So it’s been quite a while since the last counselor interview, but you’ll be pleased to know the series is back, kicking off with some answers from Paul, who just spent his first summer at camp, all the way from India!
1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?
I have been going to camps in India – Bombay YMCA (http://www.ymcacamplakeside.org/ ) as a Camp counselor for the last 8 years. But, it was for the first time I had an opportunity to be a part of summer camp 2017 in Camp Sloane YMCA, Lakeville, Connecticut, USA (https://campsloane.org/ ). By God’s Grace working abroad was just amazing!
2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?
I have a passion for camping. I love and enjoy being with kids and get an opportunity to learn, grow and widen my horizon. Also, there is a sense of satisfaction and great achievement after attending camps.
3. What agency did you apply to camp through and would you choose them again/how did you find their service?
I have been a part of Bombay YMCA – India, since my childhood and have been volunteering in different activities like swimming, day camps, outstation camps, Vacation Bible School (VBS) and lot more. So after getting selected, I did my Visa processing through (IENA) International Exchange of North America. The staff were very helpful, supportive and gave proper guidance wherever required.
4. What is/was your role at camp?
At Camp Sloane YMCA, I was working as a Swimming Instructor/Lifeguard and Camp Counselor. Also, I feel myself privileged to have worked as a counselor in the LEAD Program and help mould the young minds and develop their Leadership skills. For the evening activities, I also got a chance to be around the Junior and Pioneer kids. So to sum up, I got an experience of being with both younger and older children and it was fun!
5. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?
Yes, It definitely did! Initially I was very worried about how I’ll manage but as I came here, I made new friends from different parts of the world i.e. Brazil, South Africa, Netherland, Mexico, Ireland, England, Czech Republic…. and the list goes on. Learnt about their cultures, new camp songs, cheers, games and it was a memorable time spent. You are as a family and always stay together in highs and lows and develop a special bonding!
6. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?
Bug spray, Headlamp and Sunscreen.
7. What is your best/favourite camp memory?
Being the General in Color War and Co-coach in the Olympic Day (theme days) was super fun 🙂 Cheering, shouting and encouraging for my team full day was so gratifying. Seeing the smile on the kids face after winning the relay was such a special feeling 😀
- Stargazing every night
- Early morning swimming sessions
- Rowing and canoeing in the mist
8. What is/was your favourite camp food?
Oreo Cream-pie, Cheese Cake, S’mores 😀
9. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?
I loved the Purple Soup song!
10. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?
It’s a very sunny day today so DRINK LOTS OF SUNSCREEN & PUT ON LOTS OF WATERRRR..!!!!
11. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?
Before coming to the camp I went to New York and I walked through the streets of Manhattan, saw Brooklyn bridge, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square visited Central Park, Empire State building. It was great exploring New York an urban jungle which offers architectural marvel, historic monuments, magnificent buildings and countless dazzling skyscrapers. Also, during the fall camp, we visited Boston, another beautiful city in US. And walked our way through the downtown to the Boston Harbour, strolled on the freedom trail saw USS Constitution, Bunker Hill Monument. We also visited MIT College, Harvard University, Faneuil Hall.
12. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?
I have had opportunities I would have never experienced without camp and I’ve grown so much as a person. I have become more confident and responsible.
13. What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counselor?
Being a counselor is a great way to spend time with the people who are excited about the same things as you are. Also, the most important fact that you are looked up to as a role model and you are some of these kids heroes! You unknowingly inspire so many kids simply by being you.
14. What’s the WORST thing?
Bug Bites, Goodbyes 😦
15. What the most important thing that camp has taught you?
Just be yourself! You are special in your own way 🙂 Try new things even if it seems difficult and handle every situation as it comes.
16. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?
Don’t give a second thought, make the best use of the opportunity. You’ll have the best time of your life.
If you’ve worked at a summer camp in the USA and would like to be featured in the ‘Camp Counselor of the Week’ series, comment below, get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or Intagram, or send me an email!