10 Reasons Why Teens Should Work at Camp


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Your teen has been to summer camp for a few years, and now he's old enough to apply to join the camp staff as a counselor in training (CIT). As a CIT, young teens gain beneficial experience, knowledge and practice that lasts way beyond summer break. Counselors on staff receive important training, get real-life opportunities to manage conflict and learn important life skills while having fun. Here are 10 practical reasons why a teen should think about joining a camp staff for the summer.

1 New counselors benefit from training.

A portion of the training may be off-site, such as reading manuals and completing online courses, but other new skills will be learned at camp. "Topics such as recognizing and dealing with potential bullying, inappropriate behaviors, respect for fellow staff and campers, and how to encourage children to participate at activities should be included in camp staff training," says Howard Batterman, owner of Sesame/Rockwood Camps and Diamond Ridge Camps.

2 Camp staff learn CPR and first aid.

This training includes learning to recognize and care for first aid situations such as burns and cuts, neck and back injuries, and heat and cold emergencies.

3 Camp staff learn people skills and ways to work together.

Camps typically have weekly staff sessions when counselors share their assessments on how their cabin members are working together and participate in staff team building. Your teen can learn important people skills that will help her in the future.

4 Feedback helps teen counselors mature and grow.

"That is why it is so important for the directors and administrators of a camp to monitor the progress of each and every staff member with constructive and written progress reports throughout the summer session," Batterman says.

5 Camp counselors are role models.

"Working hard to set a positive example for youth is a challenging growth experience. When was the last time an 18-year-old went nine weeks without swearing for example?" says psychologist Christopher A. Thurber, author of Summer Camp Handbook.

6 Counselors practice and teach conflict-management strategies.

Staff members learn to recognize conflict and help campers see there are always two sides to a story. Your teen will learn the same conflict resolution skills they are teaching campers.

7 Counselors help campers be good sports.

They need to rally the troops in a competition but also remember to model good sportsmanship, which isn't always easy to do.

8 Being a staff member is a 24/7 job.

And since electronics are discouraged during camp, it's a positive environment in which to interact with other staff and campers.

"Each activity, including meals, is a terrific opportunity for the counselor to be creative in helping children become confident at an activity and in ways to get along with other campers and staff," Batterman says.

9 Teen counselors may get a chance to laugh at themselves.

Kids can be brutally honest and will point out the counselors' shortcomings. "So being a camp counselor is, therefore, humbling and tremendously demanding," Thurber says.

10 Camp counselors speak in front of groups.

They'll learn to be silly and more outgoing at the same time. Your once shy, awkward teen may come home a bit chattier and more boisterous.

"Camp staff directly influence youth development in ways that are tangible, rewarding, entertaining and, of course, fun," Thurber says. Counselors help provide an environment to explore and build self-esteem — in their campers and themselves.

Jan Udlock is a freelance writer and mom of five.

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July 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
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5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Telephone: 919-348-0472
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Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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6900 Rocky Ridge Rd.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Telephone: 919.960.5535
Contact Name: Allison H. Nichols
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Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Cost: $20 per session

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Art Therapy Institute of NC
200 N Greensboro St. Suite D-6 (2nd Floor Carr Mill Mall)
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1500 Mathison St.
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N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
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Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: $1/Person

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
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5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
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Barnes & Noble
760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
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Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Crowder County Park
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Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
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Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2761
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
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Telephone: 191-946-03355
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Lake Crabtree County Park
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Morrisville, NC  27560
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Lake Crabtree County Park
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Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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5 E. Edenton St.
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Chatham Marketplace
480 Hillsboro St.
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Cost: $6

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5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
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Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
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Cost: Free

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Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Cost: Free

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
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Cost: Free; donations encouraged

Where:
Devils Ridge Golf Club (In the Players Club)
5107 Linksland Drive
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Cost: $18

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1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Cost: Free with admission

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10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
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Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: $7 ages 1 and older.

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $15/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a walk with a park naturalist to explore the woods and fields at this special time of day. Register online.

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve staff
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See the G-rated movie under the stars at Booth Amphitheatre. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that...

Cost: $5 ages 13 and older. Free for ages 12 and younger.

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC  27518
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Cost: Free

Where:
Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre
2600 Evans Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The Halle Cultural Arts Center
Telephone: (919) 249-1120
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Cost: $1/person

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $6

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $5/adult, $3/ ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger.

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
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Cost: Free

Where:
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Timberlyne Shopping Center
1129 Weaver Dairy Rd.,Unit R
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Sponsor: Special Treats
Telephone: 919-883-2151
Contact Name: Dan Friedman
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Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Scott Reintgen discusses his newest book, "Nyxia Unleashed."  p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 19.0px Calibri; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1...

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

This epic musical is about wishes, family and the consequences of the choices that we make. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods,...

Cost: $15/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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