I Am a Counselor!

Now what do I do?

Thank you for volunteering your time to invest in teens during these next couple of days. It’s no easy task; you’re in the trenches of spiritual warfare! While your teens will be facing pivotal decisions, we want you to feel well-equipped for their growth. God is going to use you in many different ways—whether it is sharing a verse, asking a convicting question, or merely listening in as a teen shares his heart. No matter the way, your role is extremely important! As you pray and seek to be used of God this week, take a couple minutes to flip through these pages and prepare yourself for the amazing work God is about to do.

Camp Counselor—Spiritual Leader

There’s something about the words “camp counselor” that changes everything about you. Regardless of your age, social status, or personal relationship with these teens, the word “counselor” changes their entire perception of you (at least for this week). Believe it or not, that term carries a lot of weight. This week you have become more than just your usual youth worker/friend/supervisor/chaperone role. You are, in the eyes of your teens, something far greater.

First of all, you are a spiritual leader. This means that they think that you have it all together spiritually. For at least the next five days, whether they admit it or not, they strongly desire an intense, spiritual impact from you upon their lives. This is more than just making sure they brush their teeth and eat their vegetables.

Camp is the one week a year that a teen’s heart is the softest. They are away from TV, wrong friends, family fights, and everything else and they really want spiritual leadership. Counselor, this means it is absolutely essential that you “have it together” spiritually this week and that you consciously strive to have a spiritual impact on each teen in your cabin. Though you may think that your teens see you as they always have, they don’t. They see you as a counselor.

Carefully guard the way you behave with them, and remember that everything you do is being scrutinized. Dedicate yourself to building the lives of your teens every moment of the day. You must initiate spiritual talk, encourage and pray with your teens, and take time each day to spend one-on-one time with each of your teens. Ask them about decisions they’ve made, and share decisions that you have made. It is important that you look for opportunities to pray with your teens, show a genuine concern for them, and get them to open up to you.

What happens in the lives of your teens this week must first begin in your own heart. Counselor, before the fun, games, and laughter… you are a spiritual leader. Ask for the filling of God’s Holy Spirit, walk with Him, and strive to be used by God to leave a permanent spiritual impact upon these young lives. The way you handle yourself will greatly affect their responsiveness and tenderness to spiritual things. Realize that you carry a huge responsibility and that you cannot fulfill your responsibility without being right with God and filled with His Spirit.

Camp Counselor—Supervisor/Authority

Secondly, your responsibility this week is for the physical welfare of your teens. Counselor, you are not here to just have fun (although you should). You are here to know what your teens are doing, where they are going, who they are with, what they are wearing, and how they are behaving at all times. A key to a successful camp week is CONTROL. We must work together, as a team, to keep a controlled atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can work.

Does this mean that you have to go everywhere that each of your teens go or that you all have to be together all of the time? No, but it does mean that you are the overseer of your teens. You are to organize, understand, and check-up on what each teen is doing and when they are doing it.

You are responsible to see that each of your teens are at meals, services, activities, and to know what your teens are doing during their free time. You cannot afford to let your guard down for even one second, and this will mean hard work. I’m not talking about being a prison security guard, but simply having a very acute awareness of who is at the lake, who is at the restroom, and who is taking a nap. You don’t have to be mean to do this, but you do have to be firm and aware. We can’t afford to allow even one bad incident or accident resulting from poor supervision. One such incident could ruin the entire week and thus jeopardize the spiritual development of these teens. 

It is suggested that you carry your phone or a three-by-five card with the names of your kids so that at meals, services, and activities you can quickly see where your teens are. Don’t leave someone else in charge of your teens, especially not one of your other teens. You are responsible. Be a master at counting your teens.

Camp Counselor—Disciplinarian

Can it be that you are to discipline these teens this week? Well, yes and no. Let me explain. Some people seem to take pleasure in authority to discipline, and so they go overboard with restrictions and rigid guidelines followed by a harsh penalty when these guidelines are broken. This is NOT your job! I cannot stress enough how a harsh-toned, power-driven counselor can ruin the spirit, fun, and soft hearts represented here. Your primary job is to love, encourage, and help your teens. Don’t be anxious to exercise discipline. An over-anxious authority is one of the things a teen hates the most. Nothing will stir rebellion, instill coldness, and stifle spiritual interest quicker than a power-driven counselor. Say “yes” whenever you can.

It may be, however, that problems arise. How do you handle them? First, let me say… you handle them VERY CAREFULLY. You’re dealing with the children of others, and you must use extreme wisdom. The best thing to do is to find your church representative, whether it is the pastor or youth pastor, and handle it through their leadership. This usually holds more weight in a teen’s eyes anyway. If any major situations arise, immediately find your leader and inform him of the problem.

For problems of larger proportions, it is possible that a teen could be sent home. A case of extreme rebellion without a repentant spirit will not be tolerated. Toleration of such rebellion could drastically affect the results of this week, and that cannot be allowed. If these situations arise, the youth leaders must handle them.

As a counselor, you will undoubtedly face minor problems that will need quick, firm, and carefully delivered reprimands. You cannot put up with these incidents or you will lose control and influence on your teens. However, you cannot deal too harshly with them or the same will result. Don’t be so patient that they walk all over you, yet don’t be so harsh that they close up to you. Use wisdom and discretion. You cannot afford to jeopardize your spiritual influence on a camper because you were too harsh or too lenient. You must also guard your spiritual influence on all and be careful what you tolerate. Be loving yet firm, patient yet consistent, caring yet in control. Let them know where you stand on rules and that you will not tolerate rebellion, and then proceed to love them and have a great time with them. If you are at all in doubt, don’t take matters into your own hands. Find your youth leader. Finally, never, never, never, never yell or lose control of yourself even slightly!!

Camp Counselor—Spirited Competitor and Team Leader

Don’t you hate doing cheers, making a fool of yourself, acting crazy, and being a nut? (That sounds like the character description of some of you). For many of us this sort of stuff is almost impossible. However, for at least this week, it is imperative that you become a crazy, spirited, cheering, team competitor. This week absolutely must be FUN for these teens. When it comes to your team, you have to be a dedicated, on-fire nut. Will your teens think you’re crazy? At first yes, but if we give them a good dose of spirit… within 8-12 hours they will catch on. At first, they’ll act too cool to have a blast, but a team spirit and competitiveness must be developed, and it will only develop if YOU start it.

As a sideline note… The word COMPETITION does not mean fight, and the words COMPETITIVE SPIRIT do not mean argumentative division. Don’t be willing to sacrifice your testimony in front of the teens and others for a foul ball or a bad call. Winning should be secondary to maintaining a spiritual emphasis, good attitudes, and wholesome competition between the teams. This means that you must be able to take a bad call with a smile, shrug off a decision that doesn’t go your way, and maintain complete composure and control over your own emotions. One lost temper could result in many lost spiritual decisions. No one will be given a collegiate scholarship for the week of camp.

On the flip side of that… go crazy for your team! Rally your cabin to a high level of excitement and spirit. This will provide for a great week of fun and many unforgettable memories.

Camp Counselor—Friend and Participant

Simply put, you are to be a friend to these campers this week. Don’t be too far above their craziness, their fun, and their laughter. Be patient, and remember that they are still teens. Play games with them, be involved in their week, and spend your time and energy on them. Do what they want to do, and give yourself away.

Counselor, be a friend! Have fun, and give yourself away this week.

Camp Counselor—Camp Helper

Finally, you are here this week because we need you. You are helpers to your youth leaders, pastors, and the camp director. Bear in mind the many details to follow up on, the many activities to organize, and the many tasks to be completed. You may be asked to sleep on an uncomfortable bed, get no sleep, and have no privacy. Please have a willing spirit, and be ready to pitch in and help when needed. We, as the adults, must be in total agreement and work together as a team this week, or it will not be a success.

Keep an eye open for ways to help out. Let’s work together this week, both physically and spiritually as we plan to see God move.


Have a great time this week! Give yourself away. Let God use you. You will find, as you serve Him this week, and as you give yourself to these teens, that this will be one of the greatest weeks of your life.

Thank you for the sacrifices you have made to be here. Let’s pray and work for a great week together!



  • Confess and forsake (God alone)

Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9

  • Restitution made (God and man)

Acts 24:16; Matthew 5:23-25

  • Radical amputation planned (cut sin off at its source)

Matthew 5:28-30; Colossians 3:5-7

  • Accountability in place

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Proverbs 27:5-6

  • Replacement

Romans 12:21; 13:14


ADDICTIONS – Proverbs 20:1; Isaiah 61:1; John 8:32; Romans 6:14-16; 8:2; 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 9:26-27; Galatians 5:1

ANGER – Psalm 37:8; Proverbs 14:17, 29, 15:1, 16:32, 19:11, 22:24-25; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Ephesians 4:26, 31; Colossians 3:8; James 1:19-20

APATHY – Romans 12:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 2:5; Colossians 3:23; Revelation 3:15-16

ASSURANCE – John 1:12, 10:27-28; Romans 4:20-21, 8:16-17, 8:38-39, 10:13; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 12:6-8; 1 Peter 1:4-5; 1 John 3:20-21, 4:13-16, 5:13

AUTHORITY – Romans 13:1-4; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:18

BITTERNESS – Proverbs 26:24-26; Matthew 5:23-24; Luke 23:34; Ephesians 4:31; Hebrews 12:15; James 3:14-15; 1 John 2:9-11; 3:15

BOLDNESS – Proverbs 28:1; Matthew 5:14-15; Romans 8:31; 2 Timothy 3:12; Hebrews 13:6

COMPLAINING – Numbers 11:1; Psalm 34:1; Philippians 2:14; Hebrews 13:5

CONTENTMENT – Exodus 20:17; Proverbs 23:4-5; Matthew 6:19-24; Luke 12:15; Ephesians 5:3; Philippians 2:21, 4:11; Colossians 3:5-6; 1 Timothy 6:6-8; Hebrews 13:5

CURSING – Exodus 20:7; Psalm 19:14; Matthew 12:34-37; Ephesians 4:29, 5:3-4; James 3

DATING – Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, 5:22; 2 Timothy 2:22

DEDICATION – Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 1:20-21

DEPRESSION – Psalm 32:1-7; Isaiah 40:27-31; Matthew 6:34, 11:28-30; Luke 12:22-32; Romans 4:20-21; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; Philippians 2:2,21; 1 Peter 5:6-7

DEVOTIONS – Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-2, 19:14, 63:1, 119:9-11; Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiah 29:13-14a; Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:22-24; 2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:21-25

DIVORCE – Matthew 5:31-32, 19:2-9; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10-15

DRINKING – Proverbs 20:1, 23:31-32; Habakkuk 2:15; Romans 6:14, 16, 8:2; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 9:26-27; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 5:15-18

ENVY – Proverbs 14:30, 23:17, 24:1; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:26; James 3:14-16, 5:9; 1 Peter 2:1-3

FORGIVENESS (GOD FORGIVES ME) – Psalm 32:1-5, 51:17, 103:12, 130:3-4; Isaiah 1:18, 55:6-7; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 1:13-14; Hebrews 10:17; 1 John 1:9

FORGIVENESS (I FORGIVE OTHERS) – Matthew 6:14-15, 18:21-25; Mark 11:25; 2 Corinthians 2:7-8; Ephesians 4:31-32

FRIENDS (BAD) – Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 13:20, 22:24-25, 24:21; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11

FRIENDS (GOOD) – Psalm 119:63; Proverbs 13:20, 17:17, 18:24, 27:17

GOD’S WILL – Psalm 40:8, 85:13, 130:5; Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 6:33; 2 Timothy 3:15-17

GOSSIP – Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 4:24, 10:18, 11:11-13, 17:9, 19:19, 21:23; Romans 1:28-29, 32; Ephesians 4:29

GRATEFULNESS – Psalm 95:2; Luke 2:38; Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:3

HOMESICKNESS – Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 37:39-40; Isaiah 41:10; Philippians 2:3-5; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18

HOMOSEXUALITY – Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-5; Romans 1:26-27, 32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Jude 7-8

LAZINESS – Proverbs 6:6-11, 15:19, 19:15, 24:30-34; Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31

LUSTFUL THINKING – Proverbs 6:24-25; Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 9:27, 10:6; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 4:22; 2 Timothy 2:22; Titus 2:11-12; James 1:14; 1 Peter 1:14-16

LYING – Exodus 2:16; Psalms 52:1-4; Proverbs 6:16-19, 12:19, 22; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:9

MUSIC – Psalms 40:3, 66:1-2; Romans 1:29-32; Ephesians 5:19; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:16; 1 John 2:15

PARENTS – Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 20:20, 30:17; Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20

PEER PRESSURE – Exodus 23:2; Proverbs 1:10, 13:20; Daniel 1:8, 3:12, 16-18, 6:10

PRIDE – Proverbs 6:16-18, 8:13, 11:2, 16:5,18; Daniel 4:37; Luke 18:14; Romans 12:3; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Galatians 6:3; James 1:17, 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6

SECRET SINS – Psalm 90:8, 101:3-7; Proverbs 4:23, 15:3; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Luke 8:17

SELFISHNESS – Matthew 22:36-40; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Philippians 2:3-4, 2:21; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; Hebrews 3:13

TELEVISION (VIDEOS) – Proverbs 14:9; Romans 1:29-32; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:16; Philippians 4:8

THOUGHT LIFE – Psalm 19:4, 101:3; Isaiah 26:3; Ezekiel 11:5; Matthew 5:27-30; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8; 2 Timothy 2:22

TONGUE – Psalm 39:1; Ephesians 4:29, 5:3-4; Colossians 4:6

TRUSTING GOD – Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 20:7, 56:3, 62:8, 118:8; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 26:3-4, 41:10, 50:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Lamentations 3:22-23; Daniel 2:21

WITNESSING – Psalm 126:5-6; Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 28:29-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16; 10:13-15

WORRY – Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 6:34; Luke 12:22-32; Romans 4:20-21; Philippians 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:7; John 4:18


  • Realize you are a sinner. – Romans 3:9-10; 5:12
  • Sin separates us from God. – Luke 13:27; Romans 6:23a; Revelation 21:27
  • Works cannot get us to Heaven. – Isaiah 64:6a; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5
  • Turn from your sin.– Mark 1:14-15; Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19
  • Trust that Jesus died for you.– Luke 19:10; John 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; 16:31; Romans 5:8-9; 6:23b; 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Accept the free gift.– John 1:12; 14:6; 20:31; Romans 5:17; 10:9-10, 13
  • Assurance. – John 1:12; 10:27-28; 1 John 3:20-21; 4:13-16; 5:13