Top Tips for Dealing with Camp Burnout

posted on Jul 19 2021

by Jessica Pomeroy, Program Coordinator

We all know that halfway through the summer at camp, many of us start to feel stress and burnout. We are here to provide you with some strategies for overcoming burnout and making sure that you take good care of yourself throughout the summer so that you can feel strong and healthy while providing the best possible experience for your campers. These are our top tips for implementing self-care practices and dealing with camp burnout!

How to Combat Camp Burnout

1. Create a Morning Ritual

dealing with camp burnout

As a counselor or facilitator at camp, it can feel impossible to get a moment to yourself! That said, camp days generally start at the same time every morning, which makes the morning a great time to establish a consistent self-care ritual that gets you feeling awake, confident, and ready for the day!

While you may not have all the time in the world, you can carve out 5-10 minutes each morning to focus on YOU. Decide on a time that works for you to get up before others and go through your routine in the bunk, bathroom, or outdoors.

Here are some things you may want to include in your morning routine. Even just one of these things every morning can give you an important self-check-in and set the tone for an awesome day. 

  • Do a 3-5 minute meditation – there are lots of free apps that provide guided ones!
  • Take a short walk around camp alone and take in nature
  • Read a chapter of your favorite book
  • Wash your face and/or do a quick face mask
  • Write a short entry in a journal every morning

2. Find Your Friends 

Talk to the other staff members at camp, and find the people that you connect with! Everyone needs a support system, and this is especially important in the high-intensity camp setting. Try and connect with a few other staff members so you have someone to hang out with on days off, and someone to chat with about camp after hours.

dealing with camp burnout

The more time you spend talking to friends and debriefing with someone other than a supervisor, the easier those difficult camp moments will be. Doing anything non-camp-related with fellow staff can be a great way to decompress on a day off or in the evening.

3. Take Advantage of Days Off

While you may not be able to leave camp on your days off this summer, there are other ways to recharge those batteries. Below are some ways to enjoy your day off without leaving camp!

  • Organize a movie night with other staff!
  • Get together with other staff members to play card or board games in the lounge!
  • Organize a self-care or meditation day for yourself and other staff members!
  • Find out from a supervisor if you can order in with some fellow staff members – pizza, Chinese food, or whatever your favorite kind of takeout is can be a great way to enjoy non-camp food without leaving campus.
  • The locations of many sleepaway camps are beautiful, and not too far from hiking trails and paths. See if you can locate a fun hike to go on with a group, or create your own path at or near camp.
  • Spend plenty of time in the AC (if you can!)

4. Give Yourself a Break

dealing with camp burnout

Give yourself (and campers) plenty of water breaks and time in the shade on hot, sunny days! While it may not be possible to take a full-on break away from campers during the day, remember that campers need breaks too! Water and shade breaks are vital to the physical and mental health of you and your campers. Make sure you are doing these things yourself as well, not just asking your campers to and forgetting to fill your own water bottle! This will help you keep your energy and focus up throughout the day.

Camp work can be very fun and rewarding, but we all know it can be exhausting too! No matter what YOU do to avoid camp burnout, be sure to take care of yourself this summer.

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Jessica Pomeroy

posted on Jul 19 2021

by Jessica Pomeroy

Jessica Ashleigh Pomeroy is an NYC­ based director, producer, performer and teaching artist. She holds a BFA in Dramatic Arts with a Concentration in Directing from The New School for Drama. Jessica grew up in Connecticut, where she first discovered her love of theatre, a love that only grew as she got older, and that she is passionate about sharing with young people. Jessica looks to bring professional ­level performance training to young performers, and seeks to do just that through her training and experience as a singer, actor and director.