Zebra Tales
Angus '25

Hardly Working

The hot sun beating down. Sleeves rolled up. Boom box on my shoulder. Blaring disco at 8 a.m. What an absolute time to be a camp counselor.
If you told me at the beginning of summer that I would be doing this every weekday for eight hours, I probably would have asked you if you actually know me. And yet, here I am.

To be honest, the main reason I decided to work such a high-maintenance job was my competitiveness with my sister. Following in her footsteps, my unwavering overconfidence convinced me that I would be able to beat her record for winning more COW’s(Counselor Of the Week) in less time. Granted, she worked for five years there and I just quit my gardening job to work five weeks at the camp. Nevertheless, I resolved that if she could win that many COW’s being the impatient, “get your younger brother to do all your chores” older sister she is, then this should be a walk in the park. 

I quickly realized that trying to get a bunch of kids to follow rules was a lot harder than it seems. I used to tell my mom the only reason I was such a hard baby to deal with was that I was trying to make sure her rest felt that much more satisfying; that came right back to punch me in the face when I came to terms with the fact that you don't get rest with that many kids. Many kids seemed more obliged to do the opposite of whatever we said, so the challenge became being creative. That is something that I felt extremely out of tune with from my earlier summer job. 

With the rest of the counselors, a task of supervising kids transformed into a game to create the most fun twist or new rule. With counselors ranging from colleges, boarding schools, and the local town, there was no shortage of “house rules,” and there was always a new way to play the same game. Much like people on the Circle, all the counselors are passionate about something that not only allows the kids to thrive, but that creates camaraderie among the counselors.

So although I probably won't win COW three times in this last week, I have been fortunate enough to have a great summer being paid to work with and for a great group of people and to get back in touch with a more creative side. And I set the record for most talent show wins in one summer. So as long as my sister has more COW’s than me, I’ll still have that to hold against her.