The last counselor interview was with Glen a few weeks ago, and now its over to Natasha, who has worked at 3 different camps and travelled to over 23 states in America! Natasha also has a travel, entertainment and lifestyle blog with plenty of hints and tips about all things camp and more.
1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?
I went to 3 camps! The first was Camp Kennolyn Day Camp in California. Next summer, I went to Camp Kennolyn’s Residential Camp. Then after a few summers off I went to Camp Tioga in Pennsylvania.
2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?
I love America and I’m very sporty so it just felt like a natural fit. I’m also a hockey coach and a fencer which made me easier placed at camp. Private camps love fencing! Who knew?
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 America! Just as it was the only camp agency around other than BUNAC at the time. There website was super easy to navigate but every time I had to ring up it became a huge problem. They were based in a building with lots of other offices so you had to get past the woman on reception to get her connect you. She wasn’t very helpful most of the time. But that was years ago! I’ve been working with Camp Leaders on some blogs recently and they are lovely to speak to and you get connected straight away and don’t have to wait long. Plus they are based in Liverpool, my hometown! So I would probably use them if I did camp again.
4. What is/was your role at camp?
I was a fencing instructor all 3 years but I was also a bunk counselor for 2 years and a general counselor my first year. Bunk counselors slept in the same cabins as the kids and general counselors had their own cabins together. Being a fencing instructor was great fun! I ran tournaments each session too which the kids loved. I was at camp during the Olympics so I brought some Olympic special edition 50p’s with me as prizes which had fencers on the back. They loved them!
5. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?
Yes! It was everything I wanted to be and more! It was such an experience and one of the bets jobs I’ve ever had in my life. It’s not a normal day job. Far from it! It’s a 24-hour job! You’re already on duty unless you’re on your day off. Yes, at times I was exhausted but the overall experience and memories I have are generally all positive. The cabins, the job, the camp, were all as I expected them to be. The campers, the staff, the evening activities and colour war were above and beyond anything I could have imagined! I met so many lovely people, I had some amazing kids and colour war was intense!!
6. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?
Other than my passport, VISA and my phone! lol! It would have to be….UK treats! (great to bribe your kids or reward them), LOTS of socks and lots of sun cream/sunscreen (I burn very easily).
7. What is your best/favourite camp memory?
There’s so many! Probably colour war! Just such an amazing few days. I had such a fun time!
8. What is/was your favourite camp food?
9. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?
The moose…The mooooooooooose! Swimming in the water! hahaha!
10. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?
11. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?
I’ve been to 23 states now and counting! I want to get all 50! I did an amazing road trip after my first summer around California. After my last summer, my boyfriend (who I met at camp) and I drove all the way down the East coast of America and caught a cruise with 30 of our camp friends to the Caribbean! That was incredible!
12. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?
I feel so much more responsible after working at camp! Honestly, the thought of looking after so many children was terrifying at one point but it was a piece of cake. I also feel a lot braver now. I have travelled alone so many times after going to camp. Nothing bothers me! I also work in travel now full time and work with camp brands to advise future camp counselors to go to camp!
13. What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counselor?
Working in America for a whole summer! America is so beautiful! All the camps I’ve been to have amazing locations. The food is delicious (some camp food can be questionable!) and you meet amazing people from all over the world.
14. What’s the WORST thing?
Meatloaf….and lack of sleep. I love sleep!
15. What’s the most important thing that camp has taught you?
How brave I can be!
16. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?