So it’s been a while since the last counselor interview (way back in June we heard from Sophie), but now that summer is over and many people have just spent their first summer at camp, I’ve got heaps of people lined up for the coming weeks. This week it’s over to Áine, who spent her summer teaching Athletics and loving every minute of it!
1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?
Camp Sloane YMCA. 2016 was my very first year at camp! – We don’t really have camps like these in Ireland, unfortunately!
2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?
My main reasons were to develop my experience in physical education while getting to see a bit of the world, but then it became so much more than that!
3. What agency did you apply to camp through and would you choose them again/how did you find their service?
I went through Camp USA and CIEE. They were great! Any help I needed they were so quick to get back and sort things for me!
4. What is/was your role at camp?
I worked in Athletics and was a counselor in Senior Girls village.
5. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?
It completely surpassed all expectations. My main aim was to become a better PE teacher, but it soon became so much more than that. You had an opportunity to help the campers grow as people. School is so often confined by keeping to a curriculum and you are restrained by time and exams. But at camp, the focus was on reflection of who you were growing up to become, how you treated other people. The quality of the person was what was valued which was amazing and so refreshing.
6. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?
SUNSCREEN. WATER. My whistle. (Got an amazing lanyard tan this summer.)
7. What is your best/favourite camp memory?
That is a very tough question. I’m currently filling up a notebook of memories. One of the best would have to be Olympics day though. Seeing campers singing songs in the Irish language and becoming so passionate was amazing. Being away from home and seeing that was actually very special.
8. What is/was your favourite camp food?
I have to say I loved camp food. Everyday that there were potatoes was a good day for me. (I do live up to an Irish stereotype). Also bosco sticks were a highlight. Also I think it would scare me if I added the up the amount of bowls of Crispy Rice that I consumed over the course of the summer.. Yeah, I loved camp food.
9. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?
“Sloane girls” was a favourite of mine as it was one of the few that I could always remember! Remembering chants was not my strongpoint!
10. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?
11. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?
Sooo, we went back to New York, then to Rhode Island, then Cape Cod, then Boston. Then we flew to Miami, rented a car, drove to St.Augustine, Charleston and onto Richmond. Then I had to get back for a football match at home so I got back to New York and flew home to a football match later that day!
12. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?
I think it made me realise how hard you can work and how productive you can be when you put your mind to it. I had been a little worried that entering into my final year of University I might not work as hard as I should, but now I realise that when I put my mind to it, I should be well able! If I could get up at half six every morning I can do anything!
13. What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counselor?
Seeing the campers grow as people. I never expected the last days of the session to be so emotional. But it was clear to see that so much had been accomplished over the time the campers had spent there. And overall it was just great to be able to act like a child for a while and have fun, be care free and forget about the “real” world for a while. Living in the moment and appreciating the people around you.
14. What’s the WORST thing?
I am a person who loves their sleep. So that was a challenge…
15. What the most important thing that camp has taught you?
You can push yourself more than you realise. If you think you’re exhausted, you can still do more and become even more exhausted!
16. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?
If you have pale Irish skin even factor 55 is not strong enough.