Summer Camp Glossary [A-E]
Updated: Jan 17, 2021
Welcome to my Summer Camp Glossary!
When I first arrived at camp I didn’t know what people were saying, it was like they were speaking another language! I have created the ultimate A-Z guide of my summer camp experience. I am explaining what things are, and helping you get clued up and ready for your adventure ahead! In this first post I am covering letters A to E, so sit back and enjoy.
A is for…
Alumni: Alumni is a term to describe former campers and/or staff - so you will even become part of your camps’ alumni. Some of them come to camp to visit, or even to help during your staff training.
Activities: Camps offer so many activities. Over the course of the summer you will have a chance to participate in, or help facilitate them all. Like Sharika sings, try everything!
Activities that begin with A: Archery, Arts & Crafts (A&C)
B is for…
Bunk day: Bunk days are totally underrated! When the heavens open and the rain falls, bunk days are when you stay in your cabin and spend time with your campers and co-staff. I love a bunk day/morning/afternoon, they allow me to come up for air and relax. Plus - because I was a specialist - I got to hang out with my campers when otherwise I wouldn’t.
BBQ: At camp, we had BBQs 3 times a week. You are outside enjoying the fresh air and it is a truly social event where staff and campers come and go, whilst enjoying the amazing food. Brilliant picnic vibes with your friends.
Breakfast in bed: Waking up and walking to the dining hall for breakfast can sometimes be a drag. Luckily, at my camp, once during the summer they offer Breakfast in bed. This is where breakfast is delivered to your cabin porch door! Definitely a luxury I didn’t know I needed until it happened.
Bubble: Often people refer to camp as a bubble. You don’t really have access to your phone (due to being technology free), and there aren’t TVs to switch on and catch up with the news or the latest trends. You don’t really know what is happening outside of your life at camp, but you don’t care. You are happy.
Bug spray: Camps are in beautiful picturesque locations, but with this comes insects! FYI if you are international, the insects love fresh meat and will bite you. Bug Spray is a must!
Activities that begin with B:
C is for…
Cabin family: Might sound corny, but it is true. The people you live with will become your family. They will celebrate you at your highest and support you at your lowest. You will fight like siblings but at the end of the day you love your little summer family.
Campfire: There is nothing like sitting by a campfire after a long day. To me it is a symbol of summer camping. You cook food over it, sing songs around it, and keep warm by it. Especially in my first year; it was a great hang out, a gathering place, and a fantastic element to my summer. It was an experience and a reason why I wanted to return. I wanted to relive an amazing experience.
Camp-wide program (CWP): At camp there is a group of senior staff that are responsible for creating and executing large scale programs throughout the summer. The collective term of these types of events are camp-wide programs or CWP. These could be: evening programs, all day programs or even multi day programs for everyone at camp - hence the name camp-wide.
Canada day: 1st of July! Independence day of Canada. Fireworks galore. Dressing in red and white. Singing the national anthem of Canada in the dining hall, whilst eating Canadian food. It is amazing to celebrate a country’s national holiday whilst you are in the country.
Counsellor: If you are caring for campers whilst at camp you are a counsellor. You are like a parent figure for your campers. You travel around camp with your cabin everyday and get involved in all the fun activities. You are a grown-up camper.
Activities that begin with C:
Canoe, Ceramics, Campcraft
D is for…
Day Off: You either use them to explore and sightsee or relax and sleep. No matter how you use your day off, you earned them, so use them! Take that time to get out of camp and get that well deserved time off that you are entitled to. [Wanna know more? Read my Days Off Post]
Dining hall: What a place! To me, it is the hub of the camp. It is a building where the whole camp gathers three times a day and eats. In my experience, every table is your cabin family, and that is where you will eat during the summer. We eat family style and if you kill it, you fill it. It is a place where announcements are made about the day ahead and where the camp sings and dances the day away.
Dance parties: Who doesn’t love a good bop! At lunchtimes especially, the music blasts and dance parties break out. Mark my words you will stand on a bench and dance away to the newest pop music or classic tunes - I like to call them ‘school disco classics’ (Low, OMG, Call Me Maybe, Starships.. you get the vibe). And guess what, you won’t want the party atmosphere to end and get sucked into chanting ‘ONE MORE SONG’. If this happens, welcome to camp life, you have been inducted.
Activities that begin with D:
E is for…
Evening Program (EP): Evening programs are activities where the whole age group comes together and participates. Normally all the staff that live in the particular age groups cabin attends and it is a great way to get everyone together. It is kind of like an extended family reunion every night.
Evening snack: Now after EP/before bedtime is camper evening snack. This could be anything from mini pizzas to pop and chips! My personal favourite is sugar cereal! Yummy! After campers lights out, there is even a staff evening snack! So no need to worry there is lots of food available throughout the day.
Early to Bed (ETB): This one might sound strange, but hear me out. Camp is very high energy, you are doing a lot of activities, whilst in the sun. Once a week, we have a camp-wide ‘early to bed’. So the campers ‘lights out’ were earlier, and we even had staff ‘early to bed’. So the whole camp was in bed by midnight. The campers dislike ETBs but as a staff member you love them. You are telling me to go to sleep, and everyone is sleeping, so I won’t get FOMO? Okay, sign me up!
Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the alphabet!