“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others” – John Quincy Adams
From the moment you wake up at camp until the moment you fall asleep, you have countless opportunities to inspire, encourage, support, love and empower those around you. At any given second, you have the chance to be a leader by serving others. Whether they need advice, an extra hand or just someone to listen, when you go out of your way to help others, that is a characteristic of a leader.
You don’t have to be a camp counselor to be a leader. You can lead by actively participating, being honest, showing good sportsmanship, acting with dignity and being kind to others. You never know who is watching and there is usually a good chance that a younger or new camper is watching. It is important to do the right thing, even if nobody is watching. This is another true characteristic of a leader.
Although everyone has the opportunity to become a leader every day, some will be trusted with a valuable role to lead others. As a Camp Big Brother or Camp Big Sister, you can help younger and less experienced campers get a feel for camp. It’s a very big responsibility to be a mentor to someone else, and campers take it very seriously. They take the younger campers needs and wants into consideration and help make their adjustment to camp easy. They know that being a leader is not about them, it’s about building up and encouraging those who follow them.
Camp counselors get a unique opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills at camp. Not only are they responsible for day-to-day activities, organizing events, and making sure everyone is safe – they are also role models. The way they talk and think and act is being watched by hundreds of eyes every day. They lead by example, showing kindness and patience to everyone around them. They empower others by encouraging them to do things they are afraid to do, standing by them when they fall down and offering a hand to help them back up. Many campers say they look up to their camp counselors, and strive to be a counselor themselves one day.
When campers and counselors return home after the summer, they put the leadership skills they learned at camp to use. They have an easier time standing up to peer pressure, they speak up to bullies, they follow directions in class and show good sportsmanship on the field. They are leaders in every aspect of their lives, because of what they learned at camp.