Working at Summer at Latin: A Worthwhile Commitment?

Peter Jones, Co-Editor-in-Chief

For Latin students looking for a fun, engaging, and challenging summer job, one option lies very close to school – very, very close. Working as a counselor at Latin’s summer camp program, “Summer at Latin,” offers Upper School students a chance to interact with young kids and make long-lasting memories. That said, it isn’t remotely easy or relaxing.

I came to Latin when I was 10 years old, and my parents, worried about my transition to middle school, hastily signed me up that summer for a few weeks of day camp. Although back then, having lived in Evanston my whole life, spending so much time in the city was exciting in and of itself, I do remember Summer at Latin being a great experience. The activities, which ranged from cooking to exploring downtown, were all perfect for curious, active young kids. The possibility of working as a counselor at the camp hadn’t crossed my mind whatsoever until Pamela Cameron, a sophomore, told me about her experience there.

Pamela spent this past summer working as a junior counselor, primarily watching over six-year-olds, and had nothing but positive things to say about it. She told me in depth about the activities offered by the program: arts and crafts, dance, sports, eco-crafts, ‘munchies and crunchies’ (making snacks), and swimming.

“My job,” she explained, “was to keep the kids both safe and having fun . . . often it meant organizing my own games to play in the room.” The kids, who she described as “all totally amazing,” don’t all go to Latin; rather, they attended many different elementary schools all over Chicago. Many of them do have parents that work at Latin, though. “My favorite moment this summer,” Pamela continued, “was when the first and second graders had a talent show. My co-counselor and I learned to dance and taught it to the kids, which we had to do a lot of times so they could get practice, and when we got on stage, the kids couldn’t wait to show everyone what they could do. In the end, the dance was great, and it was awesome to see all of their hard work pay off.”

Though being a counselor is full of memorable moments, it requires a lot more hard work than your average high school summer job. To put it in Pamela’s words, “It isn’t easy by any means. If you’re looking to mess around, then this is not the job for you; you need to be on your A-game at all times. But I love kids, and I think anyone else who loves kids would have a great time. [The job] just takes a great amount of responsibility.”

A  seemingly significant drawback to working at Summer at Latin would be spending so much time in school, a place students tend to associate with stress; however, both Pamela and Bella Flerlage, another counselor for the program, didn’t really find this to be a problem. “No, it’s not at all stressful,” responded Bella, class of 2020. “The people at camp form a super welcoming and relaxed community, and have ever since I was a camper.”

Pamela wasn’t quite as sure, but ultimately she echoed Bella: “It definitely was weird at times . . . Sometimes it felt almost like school hadn’t really ended. I got used to it, though, and overall it wasn’t stressful at all. Besides, I spent most of the time in the Lower School.” So, if you think you have the required capacity for responsibility, and don’t mind hanging around school for several weeks of your summer, then working for Summer at Latin could be an excellent use of your time.

As Bella said, “It’s amazing. I couldn’t imagine spending my summers anywhere else.”

Summer at Latin’s contact information and full list of programs is available at