Camp Counselor Spotlight: Rebekah
Rebekah worked as a gymnastics instructor and bunk counsellor at a camp in Maine during summer 2019. Read on for The Parent Trap, paddleboarding and travel tips!
Why did you decide to work at camp?
I knew camps existed from the movie “Parent Trap” but I had never thought of working at a summer camp. I saw an advert on the internet and I thought that I had nothing to lose to sign up and from that moment I knew it would be a life changing experience. I decided to work at camp because I knew it would be the best summer job ever. The setting of camp is amazing and I knew that I would make very special friendships, much more intense than your “basic” university friendship.
What did you do at camp? What did your position entail?
I taught gymnastics at camp and I was a bunk counsellor for 11-year-old girls. Being a bunk counsellor means you have a couple of rest hour duties and a couple of night duties per week. You must be in the bunk watching the girls for 1h after lunch and at night, you watch them from the end of their last period till the next morning. Then, during the day, I taught 6 periods of gymnastics with 4 other instructors.
Favourite camp food?
Teriyaki Salmon for sure!
Favourite camp song?
The P is for Party and the A is for Alright, the R is for Ready and the T is for Tonight, the Y is for You, and You know what to do! So partyyy, don’t let your mamma know, partyyy or she won’t let you go!
Favourite bunk activity?
Talent show, the girls I had were very creative and didn’t care about what the others would think. They invented their own routine to Old Town Road and performed in front of everyone. A lot of them were musical and theatrical.
Favourite evening activity?
College league games
Favourite special event?
The Gymnastics interclub competition. It was friendly and fun, and the girls really enjoyed themselves. Helping them work on their routines was awesome and seeing them gain new gymnastic skills was very rewarding.
Did you learn any new skills at camp?
I learnt how to paddleboard. We could use the paddleboards, canoes, kayak etc. during our free time which was very nice and relaxing.
One thing you couldn’t live without at camp?
What to pack…
Lots of sportswear such as enough shorts, sports bras, etc. going out clothes for your nights off, your teddy bear, a sleeping mask, a disposable camera, old shoes for Color War, dressing up clothes, sunscreen, a sunhat, a raincoat, teabags (for those who can’t go a day without drinking proper tea), flip-flops/sliders (you’ll wear them every day), suitable bathing suits + if you have short hair, I would let it grow because you’ll find it easier to have it tied up every day.
What to not pack…
A mid-season coat such as a jean jacket (you’ll never get cold), lots of makeup, a blanket (it gets very hot in the bunk once all the girls have arrived), warm pjs,
Wild Packs process tips- any hints and tips to make the process of applying to going to camp run smoothly?
Keep within the deadlines and don’t wait too long to give the documents in and pay the fees (I got my visa 4 days before I left, and as you can imagine, it was kind of stressful)! Also, I would get flexible flights. And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask camp or Wild Packs, everyone is very friendly and helpful!
Favourite way to spend your days off?
Visiting the towns around, going to Waterfalls, going shopping, eating out…
Top travel destination?
Virginia was amazing before camp! It helped me to get accustomed with American Culture. I then went to New York for 8 days, which was too long! Keep 4 days for New York because it’s a must-see but don’t stay too long, you will get fed up (especially if you’re not a city person like me).
Top travel tip (transportation, where to stay etc)?
Try and stay with your camp friends or relatives if you can (accommodation is expensive). Make friends with people who have cars and you might be able to travel with them for a bit after camp. Otherwise, cheapest is coach (cheap bus tickets on Wanderoo).
If I knew then what I know now…
If I knew then that teaching gymnastics to 8 year olds and 14 year olds at the same time was that hard, I would have asked to divide the groups by age.
Hardest challenge at camp?
The girls that didn’t want to do gymnastics – 50 minutes can be veryyyyy long when you have a teenager that does not want to do your activity.
What surprised you about camp?
I was surprised how down to earth the girls were.
Main highlight from the summer?
COLOUR WAR!!! And of course my best Aussie friend Tayla, whom I travelled with after camp.