What do Summer Camp Counselors do?

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From June to August, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is filled with summer campers from across Chicago. They’re ready to get outside, explore, learn, and have fun—and our summer camp counselors are the ones who help make that happen. From the time a camper is dropped off in the morning to the time they’re picked up in the afternoon, our counselors and head counselors are the friendly faces they know they can go to for guidance, questions, and more. But the work of our camp staff actually begins well before the first day of summer camp.

By the time the first day of camp rolls around, our camp counselors are prepped and excited to welcome our campers. That’s because they’ve been reviewing lessons, preparing for sessions, and training with Nature Museum educators. Our head counselors start two weeks before the first day of summer camp! We work together to develop activities and curricula specially tailored for each camp and session. During the final week of training, the entire of the camp staff comes together to wrap up training as a whole team.

Together, we create activities designed for different age groups that encourage learning and exploration, from scavenger hunts to science experiments and beyond. It’s important to us that all our counselors help develop these programs and activities because they’re the ones who lead them every single day. For many, it’s also valuable learning and training for their future work and careers.

Our summer camp counselors have experience working with children ages 4 to 11, and a love for education. They’re enthusiastic about nature and science and able to share that with campers. They’re also trained to help give specialized guidance for campers with specific needs, such as sensory processing disorders. So, as soon as the camp day starts, they’re ready to play with, guide, and teach all of our campers.

This work, preparation, and training makes a huge difference. Campers feel a connection with their counselors and their grown-ups notice it!

Want to experience Nature Museum Summer Camp? Click here to learn more.

Nicole Juppe & Rebecca Brokaw
Nature Museum Camp Directors

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