Connor worked at a traditional co-ed camp in upstate New York in the summer of 2018. Below he offers up his overview of his summer spent in the USA:
Why did you decide to work at camp?
I decided to work at summer camp as I wouldn’t have really done anything during my summer and this was the perfect job for me to do. If you love sport and being in the outdoors it is really amazing! The other aspect was you got to make memories and meet people from all over the world. You got to make a genuine difference to these kids lives, you will always be in their memories of a certain summer.
What did you do at camp? What did your position entail?
My position was a general counsellor. My position entailed getting the kids up every morning and getting them ready for the day and then taking and participating in many sporting and non sporting activities throughout the day and spending nearly all the time in the day with the kids. We also prepared special theme days and also prepared things for Colour War such as painting scenery and preparing and helping write songs.
Favourite camp food?
BBQ every single Monday was the best food, but Pizza Fridays competed with this.
Favourite camp song?
Playahitty – The summer is magic. You will not understand this song till the very end of camp and it honestly brings back so many memories hearing it every time someone from camp messages me. The last time you hear this song at camp will honestly make you want to stay forever!
Favourite bunk activity?
Playing knee floor hockey and having the kids teach me so many different card games, such as Spit. Also, watching everyone trade basketball cards and learning who everyone is was very cool. Get ready to talk about Fortnite for hours, especially if they have been away from it for a while!
Favourite evening activity?
Disco Disco Disco!
Favourite special event?
Boys + Girls apache.
Did you learn any new skills at camp?
How to get kids to activities on time, make sure they are eating at meal times and also how to get a big group of kids to sleep at night, when all they want to do is talk (P.S a good tip is tell them stories about home as they love it!)
One thing you couldn’t live without at camp?
The camps’ waterpark. Going to any water activity during the hot summers day was a great way to cool off and also one of the best place to have lots of fun.
What to pack…
Pack lots of hometown accessories such as I brought an Arsenal shirt which the kids where very interested in. But from a practical point take baby wipes and lots and lots of socks because you will throw a lot away! When you’re out there buy lots and lots of sunscreen but make sure it’s waterproof, as you never know whats going to happen in 10 minutes!
What to not pack…
You don’t need to take many t-shirts unless you’re going travelling after camp as you will literally live in staff camp t shirts (if you’re at a camp that has a uniform).
Wild Packs process tips…
Any hints and tips to make the process of applying to going to camp run smoothly? Unlike myself make sure you have had chicken pox otherwise you will need to get a jab and also stay in contact with Wild Packs and call them if you have any questions no matter how silly you may think the question is they’re very helpful. But also make sure you get all your documents done as fast as possible as this will help you with the visa and Wild Packs can help you with that.
Favourite way to spend your days off?
Sitting relaxing by the Delaware river going swimming and also sunbathing. Adventuring to nearby cities such as driving an hour to go to Philly for the day, and going to local restaurants around by camp and also going to the shopping outlets so make sure you have space in your suitcase on the way home! But also just walking round Walmart and Target was very fun and you will spend your evenings off doing this!
Top travel destination?
Toronto Canada the people are so so nice and the city is one of the best I have ever been to. Niagara falls is very close and it isn’t too expensive for everything else.
Top travel tip?
Use Airbnb. They were really a life saver while staying in America as they are always great with big numbers and they are usually a lot cheaper than hotels and also use coach travel.
Hardest challenge at camp?
You will get very worn out from all of the activities and you will have down days but honestly it is one of the best experience and you never remember the down days and you only remember the positive.
What surprised you about camp?
No matter how challenging the kids may be you really do miss them once you come home. Especially how emotional the last day is everyone says you will cry and you think in your head no I will not cry but as you say goodbye you will! Also, how you meet people from all around the world and you will stay in contact once you leave them and you have places to stay all around the world!
Main highlight from the summer?
Getting picked to go on a camp trip to Hershey park which entailed us to stay overnight. We got to have 2 days around the theme park and the chocolate factory and we ate lots and lots of candy and I got to have so much fun with the children in my bunk which was very nice.