you don’t know how much something means to you until you come back again and see it through the eyes of your children. I encourage you to give camp a call, check out their website, schedule a meeting with one of the team and consider giving your child the gift of PFC, just as your parents did. Give yourself the thrill of a lifetime, getting to watch your child walk the same hills, play on the same fields and sit in the same Netsy benches for Friday night services as you did! It really is a rare and special gift, not only for your children, but for yourself!
We love giving tours, but to really feel the magic of camp, we encourage your future camper to stay with us! Either for the day or even two days and enjoy all that Pine Forest has to offer: the activities, the food, and especially the people!
EXPLORERS – Come up for the weekend for two fun-filled days and one night at camp! If your child is entering 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade and is not yet ready for camp, we encourage you to visit while camp is in session and try our Explorer Camp! Click here to register.
PLAY DAY – Come Play! Visit us, eat lunch, spend the day and enjoy some activities…Stay a while! (No overnight). Register here!
For more information on tours, Explorers and play days contact Lisa Fayne: – 301.340.7373
We invite you to schedule a one-on-one, interactive family tour of camp, led by one of our awesome camp leaders. You'll meet our owners/directors and learn more about our amazing, 92-year camp history and traditions. Come feel the love and warmth that Pine Forest Camp has to offer! Email to coordinate!