It’s true what they say; working at an American summer camp is a life changing experience. I was lucky enough to work at Iroquois Springs for the past 2 summers teaching Horse Riding.
Everyone that knows me knows that I CONSTANTLY talk about camp and how fantastic it is! This experience is something that, I believe, everyone should try and do in their life, as you really do make a difference. If you’re thinking about working at a summer camp, or it has never crossed your mind, then read on to find out why a summer spent working in America will change you!
YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
This is true on so many levels. The motto at my camp was “I am the difference maker”. Whilst working at summer camp, you are a role model to the campers. You’re the person they look up to, they admire, and want to be like. You’re the one that they will go home talking about, telling friends and family about you, and ultimately the one that they will always remember. I never knew that I could make that impact on someone until I embarked on this experience. After my last summer (2017), when my campers were returning home, the amount of times they hugged me (crying their eyes out) and told me that “I had changed their lives” or that “I was their favourite counsellor”, and that they will always remember the valuable advice that I gave them, is truly humbling. You can be that difference maker too!
IT BOOSTS YOUR CV
This is a major concern for everyone; future employment prospects. Working at a summer camp is a fantastic job to put on your CV/resume, and employers love it! Since I came back from my first summer (2016), any job I applied to all the employers commented positively on camp. It also gives the bosses something different to talk about, and it’s a topic that you’re hugely passionate about, meaning that your personality and charm will shine right through and this will appeal to employers.
PERSONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Remember all those New Year Resolutions that you made, of things that you said you would change, but you broke them? Like how you want to be more patient, or stress less? Working at a summer camp is fantastic in developing personal skills and improving/building confidence. I am prone to over working and stressing at the smallest of things, but camp has taught me to not ‘sweat the small stuff.’ From looking after children and working long hours, my time management skills have developed, but also my social skills and empathy have grown dramatically. You’re a role model for the summer, and these campers come to you if they have problems. Developing your patience and empathy skills will be beneficial to you for the rest of your life.
CAMP FRIENDS BECOME YOUR WORLDWIDE FAMILY
When people talk about summer camps, they will usually say ‘it’s about the people’, OR ‘it’s the place.’ Luckily at Iroquois Springs, it was ‘the people AND the place.’ I have made friends from all over the world, from the West coast of America, to all around the UK/Ireland, and across to Australia and New Zealand. I have made friends for life at camp, who have completely changed me as a person and have helped me develop a new outlook on life. Your camp friends become your family away from home, and that is something that no money can buy.
Nothing beats travelling around the USA! Working at a summer camp can change you because you get to experience travelling like you never have before. After you’ve finished working at camp, you get 30 days after the expiration date of your visa to travel the country. This is highly recommended! In my first summer (2016), my friends and I rented a car and drove around the North-East coast, ranging from states like Pennsylvania to the idyllic Vermont. It was a great way to bond with the people that you have lived/worked with all summer, and it was super exciting to see places that I had dreamed of going to. This changes you because it opens up your eyes to other cultures and lifestyles, which brings a whole new perspective on life. Plus driving in America is super easy and so much fun; praise the automatics!
These are just a few reasons why working at a summer camp will change you as a person. It has hands down been the best experience of my life so far, and I wish that I had started it earlier in my university life. If you’re interested in starting this program or want to know more information, head over to www.usasummercamp.co.uk for more details and get ready to embark on changing you and making a difference!