Last week we heard from Áine about her first summer at camp, now it’s over to another first timer, Rachel, who spent the summer teaching Archery, among many other things!
1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?
Camp Sloane – 1 year.
2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?
I was half way through my first year at university and I was thinking about all the time I was about to have off for summer and I definitely did not want to spend the whole summer working in my boring retail job. I remembered at the start of the year my university sent everyone an email about summer camp and so the rest was history.
3. What agency did you apply to camp through and would you choose them again/how did you find their service?
I came through a company called Wildpacks as they were the company my university emailed me. I did have a look around at some other company’s but I just found that everyone who worked at Wildpacks was so nice and the service was great! I would go through Wildpacks again and definitely recommend them!
4. What is/was your role at camp?
I was an adventure/ tent counsellor.
5. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?
My expectations were met and went above and beyond. I had very little expectations as I wanted to keep it all a surprise for when I arrived and I was so shocked to find that it was so much better than I ever thought it could be! When I was younger and watched Camp Rock on Disney Chanel and thought could camp ever be really like this and even though it’s not all the same, the singing of chants in the dining hall, eating s’mores around the camp fire and just having the best time of your life is very much the same!
6. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?
A head torch, bug spray and a journal (otherwise I would have never known the day or date!)
7. What is your best/favourite camp memory?
They are so many I could say but my favourite memories are from Olympic day, I was the head coach of the England team and all the other teams decided to gang up on us and it made me so much more determined to lead my team to victory! We started of slow, losing some of the games but we picked it up in the end coming third place, it was our team spirit and great chants that did the job!! It made me so happy and I still say to this day that it was the best day of the whole summer!
8. What is/was your favourite camp food
Cook out night (BBQ) and hobo dinners on overnight!
9. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?
As I worked in the junior girls village my favourite was ‘j – j – u – j – u – n – i – o – r –s we are the juniors what what the junior girls!‘
And from Olympic Day – ‘We want crumpets we want tea we want scones and victory!‘
10. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?
‘what a nightmare’
11. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?
My mum and my sister came out to New York and we spent 5 days there!
12. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?
I don’t even recognise the person I was 3 months ago, camp has changed me into such a better person, it has changed the way I act towards people, I always think of others and have much more respect for others.
13.What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counsellor?
The best part was every single day I was impacting and maybe even influencing children’s lives. On the first day of one of the sessions a girl in my archery class said to me that she had never played before and she was really nervous, on the last day of that session she said to me that it was her favourite activity at camp and now she wants to continue on at home! That one statement made me so happy that I manged to actually influence her in some way!
14. What’s the WORST thing?
Feeling hungry and exhausted all the time.
15. What the most important thing that camp has taught you?
I think the most important thing was that camp gives you so many amazing opportunities and you should never say no to them, whether that maybe going to somewhere amazing on your day off to go and explore or being given leadership opportunities that may influence your future career at camp! Just whenever life gives you an opportunity say yes because it may be the best decision you’ve ever made!
16. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?
You have to be prepared to continue going above and beyond for your campers and looking enthusiastic even on your worst days. You just have to be determined to do your best when you can and you will have so much more fun at camp! You have to be able to get along with other people quickly as you will be sharing days with your fellow counsellors when you’re at your highest and at your lowest, your friends will be seeing you go through all these emotions and they will turn out to be friends for life by the end of the summer.