This is a guest blog post and personal account written by Rachel Corrigan, Ireland native and 2-time International Staff Veteran of Clearwater Forest.
My name is Rachel, an international staff member from Northern Ireland. This time three years ago, I made the best decision I have yet to make…I accepted a job as a camp counselor at Clearwater Forest. Three years later, I am sitting at home in Northern Ireland, after having spent my second summer at camp, wondering if I can put into words why working as a summer camp counsellor at Clearwater is the best job ever. What was so good that brought me back all the way across the Atlantic 2 years in a row?
Before my first summer in 2016 I didn’t fully know what to expect. The one phrase I heard on repeat was “you’ll have the best summer of your life” and that one phrase has never been so true. In preparing for my first summer at camp, I started to envision what the role of a camp counsellor would be like. But when I arrived at Clearwater Forest, I realized that there is so much more to being a camp counsellor than just watching over a group of kids. It was incredibly fulfilling to wake up each day with the opportunity to teach kids different activities and see those kids grow and experience God in new ways. Living near the lake and immersing myself in nature was another great perk of the job.
As a counselor, you can find yourself doing pretty much anything during a “typical” day at camp. From high ropes and mountain biking, to playing sports or doing arts and crafts, the list goes on. One day I might be cleaning out the River Jordan Bath House and an hour later I’m sailing into the sunset on the most beautiful lake. There really is no other job like this!
As rewarding the job itself is, my summers wouldn’t have been the same without the people I’ve worked with. At Clearwater I’ve been lucky to work with so many different people, each brilliant in their own way. The commitment shown by each and every one of them inspired me to be the best counsellor I could be.
It is truly the people that make Clearwater so special. I not only got to see counsellors and campers grow throughout their summer, I experienced my own personal growth as well. I could have stayed in Ireland, working a 9-5 job, but by taking a step out of my comfort zone and working at Clearwater, I am now a more comfortable and confident person.
I wasn’t able to come back in 2017, which made me even more determined to come back in 2018. Thankfully I was given the opportunity to return. On my first night back I sat watching the sunset by the lake and I realized, somewhere so far away, never felt more like home. After two summers, lots of coffee and many memories later, I can say that working as a summer camp counsellor at Clearwater Forest is one of the best jobs you could ever have!