Merryn worked as General Counsellor at a camp in upstate New York, during the summer of 2019! Read on for Gaga, camp disco and 4th of July!
Why did you decide to work at camp?
I decided to work at camp because my parents actually met at a camp in Connecticut! They have told me for years how much of a good experience it was and I wish I had applied sooner! Before I applied I was worried as I wasn’t sporty or had a special skill, but throughout the process I learnt that camp was definitely for me!
What did you do at camp? What did your position entail?
I was a general counsellor for 8/9 year old girls and this was exactly what I had hoped for! I helped to get the girls ready for the day, participated in all activities and just all round be like a big sister to them. Being a general counsellor was the best decision I could have made, as I was able to really form a bond with the girls and experience every camp moment alongside them.
Favourite camp food?
Defintely tacos and Chipotle! I loved the themed food days at camp, there was always a great choice and definitely good food that we don’t get to have at home!
Favourite camp song?
The Wobble or The Summer is Magic! Definitely would find me dancing to these at every camp disco!
Favourite bunk activity?
My favourite bunk activity was just chilling in the bunk with the girls, listening to music, talking about our families and homes. I secretly really enjoyed it when there was a lightening warning as you got to cosy up in the bunk and spend quality time with the girls! This was when I really got to know the girls and we all felt like a little family!
Favourite evening activity?
Canteen and movie nights! Getting to try some American treats and relax for a moment with the kids was so much fun!
Favourite special event?
4th of July was one of the best days of my life! I loved experiencing this American holiday and all the festivity! Dressing up, eating a delicious BBQ and watching incredible fireworks, surrounded by your best friends = AMAZING!!
Did you learn any new skills at camp?
I learnt how to play Gaga which I had never heard of until I went to camp! Competitive but fun, I should definitely start it up at home!
One thing you couldn’t live without at camp?
I would not live without hair elastics! I can’t count the number of braids I did over the summer! 9 lots of girls in my bunk everyday, and others during free play!!
What to pack…
Loads more pants socks and shorts than you think you need! I took the recommended amount but still found myself needing more!! It was quite a struggle waiting till days off to go buy some more, so make sure you pack well!
What to not pack…
If you’re like me and like makeup, you may want to bring quite a bit. DON’T DO IT! I bought not too much, but still ended up wearing hardly any of it!! After you get a summer tan, you won’t need it anyway but also you just won’t be bothered! Everyone around you has seen you at your best and worst so it doesn’t matter!
Wild Packs process tips- any hints and tips to make the process of applying to going to camp run smoothly?
I would say to get the process started as soon as possible and to get your paperwork in straight away. Things like applying for new passports and the visa application can take a lot of time, so make sure you’re up to date with everything!
Favourite way to spend your days off?
I loved spending my days off by the local lake, just relaxing with friends. After the busy hectic weeks at camp, you will be so happy to just sit and do nothing!!
Top travel destination?
My absolute favourite place to visit was San Diego. After doing busy tourist spots throughout California, San Diego was a light relief that felt like a holiday. Sun, sea, sand and good food, what more could you want!
Top travel tip (transportation, where to stay etc)?
The more people you travel with the better! This will really cut down the cost of accommodation, as you are able to split the cost. Also budget airlines are a great way to get around, although you may find yourself wearing half your clothes on the plane!
If I knew then what I know now…
If I knew how much camp would have changed my outlook on life, I would 100% have started going to camp years ago! It has made me appreciate how lucky I was to have that experience and I wish I could share it with everyone!
Hardest challenge at camp?
One of the hardest things was pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but in the end it can turn out great! For example, I was quite scared of the lake and was insistent I wasn’t going anywhere near it! But by the end of camp I ended up really enjoying boating, and now I have a new skill!
What surprised you about camp?
What surprised me the most was how quickly time flew! I felt like I knew the kids for a lifetime but also 2 minutes! I wish I could have stayed there forever!
Main highlight from the summer?
My main highlight of the summer was Color War definitely! It made me so proud to watch my girls give their all in every activity to help support their team.