A Day in the Life of a… Trip Leader
All camp staff go through training together; you’ll learn how to work with kids, explore the Neck, and meet lots of new people. Camper arrival day comes quickly, but music is playing and the energy is high.
Camp being divided into two, three week long sessions could mean that you’ll be doing different things each session. Oftentimes that means you’ll be leading one three week long leadership expedition as well as a session leading various cabin trips for our younger campers. Regardless of whether a trip is three weeks or two nights, the general structure of a trip rings true each and every time!
As a Trip Leader, you’ll wake up in your tent with your co-leader while the campers are in tents nearby. You might choose to get up early to make some hot drinks and have a quiet moment by the fire. Soon it will be time to wake the kids up and get the day started.
- Breakfast time comes quick as you make food over the fire or on your stove. As breakfast gets prepared, the group works toward getting camp packed up and ready to move on after breakfast.
- Mornings are generally spent traveling, whether that’s through backpacking, canoeing or kayaking. You’ll follow your itinerary, teach skills, have conversations and enjoy the time outside.
- Take a Lunch Break at a beautiful destination. Whip up some chicken salad, throw it in a wrap and enjoy while bird watching along a river.
- Afternoon: finish up traveling for the day and arrive at camp. Take some time to set up camp and then, if there’s time, explore the area, check in with campers, or play card games around the table.
- Dinner time is always highly anticipated. Campers will start their crews, chopping firewood, filtering water, setting up bear bags and of course helping cook the meal. Cook up a classic over the fire with burrito bowls and start up the brownies in the coals.
- Evening often looks like gathering around the fire and chatting about the day. You’ll hold an evening meeting, chat about leaders of the day and forecast the next day before heading off to bed or maybe lingering to tell a few more stories.
As the trip progresses, campers will slowly work toward becoming more and more proficient with the different skills involved both in travel and in camp. You’ll go from taking the reins on everything, to taking a step back and guiding leaders of the day through the different decisions that come up each day. It’s a beautiful thing to watch how campers evolve through the different stages of the trip.
When you return from your trip, you’ll clean up, put away gear and take some time to digest the experience you had. At the end of a three week leadership expedition, this will involve a full day back at Chewonki Neck before departure day that’s dedicated to clean up, reflection and connection. You’ll have plenty of time to hear about other trips that went out and be able to share the incredible stories that were written out on trail. At some point, goodbyes will be said and the campers will leave with lifelong memories and connections. After camp, you’ll leave with new things; memories, experience, confidence, professional references, a stronger resume, and an understanding of how you can (and did) make an impact on your camper’s and staff’s lives.