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12Summer Opportunities Monday, March 30, 1987
CoumeloF needled to care for happy campers
By CORIN ORTLAM
If you like working with children
and enjoy the camp scene, then North
Carolina camps are looking for you
to work as a summer camp counselor.
"Children's camps are special
worlds, providing unusual opportun
ities for research and education
across a wide spectrum of disci
plines." says the American Camping
Association description. Many UNC
students have taken the camp oppor
tunity as a way to spend a productive
North Carolina has a variety of
camps to choose from. Some are
religiously affiliated, such as the
Methodist Hinton Rural Life Center,
Camp Rockmont and Falling Creek
Camp for Christian boys, the Willow
Run Lakeside Christian Ski School
on Lake Gaston, and Blue Star, a
private Jewish camp in the Blue
Ridge Mountains. Others are Girl
Scout camps. YMCA-sponsored. or
specialized camps such as Sea Gull
Camp New Hope in Chapel Hill
is a host to several different types of
camps. In addition to UNC's Res
idence Hall camp and Campus Y
Freshmen camps that are held there.
New Hope hosts a muscular dys
trophy camp, the North Carolina
Society lor Autistic Children and
Adults camp, and a French and
English exchange camp with 24
French and 24 English students.
Presbyterian Point, located on
Carr Lake, is another popular local
camp. Students can come to the camp
for a day, rent equipment, or get a
"We enjoy being so close to the
University," says Reverend Paul
Ransford. camp director for New
Hope and Presbyterian Point.
Several UNC students work at the
camps, and many groups such as the
nursing school, business school, and
other University departments also
Most summer camps offer benefits
not found In other jobs. The room
and board are provided for counse
lors in most cases, and there are
opportunities for students to receive
college credit. Of course, one of the
main assets of working at a camp
for the summer is the chance to work
with children. '
Lara Collins will be working for
her second year at Camp Occonee
chee on Lake Lure. "I used to go
as a camper when I was younger and
1 always wanted to be on the staff,',,
she says. Collins is in charge of third,
seventh, eighth, and ninth grade girls.
"I love being outdoors. We go
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white-water rafting, rappeling,
canoeing, and swimming. We also do
arts and crafts, play sports, and sing,"
says Collins. This summer, she will .
work as an assistant unit leader, a
lifeguard, and as a rappeling
"I went to camp in the third grade
and hated it, but somehow I ended
up a counselor and 1 love it," says
Laura Morrison. This summer,
Morrison is returning for a second
year to Camp Don Lee in Arapahoe.
Camp Don Lee hosts children in
grades 1-11 for half-week to four
week sessions, and includes children
with special problems. Camp Rain
bow is for children or siblings of
children with cancer. These children
are incorporated into all of the
regular camp programs for one week.
Another program hosts problem
children who might otherwise not be
able to go to a camp.
Morrison recounted crazy antics
the staff members played on each
other to "break the monotony." She
says. "It became a standing joke that
if you left the camp, you brought
something back. One morning we
woke up and found pink flamingos
and ceramic animals all over the
yard. Another girl found a canoe in
her bed. The counselors were always
playing practical jokes on each
Brandon Uttley and Steve Arm
strong are long-time campers at
Camp Cheerio. "Last year was the
first summer in 12 years that 1 wasn't
at Camp Cheerio," says Armstrong.
Uttley was a camper for seven
years, and a counselor in training,
a junior counselor, and senior coun
selor other summers. "I enjoyed
going as a kid so much that 1 wanted
to get back into the camp environ
ment," says Uttley.
This year Armstrong will work as
Aquatics director at Cheerio. "Usu
ally counselors don't specialize.
You're not stuck in one area. By
teaching a variety of activities, you
don't eet bored." savs Armstrong. "It
doesn't matter if you don't know how
to do something. If you have the
interest, you can work as an assistant
Patience is almost a pre-requisite
for a good camp counselor. "(The
children) are trying at times. I'm
always surprised at how much they
know," says Armstrong.
Sarah Davis, a UNC student who
has also been a camper, counselor
and program director, says, "Your
love of children has to come before
your own needs or desires. The kids
can tell right awav if something isn't
Davis, who organized Camp Day
on Feb. 9 with 45 camps in 8 states
represented, says. "Everybody ought
to be a counselor once in their lives.
It is so rewarding being a positive
influence on a child's life."
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