Kids need role models. It’s just that simple.

Without people to look up to, children will be a lot more likely to lack self-confidence and have tougher times developing their social skills.

A Canadian study found that children who had mentors were more confident and had fewer behavioral problems.

The study found that girls were four times less likely to become bullies than those who didn’t have mentors. Boys were two times less likely.

It’s probably not difficult for you to think back to when you were in grade school and remember how influential members of the older classes were to you.

Aspiring to follow in the footsteps of an older sibling, a cool teenager and most commonly, a movie, television or sports star is something that most children do regularly.

However, having an actual person, other than a parent, step up to take on the role of mentor provides benefits beyond what words can explain.

That’s why taking on the role of camp counselor can be one of the most rewarding things you can do!

How does becoming a camp counselor put you in the perfect position to be a mentor?

Naturally, your job as a camp counselor will place you in a very important role – one that makes you responsible for children.

Yes, it will make use of your leadership skills as you teach campers how to perform such tasks as tying knots, setting up tents and roasting marshmallows.

Sure, it will also require you to demonstrate your ability to engage and energize youth through your explanations of how to play games and participate in various activities.

But, being a camp counselor will also offer you the unique opportunity to be there for kids who need you. You will be someone they come to with their questions. They will divulge their problems, ask you for your opinion and request your help.

Your role in the lives of campers will be so much more than just someone who they met at camp. Being a young adult enables you to be a chief source of inspiration.

What you say and how you make your campers feel will go a long way in their development into young adults themselves.

Statistics show that children benefit from having mentors

There are numerous stats out there that demonstrate the positive results of having a mentor. Various studies that examine the impact of mentoring programs for at-risk youth have all found similar results.

Some of the statistics resulting from research include the fact that 59 percent of mentored teenagers earn better grades, 27 percent of mentored youth are less likely to begin using alcohol and 52 percent of mentored youth are less likely to skip school.

Youth with mentors have also been found to be a lot more likely to attend college, have better attitudes toward their education and have improved self-esteem.

What does it take to be a good mentor?

Being a good mentor requires a lot more than simply taking a job that puts you in a position to work with kids. It’s important that you have a sincere desire to be involved in the lives of young people.

It’s also of vital importance that you respect them.

Show that you have a genuine concern for the well-being of the young ones you interact with. And let them know that you empathize with their issues.

After all, you were their age not all that long ago yourself. You know what it’s like to encounter such issues as being shy around members of the opposite ***, not believing in your academic or athletic abilities and/or feeling insecure about your physical appearance.

A good mentor can locate solutions to problems without promising immediate results. Inspiring children to believe in themselves to both face and overcome challenges is a big part of being a good mentor.

 How does becoming a mentor benefit you?

Being a mentor to children provides benefits to both the mentees and the mentors. Don’t assume that you don’t get anything out of the deal.

After all, isn’t it obvious that it’ll feel great to be someone special to a young person? With that said, there are numerous other benefits to becoming a mentor.

Here are just three:

An improved sense of health and well-being

Former mentors have said their time mentoring children has helped them to live a healthier lifestyle.

Because the role requests you to provide sound advice in efforts to keep kids safe, it stands to reason that some of that advice will be taken to heart for yourself.

As well, there’s almost no better way to improve your own health and fitness routines than by leading kids in physical activities.

Your role as a camp counselor will certainly grant such opportunities, as sports and other games are staples at summer camp.

Greater insight on how to parent

If you’re of the mind that you’ll become a parent one day, there are few decisions better than becoming a mentor to youth.

As a mentor, you’ll go through a myriad of experiences with children. Helping you develop a greater respect for their thoughts and ideas.

You’ll be placed in a better position to learn how to deal with their emotional outbursts and be a source of comfort and consolation.

Certainly, as a camp counselor, you’ll have ample opportunities to learn how to be an awesome future mother or father.

A deeper sense of self-respect

If you’re an individual who has experienced bouts with low self-esteem yourself, becoming a mentor will quickly help to wash them away.

There’s no question that your role as a mentor to youth is a noble one.

It’s a position that will not only gain you a great deal of respect from both your peers and your elders, but it will undoubtedly make you feel great about yourself!

Taking the next step to becoming a mentor to children is easy. The USA Camp Association is hiring camp counselors for summer camps right now. Submit your application today!