To start of I wanted to go right back to the beginning. Well not the real beginning but you know, to the start of my big trips abroad! This is one experience I thoroughly loved and highly recommend to ANYONE who wants to do a summer job somewhere abroad. There are so so many different opportunities out there now so you’re pretty spoilt for choice, but this is my experience with this company so lets go..
Before heading to the USA!
It’s the year 2011, I’m 21 and I’m eagerly at a pop up camp america job fair. There was loads of tables in a hall with people from all different camps around the US and applicants lining up to get interviewed. There was a big line at the hot spots near New York and LA and as I don’t do queue-ing and I like to go the opposite of most I decided to go to a few others. Everyone was super easy to chat to and it wasn’t a scary interview process, phew!
After chatting to a few different camps, I accepted a camp in Colorado. It sounded AMAZING, it was up in the mountains, staying in log cabins and working with girls between the ages of 4-11. Also, when I was little I did Girl Guides and as this was a Girl Scouts camp it was a great fit!
In America summer camps are something that everyone does in the summer, therefore there is a camp for all different styles and people, which is cool and you can choose what suits you best when you apply.
Before I joined I also signed up to take part in their Youth Leadership programme which gives you a qualification afterwards. Up till the day you fly to America the programme gave us certain tasks to do that we might do whilst leading a team of children. This was super fun and got some creative juices flowing. There was also a weekend away where I got to stay with others doing the programme and I think we mainly played games all weekend, because essentially that is what you’re going to be doing at camp ALL THE TIME! Wahey!
Arriving to Camp..
I can’t remember the exact date but it was in May 2012 (8 years ago now – wow)and now I’m 22 years old. I’ve luckily been partnered up with a girl also travelling from the UK to the same camp which made it all the more exciting and calmed my worries away. Camp America organise your flights and help you with all the visa bits, so it was an easy process.
The first week..
We arrived in Denver Airport, feeling abit lost but there was someone from our camp to meet us. We got in this massive SUV (all Americans seem to have one haha) and drove to camp. This was a little surreal. When we get to Colorado Springs we enter this ranch and drive up this long path and arrive at the camp where I will be spending my next 3 months, Sky High Ranch. So so excited!!
The next day we get to meet everyone! But there’s a catch – and I loved this – we had to come up with a name for ourselves that we could ONLY use from now on! My new name was Freckles (cute, right?!). The kids loved this, and rhey would spend hours trying to guess our real names. But of course we would never reveal. Still, to this day I have no idea what the real names of some of the people I worked with are! Made it so mysterious, loved it!
There was a real mix of counsellors from all over the world, and we played games (surprise!), got to know each other, and ate some wierd new American food. The Americans who had cars took us to all the drive thru’s (there’s a drive thru for pretty much anything, even the bank!) and we explored Colorado Springs. What a beautiful place it is, full of mountains and vast areas of the land full of horses and other wild animals. The Garden of the Gods was really cool, and a must visit if you’re ever there.
I’ve settled in, I’ve made new friends, I’ve experience Walmart, I’ve got my activities ready and now we just wait for the children to arrive! Bearing in mind I have never worked with children before and I am full of mixed emotions but this was such an experience that I couldn’t recommend it enough to anyone more!! The next 3 months are going to be life changing and I can’t wait to tell you more…