Summer 2014...the best summer of my life. At the age of 20 I had not yet ventured past the comfort of the English countryside to anywhere over seas. In fact, I had not even crossed the borders of England to any of our neighboring countries. Going to America was my first time abroad, on a plane and first time at an airport for that matter, however none of this scared me; not even the fact I was facing this 2 month adventure alone.
Yes I know I just misspelt counsellor, Americans love there different words are phrases and complicated different spellings. This is what I had constantly off of my Freshman girls in my cabin. Aged between 8 and 9 these 11 girls both loved and were angered by this culture difference. I would say "go and put your trainers on"..."don't forget a jumper". All of which they would mock and explain how 'sneakers' and 'sweatshirt' were in fact the correct terminology. Throughout the summer they were interested to learn more and find what else was different. I was their mum, sister, friend, nurse, teacher, adviser (the list goes on) for almost 2 months. It is an unbelievably great experience for you as much as it is for them. You can tell them about your past and maybe you can give these children a perspective on how fortunate they are to be able to go to summer camp each year.
The Camp Bubble
You will not understand 'camp' until you actually experience it for yourself. There are far too many memories and experiences for me to relive in my head, let alone to write about in this post. When I bump into someone from camp back in the UK, people will stare as we break into victory chants or start signing the camp song. It's something that children over in America take very seriously and it's a tradition for them, that a lot of them have been privileged to go through. The thing is, is that I feel privileged that I have been apart of one of their summers. Some of the children at camp have been there going on 16 years! That's right, basically their whole life and that is why they call it their summer home.
Although this past summer has been one of the best in my life, it has also been one of the hardest. Homesickness or 'missing home' hit me pretty hard during my time over in America. I think this was mainly down to having a long term boyfriend, who to leave for 2 months was not an ideal situation. However we managed to get through it and it has actually made us stronger because of this experience. The job itself is not a 'walk in the park', you are with these children 24/7 a day, which can be an incredibly daunting prospect. Take one day at a time and you will find that the lows and wiped out by the incredible high points and friendships that you make throughout your summer.
Here is the link to Wildpacks, a great agency who will take you step by step through the process of working in America. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding my summer. http://www.wildpacks.com