If I have no campers, do I still call myself a counselor? It’s an awful feeling to be a counselor at camp and to not have any campers to call my own. I find myself counseling in manuals, curriculum, safety procedures, games & activities, other staff members, but not yet in that quintessential being: a camper. Maybe I can build an imaginary cabin and call it my own, but I fear Fr. Stephen would have to let me go at that point. So until our campers come, we’re all preparing for the time to come and getting more and more excited. The countdown: 19 days.
If I had to describe the planning process that goes into a camping program, at least from my end, I’d call it ripening. We start with what we accomplished last year in our program, prune off what failed and graft on what will help us. Fr. Stephen, Pani Daria, myself, Ileana, all the staff members, we pray for one another and revisit our plans over and over and when we do, we are watering our Camp Program. When all of the staff arrive and staff members who are already here put on their counseling hats, we’ll start to see our plants growing skyward; BUT, only once the campers arrive will we start to see the fruit of God’s labors. We pray for good fruit, as Christ says: “every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.” (Mt 7:17) but we plan for as many scenarios as we can and ask God to take care of the rest.
So if I have no campers, do I still get to call myself a counselor? Maybe. But I once heard a troubled new teacher being told “you don’t get to call yourself a teacher until your children are learning.” We ask God to guide us in our planning, to strengthen us in our preparations, to trust in His will with eyes to see and ears to hear, and to help us to counsel even now. May God watch over all of our campers, whether they’ve arrived already or they have yet to come!