Ideas for your summer camp Head Counsellor!
Hello everyone! My name is Matt Honsberger, at camp they call me Iscus. I play a bit of a behind the scenes role here at CampHacker, but Travis was kind enough to have me write a little bit for the site about my thoughts on something that I am very passionate about, summer camp.
Summer camp started for me at the age of 8 at small residential camp in Paris Ontario called Ganadoweh. My parents registered me for the “Wilderness Experience” trip. So I went, and for the first time, paddled a canoe, pitched a tent, sang campfire songs and experienced what missing home was really all about!
From there, I guess you could say that I really became a “child of the North”. My best friend connected me to Cairn (at the time, Glen Mhor Camp) and for 6 years, I would spend the best week of my year up there. Then, I took the fairly typical camp leadership journey from the month long LIT program in 2006, to counselling in ’07 and ’08, to being the Assistant Maintenance Director (I like to add the -Director for resumes) in 2009, then co-directed the LIT program for two years and this past summer, had the honour of being Cairn’s Head Counsellor.
I can honestly say that my 13 summers at camp have left the biggest impressions on my life and have shaped me into the leader that I am today. By no means do they make me an expert or a camp visionary, but I have definitely had some life-altering experiences and learned some lessons that I think can only really be learned at camp. In that time, this past year at camp was particularly impactful for me. I can’t think of another time in my life where I was so stressed out, so frustrated and so challenged yet so content and driven.
That confusing inequality of emotions is exactly the type of thing that I am excited to share on this blog. Below, you’ll find out some of my insights on being a head counsellor based around the kind of experiences and encounters that I had. Once again, I don’t claim to be a visionary but I hope that my thoughts will spark some of your own and that together, we can come out with something visionary-ish.