Why everyone should spend a summer as a summer camp counsellor
I was fortunate enough to spend two consecutive summers at Raquette Lake Camp as a water ski instructor and was undoubtedly one of the best experiences I have had!
I eurgh everyone to do it, whether it’s a summer between University years or in a gap year.
I have created a list of the reasons why everyone should spend a summer working at a summer camp;
– To Travel! Many summer camps are located in remote beautiful places such as northern New York, Maine, North Carolina. These remote locations are undoubtedly beautiful, many surrounded by forests or lakes, which provide perfect camp locations and plenty of places for activities. The kids spend their summers at camps to get away from the big cities and what better way to do it, the smallest things such as just looking up at the sky at night, I can honestly say I have never seen so many stars before! The J1 visa which entities you to work at a summer camp also gives you around a month to travel the states after you have completed the camp. Many camps pay in US Dollars which works out perfectly as travelling money.
– Meet friends for life! Summer camps draw in counsellors from all over the world, I met people from all over America, England, Australia and New Zealand. At first whilst it may seem scary going and not knowing anyone, everyone is in the same boat. The people you meet especially your co bunk counsellors and activity
– Unique Experiences! There is a big difference between going on holiday to a place and living there. I visited America many times before going to summer camp, but I found myself in a massive culture shock, interacting with people from countries other than your own and learning about their way of life, so interesting! Being in America during the summer also meant I got to experience 4th of July and celebrate it (quite a strange feeling) defiantly a once in a lifetime experience I won’t forget.
– Camp Traditions! All camps are different and have their own traditions and special events. The camp I worked in had a number of traditions including, various chanting at lunch and dinner, special songs and brother sister activities with the boys camp. Throughout the summer at various times they had special events these included; Halloween trick or treating, an Hawaiian party, 4th July celebrations, the mini sing, the big sing, carnival, 6 chairs, breakout and team week. Team week was the biggest event, where the whole camp was split into two different teams and competed against each other in different activities throughout the week.
– Outside Benefits! Working at a summer camp is also a very good thing to have on your CV, it allows you to give examples of a variety of skills such as; team work, childcare, patience, commitment, adaptability, cultural changes and many more. I can’t count the number of times in job applications or interviews where I have benefited from my summer camp experience.
– Hard Work! Working at a summer camp isn’t an easy thing to do, the hours are incredibly long, often working from when you wake up to when you fall asleep with a few hours off during the day, you will get nights off, our nights off started at 9:30 pm and ended at 12:30am. Although this being sad, both years at a camp, I totally completely forgot I was being paid, it was that good of experience I would have potentially undertaken it without being paid.
If you have the slightest desire to work at a camp do it, you defiantly won’t regret it! No better way to travel and work in another country whilst making experiences that last a lifetime!