That’s a pretty typical day for a teenager during the school year. But, when summertime comes for Utah National Parks camp staff employees, life is quite a bit different.
According to three-year Junior staffer Bryce Klingonsmith, here’s what his day as a camp staffer at Maple Dell looks like (and what it could look like for you):
After waking up at 6:55 AM, he heads down to breakfast. Like always, sugary cold cereal is an option. The menu today includes pancakes and sausages (but it varies each morning). He thinks it’s great. And the best part? “There is always a lot of it,” says Bryce.
Now, it’s time for Bryce to get to work. He walks over to the morning flag ceremony and meets up with his assigned troop; his job is to be their friend, and he makes sure they’re having a great time. He loves hanging out with other youth for work and getting to know them better.
Then, camp staff helps out in their assigned areas.
Most boys are switched from location to location–rowing, swimming, woodcarving, wilderness survival, etc. They don’t do the same thing for long, so they don’t get bored. However, Bryce knows what he enjoys, and he’s good at it.
Like always, he’s assigned to the archery range to teach. He comes up with fun teaching methods and learns new techniques from the other Scouts. Plus, he gets plenty of opportunities of his own to shoot.
At lunch, people eat a lot, and Bryce thinks it’s hilarious to see how loaded others’ plates get. Chocolate milk is so popular, however, that they’re limited to one or two glasses.
Now is Bryce’s time to wind down and relax. He hangs out with the other staffers, and he loves how well they all get along. “It isn’t super cliquey. It’s not exclusive,” says Bryce. They all laugh, goof off, and get to know each other better.
Bryce has been assigned to a specific patrol (group of 9-12 individuals) to assist in cleaning. He’s on trash duty for a half hour (responsibilities vary from day to day). Not everyone works as hard as others, so he’s really learning patience from the experience. He feels like it’s taught him how to encourage others rather than be critical. Then, he heads off to spend some time with his assigned troop.
Next, Bryce heads back to the archery range to finish teaching for the day.
It’s Friday night, so Bryce goes to campfire (done twice a week). “We start by having a lot of fun. All the staff get to put on skits,” says Bryce. A few hundred people gather together; they sing, laugh, and cheer. Because it’s the end of camp, parents come. Campers and staffers view a slideshow and scream excitedly when they see themselves.
Then, things slow down, and they all listen to a spiritual thought together. “It’s all really, really cool,” says Bryce.
(Other days, he helps create a cool archery obstacle course. If people come, he chats with boys and helps them. If not, he gets to enjoy the course himself.)
Bryce’s day at camp is definitely nothing like a typical school year day. Interested in working as a camp staff employee? Apply here!