So here’s part two of my trip to the USA. I’m in beautiful Colorado Springs, I’ve met some lovely new people from all over the world, and I’m feeling great! The children are here, and at my camp they range from ages 4-11 years old. And oh my days the little 4 and 5 year old’s are the cutest!! They just absolutely love you from the beginning. I was given a wonderful dough model of me made by one of the girls which has an uncanning resemblance:
In my last post I wrote about how each camp has a different style. So for this one we had children come to stay for around a week then we had 1/2 days off. Each week I would be with a different age range and paired up with a different counsellor, which as great as it kept it fresh and interesting. As this one was a girl scouts camp there was some small rules we had to follow, so I had to wear tops with sleeves and long shorts which is fine cos its no fashion show in the mountains! Plus you’re less likely to get burnt if you’re as white as me, one less thing to worry about. We couldn’t share the accommodation or bathrooms with the children either (and you’ll see why I’m referring to this in part 3). We stayed in log cabins which got more back to basics as the age range got older. The toilet was one of the things I remember the most! Ok, so it had a name called a BIFFY, which is an abbreviation for Bog In Forest For You.. yep and as the name suggests it was literally a toilet in a wooden shed in the forest, which is fine, being back to basics and all that except the part that when you opened the door LOADS of Moths flew out!!!! Yeah, that was always something I had to get used to every time I needed to go!
Day to day activities…
Let’s talk about what I actually got up to – the fun part!
It was all very outdoorsy, which I loved, and the activities we did depended on the age range. We did a lot of walks/treasure hunts, high ropes, there was ALWAYS a camp fire and lots of silly songs around it and of course smores (basically melted marshmallow from the campfire squeezed between two biscuits and some chocolate-yum!).
The awesome thing was we had our very own zip line on camp which we got to go on all the time! The children loved it and I couldn’t believe I was actually put in charge of catching them when they got to my side!! If you know me well then you’d know I have the slowest reflexes ever and I’m super clumsy so catching someone who’s on a wire above a massive dip might not be the best combination but I did it. Camp is all about pushing you outside your boundaries, and that’s exactly what I did.
Some times we did do a camp out where we would hike to a beautiful spot with amazing views, set up a tent and just be really in the wilderness, I remember it was a lovely time to just be with everyone and get to know the group more, especially with the older ones. Learning about how different our lives are from different countries was just wonderful! All the kids think you know the Queen of England and of course sometimes us Brits just go along with it. We would have dinner on a camp, often making quesadillas as there were easy to cook (when I eat them now they always remind me of this time) and sometimes we would be brave enough to camp under the stars. Although there was talk about bears being around so I think I was only brave enough once, as long as all the food was locked away safely then we should be ok!
Looking back now this was such an amazing experience, and I’m really enjoying remembering all the amazing I did. You work hard and its full on, but you have to just totally go all in. Most of my days off were spent visiting a family home of some of the locals counsellors, going to Walmart and buying snacks and supplies, eating Chipotle EVERY day off (a burrito basically, they were everywhere in the USA) and I bought some really cool Mokosins from a Native American shop. I really wish I took more pictures too but this was at a time when I only had an a small camera, no smart phone and to be honest I think I was just enjoying myself too much.
Then ~ The Wildfire…
Yep, you read that right! Colorado springs was so dry all the summer that unfortunately a wildfire started up in a forest close to us. When this started me and the kids would go out and do a rain dance in the hope that it would soon start raining which was kind of cute but it was so so dry it really needed to rain otherwise it would get worse. And it did, it started spreading bigger and bigger and the decision soon was that the camp would have to close!! My goodness this was scary, some of the local girls had to move from their houses as they were super close to the fire, and us internationals had to figure out what to do next. Does this mean my whole trip is cancelled?!? I was distraught!
But, and this is why I would recommend the Camp America company to anyone who is looking to do a similar trip, a few of us who were with this company got looked after amazingly and were all sent to new camps. Some other girls who were with other companies had to figure it out for themselves which must have been really hard for them and I would have hated to be in that position. Luckily I got transferred to another camp. It would mean leaving all these new friends I’ve made and re settling into to whole new place half way through the summer. The next camp I got transferred to was in Ohio!!
Completely different to Colorado let me tell you…
Part 3 coming up!