CVHS students become counselors

Many CVHS sophomores, juniors, and seniors have gotten the opportunity to serve as counselors at outdoor school at Camp Loma Mar in Pescadero for a week for Canyon’s and Creekside’s sixth graders. The first week of camp started Feb. 28 and will continue until April 8.
The CVHS students who went had to transform their mindsets from students to responsible counselors. The counselors each were in charge of eight to ten middle school kids from Monday to Friday of their specified week.
On the first day, the counselors are assigned to their sixth graders and have a night activity, either a mock town hall meeting, where the students get to work together, or a night hike, where the students get to explore the grounds. The second, third, and fourth days consist of hiking with trail groups. The cabin kids learn about redwoods, oaks, or tide pool beaches for the day, with different groups rotating on different days. The second night activity consists of either a night hike or mock town hall meeting. The night activity on the third night is a “boogie night” where the students, counselors, and naturalists have a night of fun with great music and friends. The fourth night is skit night where groups of students work together and show off how well they do it by performing a skit based on outdoor school. The last day consists of a closing hike and the sixth graders’ graduation from outdoor school.
Many of the counselors who have gone so far were overwhelmed at first, coming to outdoor school pumped and confident that they can handle eight to ten sixth grade boys or girls and look after them for five days. Yet over the week, they adjusted and learned that taking care of such young kids, making sure they go to sleep, eat, stay hydrated, behave, and have fun at the same time is indeed harder than they thought, but they take it as a positive learning experience.
Senior Rachel Jacobsen who served in the first week as a counselor had her own positive experience as a counselor.
“I had to be in charge of boys, very loud boys.” said Jacobsen. “But, even though they drove me crazy, I still did get something out of being a counselor as I got through the week and learned with the kids. They’re really amazing and I’m never going to forget the experience.”
The sixth graders did learn, explore, and create many new memories with friends and nature, but the CVHS students did as well, serving as counselors. Sixteen, 17, and 18-year-olds in charge of 11- and 12-year-olds sounds easy and possibly boring, but the experiences of being a counselor are truly amazing. Counselors get to learn alongside the growing middle schoolers. Almost every counselor takes the experience as a positive one, learning so much about themselves, whether it be working as a team or taking the initiative to manage students.

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