What does it mean to be a Counselor Assistant?
The Magic of the Counselor Assistant Program (CAP)
By Ellie Gilchrist, Current Keystone Science School Employee & Former CAP
Whether someone has been coming to camp for years or it is their first time, being a CAP is a wonderful way for high schoolers to experience camp while getting some leadership experience.
When you are a member of the Counselor Assistant Program at KSS, you are assigned a counselor mentor that you will shadow and assist during your week at camp. You will go on the Earth Trek, overnight, and challenge hike with your counselor mentor and their assigned group of campers. During these times, you will have the opportunity to lead games, help campers with wilderness skills, and support counselors with a wide variety of tasks. However, when you come back to campus, you get to debrief with your CAP friends. CAPs get to have their own room in the dorms, separate candle chats, and a CAP night.
I started coming to the Keystone Science School as a camper when I was 13. After spending two summers as a camper, I became a CAP. Being a CAP was one of the most rewarding and positive experiences that I had during my high school years. I got to continue to come to camp and be with my friends, but I also had the opportunity to receive mentorship and learn leadership skills. I learned that it is okay to not know the answer to everything and to ask for help when I need it. I watched positive mentors impact my own life and got a chance to try and replicate those skills into my relationships. I also gained incredibly valuable friendships. Being a CAP is a unique experience that I would recommend to anyone.