Jake worked at a camp in New York state during summer 2018 and returned again in 2019. Read on to hear about two summers of laughter, chocolate chip pancakes and ticking something off the bucket list by visiting the Grand Canyon after camp!
Why did you initially decide to work at camp? Why did you return?
My initial reason for going to camp was very spur of the moment, I needed a change and travelling/working seemed like a good opportunity. I had such an amazing time during my first year at camp that I couldn’t imagine not going back. I had so many amazing experiences at camp, I met people that will be friends for life and created great relationships with the campers. I’ve never laughed so much in my life!
What did you do at camp?
What did your position entail? This year I was a general counsellor for Sophomore boys. My job at camp was to ensure that the boys had the most amount fun possible, which is great because it meant I got to act like a big kid for the summer. There are activities planned all day, so your job is to get campers to the activities on time and make sure they have fun and are safe. You are essentially like a parent or older sibling to them depending on what age group you work with.
Favourite camp food?
You can’t beat the choc chip pancakes for breakfast and of course…. Smores!!
Favourite camp song?
Generally, there will be one song played on repeat each year at camp. This year it was Old Town Road!!
Favourite bunk activity?
My campers loved playing card games, we played big 2 all summer!
Favourite evening activity?
We had a hypnotist perform for us and it was the funniest thing I’ve seen! He got counsellors involved and made them do some hilarious things. The kids love seeing their counsellors participate in evening activities, they get so proud that you’re their counsellor!
Favourite special event?
The best special event is College Week! 4 colleges competing in crazy sporty/creative events to see who wins. I got to be a ‘Dean’ for Michigan State and the kids love being able to tell their friends that their counsellor is a Dean.
Did you learn any new skills at camp?
Camp gives you the opportunity to try so many different things. I learned how to perform tricks on a trapeze and how to ride a horse. You also learn a lot of skills that can be used outside of camp like good time management, conflict resolution and most of all patience! You also learn how to be independent and adapt to new a culture.
One thing you couldn’t live without at camp?
Deodorant and sun cream
What to pack…
Pack a lot of underwear, socks and shorts. Socks go missing in the wash and you can never have enough pairs of shorts because the summers are hot!
What to not pack…
you don’t need to take lots of coats and hoodies, just 1 coat and 1 hoody is usually fine. Avoid bulky items that take up space and add weight to your case. Pack as light as possible, there will be trips to Walmart to pick up things you need.
Wild Packs process tips- any hints and tips to make the process of applying to going to camp run smoothly?
Read your documents carefully and thoroughly, its much easier to do it once properly rather than missing info and getting yourself in a pickle.
Favourite way to spend your days off?
Going to a lake/nature reserve or taking a trip to a city and exploring. Its important to relax on your days off!
Top travel destination?
It’s too hard to pick just one but my favourite would have to be The Grand Canyon or LA.
Top travel tip (transportation, where to stay etc)?
Find out who wants to travel straight away and start making plans. Its much better to travel as a group because it cuts the cost and travelling with your new best friends is just the best thing ever!
If I knew then what I know now…
If I knew I would meet so many amazing people and have such a great time, I would have done camp years ago!
Hardest challenge at camp?
Camp is hard work! Its very tiring and hot and requires a lot of energy all day every day. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done but at the same time doesn’t feel like work because there are so many more highs than lows.
What surprised you about camp?
How many different things there are to do at a camp. I thought it would be sports and some arts and crafts. Activities range from trapeze, to horse riding to zip lines and petting lamas and goats.
Main highlight from the summer?
Travelling and spending days off with your friends is always an amazing experience. In my first year I travelled to NYC, Washington DC, Texas, Las Vegas and California. This Year I did NYC and Florida. Visiting all these places is such a great experience. But my main highlight from camp itself must be going on trips to water parks and day trips with my cabin. Acting like a big kid and seeing them light up when you join in activities with them is awesome!