3 Camp Traditions You’ll Experience As a Counselor

By Sarah Davis

What makes camp so unique? It’s an environment full of new friends, time spent outdoors, and most importantly, tradition. No matter where you’re headed to this summer, you can count on experiencing these classic, American camp traditions as a counselor!


"Campfire" means more than just building a fire! It’s an event campers look forward to all week long. Counselors pump up the crowd with cheers, perform skits, and tell stories that make campers laugh all night. Not to mention the delicious s'mores and singing along to the best songs of the summer! If done right, the hype of campfire night is just as fun for counselors as it is for campers!

Camp Songs

Camp songs aren't just for around the campfire! They’re a way of uniting campers and counselors that can take place at practically any moment. Need something to keep campers busy before an activity starts?! Camp Song! Down time before dinner? Camp Song! These songs are often one of the best souvenirs campers take home at the end of the summer.

Camp Names

When you get to camp, choosing a "camp name" is part of creating an atmosphere of fun for the campers! Chips, Ranch, Blizzard, Nemo, Marbles, Simba, Marshmallow... what will your camp name be?! These silly names give campers the opportunity to escape a school year filled with calling teachers "Mr., Miss or Mrs." and the freedom to view counselors as mentors, as well as friends.

These are only a few of the rich traditions you’ll experience at camp. Let’s not forget color wars, flag raising ceremonies and Olympic days! Take a look at this American Camping Association (ACA) article about Camp Traditions to learn even more about camp-specific traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Images by Jose Marquez and Chelsea Badger

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Alliance for International Exchange
The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation