Kundai spent his summer working at a camp in New York state and had the opportunity to watch the New England Patriots, see the all big sites in NYC and convince campers to get out of bed every morning at camp!
Why did you decide to work at camp?
It is a unique experience to show that I am responsible, and be a role model to young children.
What did you do at camp? What did your position entail?
Counsellor. This position meant that I had to make sure my campers made it to meals, showered/put on clean clothes/brushed teeth, took their prescribed medicine if they had any, helped them when they felt homesick and resolve conflict that arose with other campers. I also had to make sure that they signed up for activities they wanted to do the following day as well lead some activities (football, basketball, capture the flag etc.)
Favourite camp food?
Buffalo chicken mac ‘n’ cheese
Favourite camp song?
Old Song – Camp Stomping Ground
Favourite bunk activity?
Playing card games with my campers
Favourite evening activity?
Embers, a term used by the directors at Camp Stomping Ground. This is when me and my campers would pick a spot around camp to sit down and reflect on the day to talk about our favourite moments from the day and what we are looking forward to. Sometimes we would just skip rocks by the lake to relax after a long day.
Favourite special event?
Did you learn any new skills at camp?
Leadership skills, how to be patient, what to do know when a child is upset, how to work through conflict when it arises, how to play guitar/ukulele, how to make friendship bracelets, how to take good pictures,
One thing you couldn’t live without at camp?
Co-counsellors. These are the other counsellors I worked with at camp. When I needed help with something, for example a referee for a soccer game or help with a camper who is homesick, or when I just needed someone to talk to. I could not have lived at camp without the support I got from other staff members.
What to pack…
All the important travelling documents which include your passport with your visa, DS-2019, SEVIS ID. Also remember to bring cash. This is for small purchases when you arrive and are settling in as card payments incur fees (check with your bank for more information). You also need to pack your medication if you have any. Rain coats/boots, cold weather clothing.
What to not pack…
Your favourite pair of sneakers/trainers they will get wrecked, do not pack loads of toiletries you will get an opportunity to buy them when you get there, do not pack duvets/blankets/pillows they add weight to your luggage you will also get an opportunity to buy them when you arrive, if your camp does not provide. You can get these items from Walmart.
Wild Packs process tips- any hints and tips to make the process of applying to going to camp run smoothly?
Pay your fees and provide all documents requested on time, your application will be processed faster. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Wild Packs by either email or phone call, they are always happy to help.
Favourite way to spend your days off?
My schedule meant that I did not have to work on weekends, so myself and fellow counsellors went to the nearest town to play mini golf.
Top travel destination?
Depends on your interest. I visited Times Square and the Empire State Building in New York City. I personally am a huge fan of the New England Patriots of the NFL so after camp I also visited Boston, Massachusetts to watch them play in a pre-season game.
Top travel tip (transportation, where to stay etc)?
Most staff members/co-counsellors drive and have a house, so make friends with your co-counsellors and you are more likely to get transportation and a place to stay. Alternatively, Greyhound have buses that travel to most destinations in the United States at cheap prices. If you are looking to book a hotel, use travelling agents such as Trivago to get the cheapest prices. For travelling to the airport, most hotels provide shuttle services that will take you directly to your desired airport. If you are in New York City, you can also get transportation to the airport as well as Grey Hound services from Port Authority.
If I knew then what I know now…
Flaming hot Cheetos are the best chips ever invented.
Hardest challenge at camp?
Getting campers ready for bed and waking them up in the morning.
What surprised you about camp?
There was enough food for everyone to get thirds during every meal.
Main highlight from the summer?
Hard to choose as there are so many highlights, but the slip ‘n’ slide plus shaving cream war on the 4th of July was amazing.