If you are lucky enough to have the summer to yourself, would you ever consider going to America? What’s more would you ever consider working in America? All these experiences can be in the palm of your hand by applying for a summer camp.
Now being a camp counselor isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fun and outgoing, enjoy kids and have a few skills to pass on, then it could be the job for you. Also, it would give you that added extra bit of pocket money to get yourself around and see the country while you are there.
There are many companies that provide a way to set people up with a camp that would suit them, such as CCUSA, Camp America, Bunac and Camp Leaders. Many of these help with a visa, insurance, and even discount flights. Also, it is possible for you to apply for a camp yourself and get these companies to help you with the other aspects.
What are these experiences? Well, they are best told by the people who have done it?
Sarah Hill, 22, from Brighton, England, said: “The opportunities camp provided me with a boosted CV in terms of my teaching career, working with children in a new and different way, and the experience has enabled me to learn lots of new skills, such as lifeguarding and archery.”
Ben Hocking, 24, from Perth, Australia added: “I gained confidence in myself to be able to go out into the world on my own.”
Ines Cordoba-Robyn, 20, from Spain, said: “Going to camp is helpful for me, I am learning English and improving it. I am more responsible, and camp teaches me to take care of kids, something that three years ago I thought was impossible.”
It is not just beneficial to the counselors personally; the kids they teach also gain life skills from the people they meet and who are responsible for their care.
Lindsey Schmelzer, 24, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, commented: “Camp is a place where campers are able to leave their troubles at home and enjoy the outdoors. They don’t have to pretend to be someone they are not and get to feel included. These children get to work on their strengths or get to try something new because that is what camp is for.
She added: “Being a counselor allows you to help these children enjoy what I just stated.”
Kelsey Titus, 21, from Burlington, Vermont, added: “I feel like what I am doing is important. We have the chance to have an impact, and I love what everybody brings to the table internationally.”
Would people recommend it? What advice would they give to budding counselors?
Tom Luke, 21, from Preston, England, said: “I would recommend it if people enjoyed travelling and meeting new people. My biggest piece of advice I would give is work hard and play even harder.”
Ben Hocking added: “I think camp is a great experience for anyone to do! It’s a lifetime adventure where you learn skills you wouldn’t learn anywhere else.”
Camp seems to be all about friends and relationships with the people you work with and meet. Ines Cordoba-Robyn said: “I gained a lot of friends, friends for life, friends that I will never forget. I think friendship is the main reason I went back.”
Lindsey Schmelzer said: “Being from the United States, summer camp is a normal opportunity for children to experience. Yet working and camping with people from all around the world makes you look at something in a new light. you expand your surroundings and open your mind.
She added: “Being a counselor puts you in a bubble where you have to learn everything about those you work with and learn to love their positives and negatives. You barely have phone reception and internet that only works every other week; all of our entertainment is bonding with these other people.
“Working at camp with everyone made me want to travel more. When I finally did, I was able to visit those from camp that I kept a close friendship with.
“Camp did not end after that summer.”