The cat’s out of the bag – I will be returning to camp in 2017 through the wonderful help of the people at CCUSA! I’m going to be blogging for them starting now all the way through to the end of my time at camp, so expect lots of awesome info, updates and even a Q&A series with CCUSA themselves, telling you everything you need to know about their application process, interviews, camp fairs and much, much more.
Firstly though, I thought I’d do a Q&A with myself as a little introduction for those of you that may have only just come to Summer Camp Secrets and want to know a bit more about me and my summer camp experience.
1. Who are you?
My name is Roo, I’m 28 and I’m a Londoner born and bred (aside from the 4 years I spent in the South West of England for university).
2. What camp do you work at/how many years?
I work at Camp Sloane YMCA in Connecticut – the best place in the world! I’m going back in 2017 for what will be my 7th summer which, when I say it out loud, seems like a very long time, but I really can’t imagine doing anything else with my summers now.
3. What is your job at camp?
At camp I am the Media/Marketing Director, which means I am responsible for all the photos, videos and social media for my camp. I think my favourite part of the job is that I get to make videos of all our events (theme days, campfires etc) as well some promo/music videos that get all of camp involved – check out all the things I’ve created on the Camp Sloane YouTube channel.
4. What is your favourite camp memory?
After 6 summers at camp, this is a REALLY hard thing to answer, in fact it’s pretty much impossible, because I think I have a best memory at least once a day! I think maybe one of my best memories from last summer though has to be running around like a crazy person trying to get everything organised and set up for the all camp theme day I was running. We were doing Carnival Day, so we had all sorts of games and stalls – we even had a bouncy castle! It was hectic. But there was a moment, when I was helping to serve ice cream out of the ice cream van we’d made out of cardboard, and I looked out at the line of smiling faces (most of which had some sort of face paint on) and I knew that all the hard work had paid off. Hearing later that it had been ‘the best Carnival Day ever‘, made all the stress and craziness worth it!
5. What do you do at the moment/in the off season?
Over the last few years I’ve done many different things while I’m not at camp – I’ve done a ski season in France, travelled around the world, lived in Australia for a year, worked as a nanny (see I really do like working with kids) and in the travel industry, but right now I’m living in London, back at university and a third of the way through a PGCE in Early Years – i.e. I’m going to be a teacher for very little children (0-5 years old!). It’s a lot of work, but I am absolutely loving it so far.
6. Where have you travelled after camp?
Working at summer camp gives you such a great opportunity to travel – those 30 days of travel at the end of the summer are priceless and I would definitely recommend using every single day if you can! Over my summers at camp I’ve visited New York City, Boston, Providence, Toronto, Miami, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Yosemite National Park and more. Two summers ago I also did a big road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway with some friends (which I can honestly say was the best thing EVER) before heading even further south to Costa Rica and Panama – That was such an epic trip, and I’m already planning the next one for the coming summer!
7. Why do you love camp so much?
When I first went to camp I really had no idea what to expect – I’d kind of applied on a bit of a whim, thinking it would be a fun thing to do and that it would give me the chance to earn a bit of money so I could then go travelling in the USA. But I completely fell in love with the place, the people, the job, everything about it. I was a bit taken aback by how much I really did love it. Camp allowed me to totally come out of my shell, to be the ‘real’ me, to feel totally at ease with who I am and who I wanted to be. It sounds cliche but it’s true. Camp is the reason I am who I am today – it is the reason I have some of the best friends in the world; it is the reason I am able to think on my feet and solve pretty much any problem that comes my way; it is the reason I want to work with children; it is the reason I consider myself a leader; it is the reason I have self-confidence. To me, camp is pretty much everything. Camp is my home.
You can head over to my counselor of the week interview to find out more about me and my camp experience.
**I’m returning to camp this summer with CCUSA who have the lowest returner fees and have placed 100% of applicants in the last 2 years. Get in touch with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, by phoning them on +44 0208 874 6325 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Disclaimer: CCUSA are waiving my camp fees in return for this blog series, but please rest assured that all opinions are honest and my own.